The following story was featured in the Fall 2018 issue of the OneSpirit Magazine.
When Laura Grumbles’ grandmother was on hospice and in the hospital, it was a very difficult and emotionally draining experience. As a nurse at Morrilton, Laura has also seen first-hand the challenges faced by the family members who are at the side of loved ones during their last days. When Melanie Morrison, one of Laura’s coworkers, came up with the idea of creating a bereavement room, she thought it was a brilliant idea. The two got right to work.
“The bereavement room is set up just next to our hospice room near the end of the hallway, and it was created to give family members a place to step away, wash up in privacy and get some much-needed rest,” says Laura. “The room is small and simple, outfitted with two chairs that turn into beds, a coffee table, lamp and a private bathroom and sink – all designed to be a refuge for families who don’t want to leave the hospital for long.”
A Picture of Peace
In addition to help setting up the bereavement room, Laura was asked to paint a mural on the wall. Even though Laura’s mother is a professional painter and her sisters and aunts also paint, Laura didn’t really know she also shared that talent.
“I started with painting signs with words and eventually moved to creating portraits. I never thought I would get an opportunity to do something this special. It was such an honor and a gift to me that I could paint a picture of peace and comfort in the room,” says Laura.
Laura took the responsibly of choosing the mural’s image very seriously. She decided on a picture of Jesus with two sheep at his side, walking with him through the forest. Light is flooding through the trees, and the blue and green hues are intended to enhance the room’s calm atmosphere. After a wholehearted approval by the CEO, Laura got to work creating the artwork that would become the central focus of the room.
Families who have used the bereavement room have expressed their thankfulness to have a private area where they can take care of daily necessities and rest without having to leave their loved ones.
“I prayed that God would give me the wisdom to paint something on the wall that would be a comfort, help people find peace and realize that Jesus is walking with them in the difficult times,” says Laura. “When you’re losing someone very close to you, you are often tapped out with those responsibilities – it’s an emotionally difficult process. My hope is that people can take refuge in that room and that God would restore their soul, even if it’s through a quick nap or the ability to clean up after being up all night.”