Eventually Bob lapsed into non-responsiveness, a term used in place of unconsciousness. His eyes were shut, but his breathing, although somewhat labored, was regular and steady. Knowing his hearing was intact, I entered his room one late November afternoon, sat beside his bed and sang to him. Just my voice, no instruments.
Eternal father, strong to save, whose arm has bound the restless wave. I reached for his hand and continued. Who bade the mighty ocean deep, its own appointed limits keep. Oh, hear us when we cry to thee, for those in peril on the sea. The "Navy Hymn" was one of his favorites.
I felt a weak squeeze to my hand and saw tears form in the corners of his eyes. I knew he was close to his time and I didn't know how much longer I could maintain my composure in his presence. So I sang only that one hymn.
My voice alone without any accompaniment was appropriate for Bob at this point. Do you have some thoughts about what more stimulation might do to a dying person? Share below.