My late husband , Ron Reed, received palliative care at Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford from October 2017 to July 2019. He found The Swan Song Project really helped him and made him more positive and able to accept the reality of his own death. It enabled us as a family to work on it.
He spent several weeks working with Ben on his song ‘Everything is alright’. It made him smile again and laugh . It gave him hope and it was wonderful to see him smile and talk about his hopes, fears and his passing . He performed it in Marie Curie in front of the patients with our two children and it is something that we have on video, and will always treasure. He also performed it in Leeds. After Ron’s passing, we performed it at Bradford cathedral and it was a truly moving experience.
My son was also supported by Swan Song. He created several songs with Ben in the lead up to his father’s passing. It helped him come to terms with what was happening in his own way, through music, through sound and through Ben’s gentle and playful presence and encouragement. I am very grateful for the support that we had.
Ben also visited Ron several times in the hospice which we were very grateful for . The Swan Song bought us a sense of hope and joy in the face of adversity. It was so wonderful to have something positive to focus on .My daughter was also inspired to busk for Marie Curie as a result .
Over a year on, I am very grateful for the support and help that Swansong gave us as a family. We have the song that Ron and our children performed with Ben . It was an incredibly painful and difficult time, but the song and song writing process was a form of therapy and healing for the whole family. The words that Ron and Ben wrote live in me always, and give me hope. It’s best said in the final words of Ron’s song : ‘ But somewhere in the distance , I can see a light. And it calls me to come closer , and it promises to make it right. Make it alright . Everything is alright….’