It’s always hard to lose a loved one, especially when they take their own lives. The trauma that you feel lingers for the rest of your life, and all you want to do is let them know that they’re loved, even though it’s too late to have that opportunity. However, you can get the chance to help other people remember them for many years to come, and that’s what happened recently in Edmonton for one woman that lost her son to suicide.
Rhonda Card lost her son Jessi in July of 2010, and five years later wanted to honor his memory. She put together a Facebook group called Jessi’s Walk of Hope and Miracles, and has held several events for suicide awareness. “We started out by helping out the homeless and wandering friends and from there we have escalated it to do random acts of kindness throughout Alberta.”
One of the more recent acts was a treasure hunt, where she hid gems throughout Edmonton and Sherwood Park. It began with 100 of these gems, and people who caught wind of the treasure hunt started to get involved at all ages. “We’re having an amazing time,” Card said. “You can’t have any more fun than what we’re doing right now.”
For those that found a gem, they would get a small prize, and the first 100 were found pretty quickly. She decided to add a couple hundred more, and the group involved started to gain followers and members as a result. One of the people that found a gem was Stacy Thorpe, who lost her father to suicide. “The letter describe a boy named Jessi who died by suicide when he was 23…I thought that (Card) was such a strong woman to be able to recover from the loss of her son and do something so wonderful for other people,” she said.
After the gem hunt has been completed, there are more plans in the work for Card. “I learned it from my kid,” she said. “Having that big heart is everything,” and the amount of awareness has been very impactful on the Edmonton area.