News & Stories

A Gift of Love

A Melody of Love: Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence shares Heartwarming
Christmas Song Created by Patient and Family

In a testament to the compassion and creativity in palliative care, the Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence is proud to share a heartwarming Christmas song created by a patient and his wife during their time at the Residence.

A Love Story Unveiled

The touching song in French, titled “A Gift of Love”, was born in late November 2022 during a session that explored the meaning of Christmas for a philosophically oriented patient and his wife. Guided by our Music Therapist, Dan Goldman, the couple’s musings turned into three pages of lyrics. Two days later, the patient’s wife completed the lyrics, which the trio blended into a beautiful composition during subsequent music therapy sessions.

The result – a song that encapsulates the couple’s aesthetic and values, a true reflection of their journey.

The recording of “A Gift of Love” began and was completed by our patient. Later, his granddaughter lent her voice to the lead vocals, and his daughter played the keyboard. Posthumously, the family continued their work on the recording, finding solace and connection in shared meaning-making. This song is not just a celebration of one man’s life but a testament to the enduring impact of creativity and love.


Facing the Last Season: Music Therapy as Healing
As the patient approached his last Holiday season, the complexities of facing the end of life were profound. The couple found solace and purpose in the collaborative creation of their Christmas song. The process gave the patient a creative outlet and became a source of strength for his wife amid their uncertainties. Their efforts became a poignant part of the Residence’s holiday celebration, where the patient joyfully played a hand drum while our employee choir sang their song.


The Importance of Music Therapy in Vulnerable Times
Music has a unique ability to bridge the gaps words cannot reach. Witnessing the creative process of this incredible couple was awe-inspiring. The song became a vessel for their love, a timeless legacy that extends far beyond the confines of a single holiday season. In these moments, we find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the beauty in the bittersweet”, explained Dan Goldman, music therapist at the Residence.

The Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence recognizes the many challenges accompanying end-of-life journeys. Music therapy, a cornerstone of our holistic approach, can be a helpful tool to alleviate anxiety, depression, and existential challenges. It provides a unique space for emotional expression, communication, and bonding between families, affirming that life is more than illness.
“Our commitment goes beyond physical care; it’s about nurturing the spirit. ‘A Gi􀀂 of Love’ is a testament to the healing power of music, the strength found in creative expression, and the enduring legacy of our residents. It is an honour to witness, support and celebrate such meaningful moments within our community”, said Dale Weil, Executive Director at the Residence.

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About the Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence
The Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence is an independent, non-profit organization that provides services free of charge to patients and their families. The Residence relies on community support and fundraising activities to raise more than $4 million each year, which complements our government subsidy. With its 23 beds, the Residence is the largest free-standing palliative care facility in Canada and is recognized as a leader in its field. Since our inception, we have provided end-of-life care for over 5,300 patients and 20,000 family members.
SOURCE: Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence
Information: Elizabeth Huart, 514 972-4289 (cell) or

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