chapter  12
Musical Dialogue
Pages 16

On the last day of my uncle’s life, I maintain a vigil at his bedside, and every so often I sing to him. But not just to him, since I also sing for him, and even to an extent with him. The song that comes to me is ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ – cued, I think, by how the line ‘Coming for to carry me home’ feels right for this task of accompanying someone in their last hours of life. I can also attune the simple melody to my uncle’s laboured breathing. From occasional micro-adjustments he makes in his breathing and head movements, I know that somewhere he hears me, and turns to me. I hope he feels less alone.