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Fayetteville Statue Provides Comforting Harbor for Grieving Parents

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FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville is trying to bring some healing to families suffering a tragic loss. An Angel of Hope now stands in the city.

The statue is the first of its kind in North Carolina. There are only 13 others like it across the country. Families are invited to go to the statue and honor the memory of their children.

To some people angels are a symbol of spirituality, a constant guardian and protector. For dozens of Cumberland County families, the angel is a symbol of hope and comfort.

Sharon Jackson lost her 15-year-old daughter in a 1995 car accident. The accident also claimed her mother. She says she will never be able fully to accept their deaths, but the Angel of Hope can give her strength.

"I will be able to come to a beautiful angel and kneel at the base and think, not only to grieve for my daughter, but also think of her life," she says.

Lori Farmer also lost a child, but her mission to bring families to the Angel of Hope reaches beyond her grief. She says families in mourning need to have a place to remember their children.

"It doesn't matter whether you are 20 years old and lost a child or 90 and lost a child, the grief is still there," she says. "The pain is there forever."

Besides the Angel of Hope, there are two support groups in Cumberland County for families honoring the memory of a child -- SHARE and Compassionate Friends. Both groups are open to anyone who wants to come.


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