San Diego

Your Corner: A Little Color in a Dark Situation

Local chaplain gives hospice patients medicine, in the form of art

Sometimes, a dark situation just needs a little color.

That’s where Darrah Glynn comes in.

“I love what I do. I can’t imagine doing anything else,” said Glynn, a chaplain for the San Diego-based group, The Gift of Hospice.

Glynn visits patients in their homes in their final months of life but rather than bringing medication, she brings paint and a unique type of treatment for a patient's entire family.

The project involves family members painting each other’s hands and then creating a collage on a piece of paper. Sometimes that collage resembles a family tree.

“So, this is a way for them to have a happy moment,” she says. “And it gives them a chance to have a lasting memory.”

Glynn says she’s done this hundreds of times.

The day NBC 7 met up with Glynn, she had set up her paint on a kitchen table in Vista where a man named Tony Adams has a lot on his plate.

“I have something to do all the time,” said Adams, who takes care of his 4-year-old daughter and 98-year-old grandfather, Jim, who has Alzheimers.

The painting orchestrated by Glynn was a chance for everyone to relax and do something together. 


“We like to try and include him with whatever we can. So, it’s nice to have something where he’s kind of the center of the project,” Adams said.

Glynn said simple art projects like this are just as important for the family as they are for the patient.

“It’s really tough on the family, especially the ones who are the caregivers.  They tend to not take care of themselves because they’re taking care of everyone else,” she explained.

Tony’s grandfather served in World War II, and as a postal carrier for several years. As his fulfilling life comes to an end, Tony just wants to make sure Jim's final days are comfortable.

He said the painting they can now hang on the wall will help. 

“It’s worth it,” said Adams.  “It’s nice being able to have memories that I wouldn’t have otherwise had.”


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