Katherine Haghighi is a music therapist and writer living in Anchorage, Alaska. Katherine knows the power of music therapy and explores sound in every space she enters. As a music therapist, she gently creates experiences for others that are transformational. In her book, We All Die: Becoming Who We Are In The Meantime, Katherine shares glimpses of her experience offering music therapy while working within hospice care.
During our conversation, Katherine talked about music therapy in general. And also explained how truly powerful it is when working with patients in hospice care. Hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is approaching the end of life.
Inspired by her 15 years of working in hospice care with patients, both adults, and children, Katherine came to write her book knowing the lessons she learned needed to be shared. In her book, we meet with some of her patients and come to love them. We also learn of her own process as a professional working in this field.
Music therapy provides people with a communication tool to share profound wisdom and love. This is particularly meaningful for people as they encounter their final stage of life. Some patients long to share a message with their loved ones through song or prepare a piece for their memorial. What is it that you’d like to voice?
Katherine reminds us that music can change the tone in a room, lift one’s spirits, and lives long in the memory.
One of Katherine’s passions is to change the conversation about death, dying, and the conversation of grief. We all die and we all know this truth. However, Katherine helps us to understand that life is all those moments that happen in the meantime. Times during childhood. Our learning years. Work pursuits and relationships and roles that we develop all through life.
We all know it can be difficult to find joy in moments of physical pain and emotional struggle. But if we slow down and calm ourselves we can create the space for slivers of joy to shine through. Personally, I am a big fan of using music therapy to help with physical pain. Somehow it can lift my pain ever so slightly, just enough to allow me to rest with more ease. This to me is a moment of deep personal joy.
Be, become, belong… this is what Katherine and her colleague, Susan Merz Anderson, offer in their program, LiveJOY. A place to explore the Journey Of You. By listening more deeply to your yearnings, your inclinations, and your wisdom, you will discover your inner sparks of JOY.
To learn more or connect with Katherine you can find her here:
You might also like to listen to our episode with Jacquie Forde.
Music credit –
Living Well Today intro and outro music, More Love and Happiness
is provided courtesy of Canadian singer/songwriter, Clela A Errington.