Healing is a process that often goes unnoticed; one that requires time, support, and faith. Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging wounds to heal from; however, fortunately, healing does occur. Time allows for you to gather your emotions, express your hurt, anger, confusion, and pain, and most importantly time allows for you to remember your loved one for who he/she was and the life that they lived. During this time it is extremely important that you surround yourself with people who can either relate to your hurt or simply appreciate and respect your grief; a support system of loving individuals who make your difficult days easy and your easy days a piece of cake. They will help you stay grounded in your faith; reminding you that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” and of other inspirational scriptures, songs, etc. to keep you going and in good spirits. A difficult process, trust me I know. But I promise it gets better. In 2008 my family and I experienced a sudden tragedy; the loss of my uncle, Bernard “Nard” Jefferies, in a vehicle fatality. Bernard was a very lively individual; one who was probably not so much the life of the party but who definitely knew how to have a good time. He honored God, his family, friends, and was extremely well known in his community. He influenced my life in a way that I will always cherish and embrace. Through his actions he taught me to live for the moment! A man who did not have much financially but who made the best moment of EVERY moment in his life, taught me to make it happen…and for him, I am going to do just that!! So here is to making it happen…… “Concrete Memories: Healing One Step at a Time” is a memorial walk in honor of any individual, who like my Uncle, lost their life due to a vehicle fatality but more importantly LIVED THEIR LIFE to the absolute fullest!! The purpose is not to dwell on the death of our loved ones, but to celebrate and honor the lives that they lived and the legacies that they left. Car fatalities are more difficult for families to deal with due to the spontaneity of the circumstance....we never expect for our "goodbyes" or our "see you laters" to REALLY mean "goodbye, see you later." For a few days, families will gather together, friends, church members, and those from the community will come to offer their condolences, but then what? Everyone goes on with their daily life. No one talks about the hurt that lingers on or wants to admit their anger, frustration, and questioning of why something such as this has happened. This walk is for them...for you...a continuation of the healing process; an opportunity for people to come together who have experienced loss in the exact same manner, a chance for testimonies to be shared, faith to be practiced, and hearts to be heard. Just as Relay for Life or March of Dimes is someone else's chance, Concrete Memories is OUR chance, to honor, to help, and to heal! In efforts of making this event a success, I am asking for your help!! There is no way possible that “Concrete Memories: Healing One Step at a Time” can take place without your participation, communication, and contribution. If you are interested in being a part of this life impacting event, in honor of a loved one, please express your interest through form of contact below. You can either email, text, or call to give your name as well as the name of the loved one that you wish to honor, and we will be more than happy to share more information with you regarding this life impacting event as we continue to plan and prepare. I am extremely excited about what God is about to do in our community…one step at a time!
Aaliyah Rainey-assistant director
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