I am freshly back from a busy weekend trip and am scheduled to meet a student in the lobby to play for patients, visitors, staff, whoever is around. I receive a text that a patient is actively dying and the family is requesting a visit. I check with the nursing staff and they tell me that there is time to visit later this afternoon.
When I return I realize the family is one I recognize. I have played for them before. They are headed toward the elevator and they stop to tell me that the patient, their father, husband, brother...has passed. "He would have liked to have heard you play again." I am disappointed in myself for delaying the visit. Almost immediately his daughter asks me to play for him anyway, and everyone decides they also wish to be present and to listen.
We meet back at the room and the daughter tells her dad that I am going to play for him. I play several pieces, including 'Siebhag Siehmor' This Little Light of Mine', and 'Amazing Grace'. Eyes are closed, there are some tears, nods, and smiles of approval. We are together honoring the passing of this man, this father, brother and husband. After I am finished they discuss some logistics and express some farewells with their loved one and begin the process of moving on. Once the elders are gone, his daughter thanks me again and I tell her that it is both my honor and privilege. Never too late.