Bahai News -- Oakland Press - Senior citizens learn how to face their fears Bloomfield Areas

Senior citizens learn how to face their fears

By DIANA DILLABER MURRAY, Of The Oakland Press 04/22/2003

Lynette Mitan (right) chats with Frank Beauregard, a senior resident at Woodward Hills Nursing Center in Bloomfield

Lynette Mitan (right) chats with Frank Beauregard, a senior resident at Woodward Hills Nursing Center in Bloomfield

Mitan, founder of the Royal Oak-based M&M Multifaith Ministries, made a presentation Monday at the nursing facility, on Woodward near Long Lake. M&M offers life coaching, meditation and relaxation programs.

In recent months, as part of the pilot program at Woodland Hills, Mitan has included leaders of the Bahai religion, a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Southfield and Indian dancers from the Bharatiya Temple in Troy.

But on Monday, Mitan brought singing hot dog vendor Charley Marcuse. The 21-year-old Huntington Woods man has been singing what he calls "fake opera" to sell his hot dogs at Comerica Park during Tigers games.

Lined up in wheelchairs around the room, some of the 13 residents smiled and laughed at his "operatic" attempt. Then most joined him in singing "God Bless America."

But most residents were cautious about discussing their fears.

"Fear and pain can be a good thing," Mitan said. "It can be a signal that something is wrong, that we'd better do something."

Mitan, a 1999 Oakland University graduate, majored in human resources and development.

She led the residents in a short meditation.

"Think about those fears, whatever they are. Pretend you have a handful of feathers. ... Each feather has the name of your fear. Close your eyes and blow those fears away - just let them fly."

By the end of the program, most said her visit was meaningful.

One of the biggest fears residents had was talking to others about their fears.

"The best part was telling her how embarrassed I am because I always cry," said Patty Kice, 77.

Frank Beauregard said during the discussion that it has been hard to talk to others about the fear that arose when polio hit his family 40 to 50 years ago.

"That proves we can do it," Mitan said. "Those fears and feelings of emotion, if kept inside, are painful."

Rose Anne Barber, 88, said afterward, "I hope she comes every day."

A quiet woman whose name was not released told Mitan, "I'm pleased that you came here to liven up things and soothe things."

She said it was one of the best and most important things that had happened to her in a long time.

In an interview afterward, Mitan said: "We don't teach faith. All we are is a conduit for awakening thought."

Mitan is writing a manual for nursing home staff to use with residents, and her healing CD, "Solitude Can Bring Gratitude," is available at some area stores.

For information, call (248) 435-1995, e-mail or visit

©Copyright 2003, The Oskland Press (CA, USA

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