A Place for Peace
A new interactive mural being created at VNA, Western PA’s Community Bereavement Center in Butler will surely bring a sense of peace and comfort to those who are grieving.
Rev. Valerie Schubert, hospice spiritual counselor for VNA, designed the artwork and poem for the piece.
“I wanted to create a space of peace that we could use to also honor people we have lost,” Schubert said.
“We will encourage people attending the bereavement sessions to write meaningful messages to honor their loved one that can be hung on the branches,” she said.
The bereavement sessions are designed for families who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The six-week sessions are led by Kelli Connolly, BS, CGRS, bereavement coordinator and certified grief recovery specialist for VNA.
“Everyone grieves in a different way,” Connolly explained. Children, she said, are especially vulnerable during the grieving process, as often they are not capable of fully understanding death. They, too, are welcome to participate in sessions geared toward children.
“During our adult sessions, we guide those attending through the grieving process and provide them with a safe, non-judgemental place to learn and share.”
At the last session, Connolly said, she invites everyone to bring mementos of their loved one to share with the group.
“By this time, most of the group members are a little more ready to memorialize their loved one,” she said.
It is at this time that Connolly and Schubert would like for those grieving to write a message on a paper leaf or butterfly to be displayed on the tree.
“We hope that this will create a quiet, meditative space of inspiration for those going through the grieving process,” Schubert said.
ABOVE: Rev. Val Schubert puts the finishing touches on her mural at VNA's Bereavement Center