KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kalamazoo musician is honoring his grandparents in a musical way after the pair passed away from the COVID-19 virus, holding hands in their last dying moments.
Sage Castleberry is a pop country artist who was deeply inspired by his grandparents growing up. In 2020 when the pandemic swept the globe, Castleberry’s grandparents became ill with the virus. Castleberry says the COVID-19 pandemic impacted his family swiftly, and within a week the hospital told their family that the elderly couple was likely to not survive.
“They were actually in two different rooms and the wonderful staff at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo decided upon themselves actually to push them in the same room and then they actually pushed their hands interlocked with each other before they passed away,” said Castleberry.
Although strict social distancing restrictions were put into place, the hospital staff allowed the couple to hold hands one last time before dying one hour apart.
“That was all thanks to the nurses and all the staff at Borgess, which my family is forever grateful for,” Castleberry said.
Castleberry said his song, “Leave With Me Together,” was inspired by his grandparents’ journey through life and into the afterlife.
“It’s a special thing for me to be able to do it through music. It happened so fast with just me and my family because they passed away within a week or so of getting the virus,” he said. “So there was not a lot of time to really comprehend what was going on, so these years after they passed it really gave me time to think about how I would want to honor them with a song, and that’s how I think I did it best.”
To learn more about the local Michigan musician and to hear the song, go to sagecastleberry.com.