Spilsbury Mortuary’s Come Unto Me statue offers hope and comfort that death is not the end

FEATURE — Whether someone in the midst of grieving is looking for hope, consolation or answers to questions about the purpose of life, the owner of Spilsbury Mortuary says the Come Unto Me sculpture in the mortuary’s foyer has been a gift not only to community members but also people who have visited from around the world.

Come Unto Me sculpture by artist Jerry Anderson, Spilsbury Mortuary, St. George, Utah | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

Anyone who has experienced the personal loss of someone they love – or tried to comfort someone else grieving their own loss – will recognize the overwhelming emotion involved in the grieving process.

Funeral home owner Ted Spilsbury says grief is very personal, with each person handling it in his or her own way.

Grief does not follow any specific timeline or guideline, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. It is the most individual process a person may ever experience, and Spilsbury said the Come Unto Me statue brings a sense of peace, hope and comfort to those who come to enjoy this wonderful work.

In the 19 years since the unveiling of the bronze statue at the mortuary’s St. George location, nestled against the hillside on Bluff Street, Spilsbury said visitors from all over the globe have traveled to Southern Utah to catch a glimpse of the reverent work of art. 

“It has a presence,” Spilsbury said. 

Created by Silver Reef artist Jerry Anderson, the sculpture portrays the spiritual journey from mortality to immortality, showing an elderly woman’s body passing through the veil and aging back to her symbolic prime as she returns to the arms of Jesus Christ.

See video in the media player above to view the full Come Unto Me statue. 

Ever since Spilsbury’s parents, LeGrande “Smiley” and Bette Lu, purchased the former St. George Funeral Parlor from the Pickett family 80 years ago, the family has served from the heart, and the sculpture is their gift to the community.

Anderson, who took an entire year to finish sculpting all three main portions of the statue, described its creation as being inspired by heaven:

I thought about my 80-year-old mother and how it saddened me to see her losing her dignity to old age. I thought about her being young and beautiful. I began to pray for God to help me create an inspiring piece of work that would be unique in concept and would express strong feelings, show sincerity in the execution of its form and mostly, have the presence to give people who would see it a feeling of hope, peace and also a belief in the eternal life.

Because everyone has different degrees of both healing and appreciation of art, Anderson said everybody has their own perception of what it means, but he sees Come Unto Me as a symbol of hope that blesses life at such a tender time.

Ted Spilsbury at Spilsbury Mortuary, date not specified, St. George, Utah | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

Spilsbury said thousands of people have walked through the mortuary’s doors to see the statue, and he even leaves the lights lit at night just so people can drop by and experience it any time.

He said the staff always enjoys coming to work in the morning and finding tiny fingerprints on their windows and glass doors. Even LDS General Authority Jeffrey R. Holland visited the mortuary to appreciate the statue.

Spilsbury said he hopes everyone will come and be inspired by this beautiful work of art.

“It indeed touches the hearts of all who enter,” he said.

For those who would like, there are photos and crystal replicas available in varying sizes. Visit Spilsbury Mortuary at 110 S. Bluff St. in St George.

Written by ANDREW PINCKNEY, St. George News.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T •

Resources

  • Spilsbury Mortuary St. George location | Address: 110 S. Bluff St., St. George |  Telephone: 435-673-2454 | Website.
  • Hurricane location | Address: 25 N. 2000 West, Hurricane | Telephone: 435-635-2212.

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