By: Cole Miller
It's a parent's worst nightmare, having to say goodbye to their son or daughter forever.
The goal of Heartfelt, a grief support group out of Seward, Nebraska is to help families cope with losing a child. To make the process a little easier, they hope to build a memorial that will honor those who have passed away.
They're the faces of lives cut too short. Matthew Dickinson, 24–years–old. Corina Krieser, 22, and Leslie Schaefer, 17.
In 2002, Corina's mother, Diane Krieser, reached out to fellow families grieving the loss of their child, of their future.
"When you bury your parents, you're burying your past. When you bury a spouse, you're burying your present. But all the things we wanted for our children are gone," Krieser said.
Gone, but not forgotten. Which is why Krieser, along with Heartfelt, has put forth plans to build a children's memorial. There will be walls made up of bricks bearing a child's name. There will also be a life tile, or moving picture in the garden.
"I think that just to be able to go to a peaceful place to reflect for a few moments, there are days that you need to do that and I think that will be a great thing for people to be able to do instead of going to a cemetery," Deb Schaefer said.
The families are asking for your help to make the dream a reality. Their goal is to have the project completed by the fall of 2014. The cost is estimated at $120,000 and they're hoping the community will rally to make it happen.
"These people have become my support system and my friends," Sharon Dickinson said. "We do have a bond that luckily we don't share with lots and lots of people. We don't wish this on anyone. We hope we won't have to add many bricks to wall of this memorial."
You can help get the project rolling by making a donation at any Union Bank branch. Heartfelt hopes the memorial can serve as a place of reflection.
Visit hearfeltseward.org for more details.