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Music Memory - Mare-Liis Balles

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the "Music For Memory Project": a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week we hear from listener Mare-Liis Balles.

"Four years ago, my husband died suddenly on the morning of my Dad's funeral.  My two children and I were in shock and did not want another traditional funeral.  We had a memorial instead.  We played "Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawio'ole to a montage of the great moments of our lives together.

Just this summer, my daughter got married.  Not wanting the empty space left by my husband to dominate the event, we had a dear friend sing and play "Over the Rainbow" after my speech.  Even after four years, those who had been at the memorial recognized the song  and were in tears, while  those who had not known my husband enjoyed the moment.  When you play that song on the radio, I always feel he is near."

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