A new mural is on display near the skywalk on the second floor at Trinity Health Saint Mary’s Grand Rapids and its title, “An Ode to Community Healers,” is showing gratitude and serving as an inspiration for health care workers.
The mural was conceived by Shannon Cohen (Home – Shannon Cohen). Cohen is the owner of a thriving greeting card company that specializes in curating inspirational products that nourish the soul. The words for the Trinity Health mural are a reflection of Cohen’s desire to uplift health care workers who lead, love, and serve in transformational ways.
“I read something recently that said, ‘in times of crisis, creativity creates balm for the human soul’ and I think that is exactly what I’ve experienced in this process of going from ideation to implementation,” said Cohen. “I’m honored to have this piece in the hospital where I gave birth to my son eight years ago, received stellar care while undergoing a health battle, and have had my products carried. The staff here are amazing and deserve to be praised daily.”
Cohen contracted the help of local muralist, Octavia Mingerink (Pretty In Ink Press) to design the artwork to accompany her words.
Trinity Health Saint Marys’ senior leadership team held a brief dedication ceremony on Wednesday, May 11 in the middle of National Nurses and Health Care Week – an appropriate time to honor the colleagues who are the caretakers and healers.
“There were some really beautiful stories coming out as Octavia was painting and Shannon was pulling the words together,” said Michelle Rabideau, president of the Saint Mary’s Foundation, which fully funded and coordinated the mural project. “We are overjoyed Octavia and Shannon share their talents in our community and within our hospital walls, and we are tremendously thankful to all of our health care heroes caring for patients day in and day out.”
Below is the copy for the Ode to Community Healers mural penned by Cohen.
An Ode to Community Healers
What is it like to live your life in service of others
To invest in people care
To sow hope
To be an agent of healing
To bring light in seasons of despair
To bring clarity in the midst of uncertainty
To believe we can bounce back from the brink
To welcome new life
To walk alongside those taking their final breath
To nurture recovery
To feed our bodies and nourish our souls
To seed and sustain environments that nurture wholeness
You see humanity’s most vulnerable moments
You make it safe to not be okay
You call it going to work – we call you hope dealers
You call it another day in the life of a medical professional – we call it compassion in motion
You say it is your job – we honor it as your calling
You are not faceless
What you do saves and restores
What you do is honorable, noble, and needed
Who you are is integral, valuable, and precious
Thank you for your service and sacrifice
Thank you for giving as an extension of your humanity, not at the expense of it
Your well-being matters too
Thank you for being a catalyst of health
Thank you for your tenacity in turbulence
Thank you for your calm in chaos and courage in crisis
Thank you for being a living example of neighbor helping neighbor
Thank you for being a community healer