Entrepreneur Syreeta Talbert tragically lost her 21-year-old son, Jalen, to gun violence in 2017. While mourning and grieving are only seasonal, she believes that in a tragedy such as the loss of a child, everyone has their own way of grieving. To preserve her son’s legacy while turning her pain into purpose, Syreeta co-created the Talbert Memorial Fund/Jalen’s Journey, along with her youngest brother to honor the life of her son and another brother, Russell Talbert III, who at the same age of 21, was also a victim of gun violence. Through a host of inspirational events, purposeful products, and creative services, Jalen’s Journey serves as a resource to individuals, families, and communities who have experienced similar tragic losses, specifically that of loved ones to gun violence.
Losing a child is one of the most unimaginable and unbearable losses to experience and those who have lost a child to gun violence know a different kind of grief. In light of the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday, entrepreneur Syreeta Talbert and her company, Rhee360, will host a private luncheon called Grief, Grace & Gratitude. The Pre-Mother’s Day will feature a Memorial Candle Workshop for 30 mothers who have experienced the loss of a child due to a form of gun violence, domestic violence, accident, or health related. The day will be filled with mothers who may be experiencing their first or 20th Mother’s Day without the physical presence of their child. Attendees will make candles in remembrance, and celebration of their son or daughter to continue to let their child’s light shine.
Sadly, Talbert knows the pain of losing a child is one of the most unimaginable and unbearable losses to experience. She lost her only son, Jalen, to gun violence and in 2017 started Jalen’s Journey to help others heal and continue to celebrate the beautiful, vibrant life her son lived.
“As a mother who unfortunately lost her son to gun violence, I know first-hand the emotional roller coaster one experiences on a day usually reserved as a joyous reflection of being a mother”, Talbert says. “My way of coping through the past three Mother’s Days without hearing Jalen say “Happy Mother’s Day, Ma” has always been to do something for other mothers walking in similar shoes. I want to bless them with something to put a smile on their faces.”
The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 8th from 1-5 pm at event space, Blvd N7Ne, located (7923 S. King Dr). Talbert will teach attendees how to create candles from a memorial candle-making kit. The mothers will also have the opportunity to participate in a host of self-care activities lead by certified professionals, a guided sound meditation ceremony, catered lunch, and build a stronger sisterhood with one another.
Additional aspects of the event will include:
- The opportunity to discuss developing a legacy project in memory of their child.
- A blessing box with gifts to celebrate and honor every mother and her child.
- Being in the presence of and receiving support from other mothers who share having to walk a similar “new normal” life path after the loss of their child.
Friends and family can nominate a deserving Mother in the Chicagoland area via the website www.Rhee360.com to be chosen to attend the event. Space is limited to 30 mothers and the event will follow COVID-19 event guidelines. Individuals and businesses can lend their support by sponsoring a mother or purchasing products from www.Rhee360.com. Rhee 360 is an initiative inspired by Talbert’s son that helped her express her feelings using it as an outlet to release her pain as she worked to reconnect back to living her own life.
Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.