Why I Give: Meditation Room Makeover | MedStar Health

Why I Give: Meditation Room Makeover

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Marianna Nystrom stands in a newly remodeled meditation room at MedStar Health.

A shiny gold-toned plaque on the wall inscribed with the words “Meditation room renovations in memory of Stephen C. Nystrom, CDR, USN” represents the special gift he left for others who long for a quiet moment of reflection during difficult times. Marianna Nystrom revisited MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital recently for a small gathering to sanctify the space where she and her grown children had spent many hours while her husband was sick.

“In January, my daughter, son and I received beautiful, loving care from staff,” explained Marianna. “During our time at the hospital, we couldn’t help but notice the condition of the room next door (the chapel) was in contrast to this one (the meditation room). When Marianna’s husband passed, she said it was her daughter who suggested they set up a fund to help renovate the space in lieu of flowers.

“In his final days, hospice didn’t have room for my husband,” said Marianna. “Essentially, staff on the third floor gave him hospice and palliative care and took care of us. Because he received such incredible care, we really wanted to do something.”

Generous donations from friends and family allowed the meditation room to be renovated with a new coat of paint, a table lamp for ambient lighting, covered storage benches for seating and artwork by artist Karen Russell.  

“That art piece (hanging on the left wall as you walk in) is called “One”,” shared Marianna. “I see planets, the universe, diversity and that’s what my husband believed.  He believed in the great mystery.”

Visit MedStarStMarys.org/WaysToGive to find out how you can give back, too.