Having a loved one pass away in the hospital can be heart-wrenching, but Park Nicollet Foundation volunteers contribute something that can provide a measure of comfort for the surviving family.

It’s called the Dignity Quilt, a hand-made blanket or coverlet that staff carefully drape over the hospital transport stretcher of recently deceased patients before they are moved from their room and transported to the morgue at Methodist Hospital. This compassionate long-standing practice provides honor to the deceased and comfort to loved-ones, family members and hospital staff at an especially vulnerable and raw time of grief and loss.

Two HealthPartners employees hold up a beautiful quilt.

“The quilt is intended to show dignity for the family,” said Chris Van Lith, Coordinator, Volunteer Services. “It can serve as an important ritual that helps the family say good-bye.”

The idea of a Dignity Quilt originated in the Spiritual Care department as a way to honor death and create a ritual at the end of life. The quilts have come from volunteers who sew and donate them, the first of these was made by crafter Carol Henderson.

Long-time volunteer and talented Park Nicollet volunteer sewer and crafter, Carol Henderson, created the first two dignity quilts and is currently working on her third quilt donation.

Earlier this month, Julie Whelan, who is part of a local crafting group at her church donated a beautiful quilt that her late mother made. “I think she would be really pleased that it is providing comfort and being used this in this way,” Julie said.

“The dignity quilts are absolutely stunning and are deeply appreciated by the families and care teams.,” said Mirjam Berger, director of Spiritual Care. “We are honored to receive them.”

The quilts provide meaning and honor for surviving family members and symbolize the compassion and caring that we have for one another.

A woman whose husband died last year at Methodist said that the quilt was something that provided comfort and beauty during an incredibly painful time of loss. It’s something she’ll always remember.

A smiling woman holds up the quilt she made.

“That is important to me,” she said.

We are grateful to our talented community members for these special items. Read more donation stories here!

Please select from the foundations listed below to make your gift. Thank you.