When my grandmother was in the hospital after losing her mind, she had verbal diarrhea (she could not stop talking, period, and it was mostly delusional.) I tried to get her to calm her mind and her mouth by having her sing “row, row, row your boat” with me. Anything to redirect the onslaught. It didn’t work. I cried from sheer frustration having to spend the night alone listening to her and not being able to do a thing to help.
When calling my mom after her stroke I sometimes get her answering machine. I imagine her attempting to get to the phone so I talk as long as possible in case she’s almost about to pick up. I give little warnings that I’m about to hang up. Soon. Almost. Not there. Really? You’re not picking up. Maybe you’re not there. One more sec. Okay.
Things I sing in the toilet (because of the acoustics, mind you):
* Ave Maria
* Laurie Anderson “O Superman”