In 2019 I joined the Brisbane Threshold Singers. I'd heard about them through the Arts Health Network Queensland and had experienced firsthand the soothing, warmth of their singing. I loved the idea of singing with these women and that it would be non-performative.
The Threshold Choir movement was begun by Kate Munger in 1990. Our goal is to bring ease and comfort to those at the thresholds of living and dying. A calm and focused presence at the bedside, with gentle voices, simple songs, and sincere kindness, can be soothing and reassuring to clients, family, and caregivers alike.
As part of our training to sing at bedsides we recently reflected on and discussed what is a good death. Of course there are as many answers to this question as there are people. For me, I think it's about living a good life - that I've managed to convey my love to those closest to me, that I've resolved conflict that have been available to resolve, that I've lived true to my values, my sense of purpose, that I've striven to be kind, generous, forgiving, compassionate, detached, grateful, peaceful, joyful, loving, friendly, fierce, appropriately remorseful and purposeful about growing inner strengths. In this way, in every day there is no regret. The second part to a good death is those I will leave behind - trusting that they will be okay, after some time. That each of us already has the wisdom to live a good life leading to a good death. Inevitably in this life is filled with 10000 joys and sorrows we can find our own way of settling back into our innate wisdom and goodness. That we can trust ourselves and be steadfast.
If you try this thought experiment and are happy to share in the comments, please add your ideas of a good death.
This is why we are excited to host the screening of Live the Life you please on 5 August. If you'd like to come along to watch the film and hear us sing please use the link below to buy tickets.