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Letter: Please come join us as we work toward healing

On a November Sunday morning in 2010, I was greeted upon awakening by the sight of a Pierce County deputy at my front door. Not anticipating how my world would collapse, I slipped out of the house to talk.

But when the deputy gently suggested we go inside, my heart clenched, my body began to tremble. I knew the truth before his words conveyed the details: My 24-year-old son was dead, killed in a car accident early that morning.

On Aug. 4 a sign in remembrance of my son Jack will be among many others posted along the White Pathway during the annual Walk for Awareness sponsored by St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice (SCVRJP).

The sudden, preventable death of a loved one is an experience I wish no one had to endure but sadly one that many in our community have endured.

We are fortunate to have SCVRJP in River Falls because one of the organization’s services is providing one-to-one support and monthly support groups, matching survivors with volunteers who have survived similar incidents.

For many, me included, connecting with other survivors and sharing stories is a significant step toward healing.

For survivors, the Walk for Awareness can be a start or a continuation of healing.

But the Walk for Awareness is also for citizens. Strolling along the pathway, encountering the memory signs, you may recognize faces and names.

You may also have a more intimate awareness of the personal impact of suicide, homicide, traffic accidents and other traumas than can ever be conveyed by statistics.

If you attend, you will be supporting survivors and SCVRJP programming. Along with the walk, there will be music, food, a silent auction and an opportunity to connect with others.

Consider attending Walk for Awareness. For more information, visit the website