By: Lauren Fabrizi
Heartfelt Connections of Seward has been helping parents cope with losing a child for more than a decade. Now, the grief support group is building a children's memorial on the grounds of Concordia University to ensure those lives will always be remembered.
Diane Krieser lost her daughter to a fatal car accident years back. She said a parent's biggest fear is that over time, their loved ones will be forgotten. So she said the memorial will prevent that from happening.
"There's going to be one more thing that heals that whole in your heart," Krieser said. "It never goes way, but it's one more way our daughter Carina is not forgotten."
The memorial will include three 7-by-7 foot brick walls and a life tile, or moving picture in the garden. Parents will be able to purchase bricks engraved in memory of their children.
With the university being in the heart of the town, Concordia's president says the grassy area at the intersection of East Hillcrest Drive and Kolterman Avenue is the perfect location.
"As they stop here, they would see our students and think about what the blessing that their children were to them during their lifetime," president Brian Friedrich said. "And can see a part of them living on through the students that are at Concordia and living in this community right now."
Sharon Dickinson has also lost a child. She said the purpose of the memorial is not to act as a type of cemetery, but instead will be a central location where local families can come together and help each other heal.
"It will be a place where people can come to honor and remember their child in a place where there are other children that we can honor," Dickinson said.
Heartfelt has already raised more than $80,000 on its way to its $120,000 goal. If you would like to help, you can make a donation at any Union Bank branch.
Organizers said the memorial is expected to be complete by next fall.