The bricks read, “You are in our hearts,” and, “We love you.” Each brick is connected to a story, a face, a person who was loved, cherished, and never forgotten. They are bricks of remembrance.
These two bricks are one of 300 marked bricks from 8 different states and 1 foreign country located at the Heartfelt Children’s Memorial on 115 Hillcrest Drive in Seward, Nebraska.
If you were to take a walk through the memorial on a sunny summer day, you would see benches, art, butterflies flying from flower to flower, and a unique Lifetile wall – the only one of its kind in the State of Nebraska – created by Boston artist, Rufus Butler Seder. Along the path, you could read the inscribed bricks, each one dedicated to a child gone too soon.
The memorial was created and founded through Heartfelt Incorporated in 2015. The organization got its start at a time when numerous families in Seward county lost children.
Diane Krieser, the President of Heartfelt Incorporated, was a major force in getting the organization started. Diane lost her daughter, Corina, in a car accident in 2001. Corina was 22 years old.
“There was a lot of sadness at that time. We recognized the lack of support and resources for individuals grieving and decided to start something,” said Krieser.
In 2002, the Heartfelt Connections Grief Support was established with the mission to provide a circle of support and hope as people remember and celebrate the lives of their children. The group started as a support group and has since evolved into a more outreach-oriented organization.
The organization offers resources on its website for those who are grieving. To raise funds for the maintenance and care of the memorial, Heartfelt hosts fundraisers. On Sunday, October 10th at 3:30 PM, Heartfelt will be hosting a Wine Tasting Sculpture Stroll and a 5K Run at Junto Winery. All proceeds go towards Heartfelt. To buy tickets or learn more visit the Heartfelt website.
Through the memorial, the non-profit has created a physical sanctuary where children can be remembered and “visited” by loved ones.
“Everyone has their own story. It doesn’t make a difference if they hadn’t even walked yet or they were 70 years old; they are a child and they deserve to be remembered,” said Krieser.
Throughout her involvement with Heartfelt, Krieser has heard story after story from people who have lost a child. The organization is as much about remembering as it is about building connections between individuals who are facing or have faced the debilitating loss of a child. Each year the non-profit hosts a remembrance ceremony at the memorial to dedicate new bricks and allow families to speak. This year they gave each family a butterfly to release.
“All of our children are here together,” said Krieser, “and I find a lot of comfort in that… It is a healing place. When you lose a child, you have an immediate bond, an immediate connection with others who have,” said Krieser. “That’s why we named it Heartfelt Connection Grief Support.”
Krieser encourages anyone who is interested in buying a brick, donating to the organization, getting involved with Heartfelt Inc., or if anyone wants more information on the memorial, to visit the Heartfelt website.
Contact Information: Website: https://www.heartfeltseward.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heartfeltseward Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Number: 402-803-1771