The Art of Healing: One Year Later-Yountville's Community Response
Healing Hearts | Mike Churico and Dennis Humphrey, Yountville Veteran Home Staff
"I simply could not imagine what would happen if my other half went to work and did not return. I did not know these women but wanted to do something that showed their families they will forever be in our hearts." Mike Churico, grounds keeper,Veterans Home of Yountville
On March 9, 2018, a former client came onto the Veteran Home of California, Yountville campus, where the Pathway Home was housed, armed with a rifle and shotgun. He took the lives of Christine Loeber, 48, Dr. Jennifer Gray Golick, 42, and Dr. Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba, 32, who was nearly seven months pregnant. Considering the difficult challenges faced by this tragedy, the ability for our community to create art gave us continued healing and hope. The community response demonstrated our deep and dual capacity for corporal and emotional renewal, revealing how the restoration of our well-being is as much an everyday occurrence as it is an extraordinary one.
Yountville Community Response #ForeverInOurHearts
Christine, Jennifer and Jennifer, What we could not say in words...
Research shows that our body is remarkable at its ability to heal, but equally important is for our psyche to remain healthy as well. Creating art encourages new ways of communication. In many instances, all of us have experienced situations that are far too difficult to express through verbal conversation. Art programs not only offer new ways to communicate, but also a pathway to learn new coping skills.
Photo above: CNA Vanessa, tiling a stool at the Home's creative arts department with thoughts of Jennifer Golick.
Bold As Love
Yun So, United States Marine Corps veteran, finds inspiration in the way Jimi Hendrix used colors in his lyrics. Lyrics that described emotions; purple is anger, blue is sadness, red is confidence, orange is danger. Yun uses Hendrix's songs to describe these emotions.
To view more of Yun's incredible work visit his studio site, Elemental Flow.
"In the process of self-healing, I turned to photography and nature. Weeks after the incident, with lens in hand, I found myself surrounded by a herd of deer at the Veterans Home while out for an evening walk. I was so captivated by a young buck caring for a fawn, I realized I was truly being in the moment, so much so, that I found myself blanketed with utter peace. What I didn't realize is that I had captured the "loving moment" in front of the Pathway Home." TMF CEO, Jennifer Brusstar.
Yountville resident, Marita Dorenbecher's piece, "Heartbroken Elegy" shows us the power of expressive writing that often times can help bring clarity during chaos.
Becky Chiurco's, in creating Yountville Strong, "It was about coming together and getting through the tragedy as one, while honoring those lost. It’s easier to weather the storm together than alone. When we unite, we can accomplish anything we set our mind too. It was truly from the heart ❤
These women dedicated their lives to caring for others. Let us continue their legacy by simply doing just that. Today, reach out to someone and simply say, " I was thinking about you."