abc
QUICK LINKS:

Looking Death In The Eye: Threshold Singers

Updated: 03/31/2014 12:03 PM
Created: 11/13/2012 4:11 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling

A Threshold Choir in Grand Rapids sings to people who are dying in an effort to make their final days more comfortable. They're called the Lovely Loons and they sing to people who are terminally ill or in hospice care, including Justine Dragavon who is almost completely deaf and blind.

"This makes me feel closer to God having you come this way," Dragavon said. "The choir is an extraordinary pacifier for a body. It's like a prayer coming to life."

Dragavon is 101 years old and in hospice care. The choir visits her once a week and sings to her for 20 minutes. The trio hopes to create a comfortable environment for people like Justine who are close to death. Threshold Choirs sing a cappella and are usually comprised of just women.

"There is something that happens; I really can't describe it in words," Threshold Singer Linda Flanagan said. "You create this space where it just feels magical. A little unusual, very serene and very peaceful."

This group is the only choir of its kind in Northern Minnesota, but there are about 100 across the nation with each member embracing death.

"It's like facing it eyeball to eyeball," Threshold Singer Karin McAuley said. "We hope to be able to help others understand that death is a part of life."

"Everybody faces it, no matter what," Flanagan said. "There is no getting out. So, we try to normalize it because in our culture people are scared to talk about it."

Some people might think these visits seem eerie, but members of the choir said it's quite the opposite. This group shares laughter, stories and jokes like a family would. Justine even shares some of her hopes and fears with members of the choir.

"I'm anxious to see what is going to happen to me," Dragavon said. "Please God, don't let me suffer. I wouldn't be a good sufferer."

The Lovely Loons are looking for more members in the Grand Rapids area. For more information on how to join, visit their Web site by clicking here.

Front Page

  • Scannell Convicted on Both Counts

    A jury has convicted Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The verdict comes after about nine hours of deliberations yesterday evening and today.

  • Spirit Mountain Seeing Big Changes

    Just months into a new executive director, Spirit Mountain is seeing some big changes. Daniel Fanning with the mayor's office says three positions are being discontinued, including the director of marketing, director of operations, and director of skier services.

  • Free Range Film Festival in Wrenshall

    Annie Dugan and her husband call it the Free Range Film Festival, and they are hold it in a barn where they've showing independent movies for 11 years. The Dugan's bill the festival as "a farm fresh alternative to stale cinema."

  • Cider House Opens in Historic Duluth Building

    In a city of craft beer, Endion Station is Duluth's first cider house. The group behind Fitger's Brewhouse bought the old train depot, which now sits in Canal Park, two years ago and reopened the piece of history Friday.

  • Engineering Firms Expanding in Twin Ports

    Duluth and Superior are winning awards for the best places to live, and the Twin Ports economy is looking good as two engineering firms expand in both cities. Company leader say new offices opening on Friday mean more local jobs.

 
Advertisement