Lyn Miletich supports people through some of the hardest times in their lives by knowing what words to say — and what notes to play.
Lyn spent many years providing end-of-life care as a chaplain and spiritual counselor at hospitals and hospices. In 2012 she became a music-thanatologist, where she offers harp and voice as a special musical prescription to musically support people’s needs moment to moment at the end of their lives.
“Sometimes, they need soothing music, other times, something uplifting,” she says. “And sometimes, no music at all — they just need someone to listen.”
Lyn started volunteering with Bailey-Boushay House (BBH) in 2012 while she was still in music-thanatology training. She became certified later that year, and joined BBH’s staff in 2014. She stopped working with BBH in 2019 so she could care for family out of town, but Lyn still generously supports them and has inspired members of her faith community to do the same.
“I live in the neighborhood and knew of Bailey, but it was incredible to be there and to get to know staff and residents,” she says. “Bailey welcomes everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from. And it creates a community for many who feel like they haven’t had a home in years.”
BBH’s mission resonates strongly with Lyn: She proudly gives her support knowing they not only care for people living with HIV/AIDS, but offer end-of-life care for patients with HIV/AIDS and other complex conditions like ALS and Huntington’s – providing a service that many people can’t find anywhere else.
“It brings me joy to donate, knowing that my little bit can support their ongoing programs and help create new ones,” she says. She also donates in honor of a resident she served at BBH. They bonded over a love of music while she played for him. He had cancer and came to BBH for end-of-life care, but they forged a connection in their time together.
“He once told me ‘I went to the hospital to live, but I was dying. I came to Bailey to die, but I am living,’” she says. “Bailey brought him joy and helped prolong his life — that’s the impact they have on people’s lives. And that’s why I continue to support them.”