St. Landry

Dec 2, 2010 7:26 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Pathways of Hope

Turning a tragedy into a glimmer of hope. That's the idea behind a new memorial park in Mamou. Pathways of Hope will give grieving moms a place to go and share memories. It was started by Kim Bourgeois of Eunice. Her son, Ryan, died in his sleep in July from nocturnal hypoglycemia.

"You don't feel the same ever again," said Bourgeois. "People don't know how to talk to us."

After realizing that there wasn't any place locally for parents who've lost a child to go to for support, Kim decided to create one. Now, plans are in the works to build Pathways of Hope. It will be a walking memorial park for moms, and other families and friends of lost ones, to go and grieve or just share memories.

"Those few hours that we're with other mothers, who have been through the same thing, then we tell stories about our kids."

The park will be built on three acres of land on highway 13 in Mamou, which was donated by a local church. It will have walking paths with scriptures on stones. Names of children who have died will also be placed on a memorial wall or on benches throughout the park.

"Through that, new mothers that have just lost their child can go and see there's people here and there is hope and they're not forgotten. You always want them back, you want them to come home, but they never will. But, you'll go to them one day.""

The organization also has a website and facebook page that has information on support groups and other resources to deal with grief. The information is not just for moms, but for friends and family members, on how to be there for the grieving mom. Events and raffles are also being held to help raise money for Pathways of Hope. For more information, visit



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