March 29, 2023

“Connecting our Grief with Light” event to unite VUMC is Thursday

VUMC Spiritual Care is sponsoring “Connecting our Grief with Light,” an event for people in the VUMC community to unite and express grief, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 30. The event will take place on the walking bridge between Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and the VUMC Plaza.

People from both Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH) and Monroe Carell were involved in caring for victims and their families from this week’s shooting at Covenant School in Nashville. Many others at VUMC were mobilized as part of the mass casualty event declared that morning. As news of the events at the school spread, many others needed to continue to care for our patients and do the myriad other jobs needed to keep the Medical Center operating.

VUMC has deep roots in the community, and we are all connected. Hundreds of Medical Center people knew the victims, family members, police officers, other children or staff at Covenant School.

Whatever our connections or individual role was that morning, this event is a time for VUMC people to come together.

There are no planned speakers; attendees will have the opportunity for individual reflection; to leave a flower or flameless votive (both provided) on the bridge; and to speak to a chaplain or others if desired.

“We will keep this simple: no songs, no service, just the act of coming together to support each other,” said Terrell Smith senior director of Patient and Family Engagement and one of the planners of the event.

In addition to this special event, other opportunities for employees include:

  • Chaplains will be available at the VUH Chapel Thursday, March 30, at 6-7:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and 4:30-5:30 p.m. The chapel is located just off the main hospital lobby.
  • Both the VUH chapel and the chapel in Monroe Carell, located on the north end of the second floor, are always open for staff use and are available for anyone who would like contemplative space to remember, reflect, or to come to the chapel and leave a note, candle or other item.
  • Vanderbilt’s Work/Life Connections-EAP team of counselors is available for a confidential appointment by calling 615-936-1327.