Alison Cope is fighting against knife violence. She speaks to thousands of students and parents to prevent them from going through what she did.
A mother can never get over the death of her son. It will follow her till the day she dies. One mother lost her son when he was a teenager. Even years after his death, she is unable to come to terms with the heartbreaking loss. The grieving mother has, however, found a way to keep her son's memory alive in her life.
According to Mirror Online, Alison Cope, who lost her son Joshua Ribera at the age of 18, carries her son's ashes whenever she goes out just to keep him close to her. The mother from Birmingham, UK, claimed she even goes out for dinners with her late son's ashes.
"I go out for dinner with Josh. On the anniversary of his death, I want him by my side 24/7. He is lovingly going to be in my handbag. I take him with me when I am away from home for long periods," said the 46-year-old.
The grieving mother further added that the pain of losing a child never goes away. She stated that they instead find ways to deal with the loss. "The pain of losing a child doesn't get easier, you just learn methods to cope, you will forever live with a broken heart."
Alison reminisced about her son and said, "I miss Joshua every moment of every day. I miss his warmth, his smile, his embraces... everything. The pain of knowing I will never hug him, feel his skin or hear his voice ever again is very difficult."
Joshua was killed in a knife attack in 2013. Since then, Alison is doing everything she can to raise awareness against knife crimes. She is also addressing children and parents in educational institutions about the dangers of carrying such a weapon. Whenever she goes out to these awareness programs, Alison carries the urn containing her son's ashes.
"There have been occasions when a school, college, youth-offending team or parent has had grave concerns about a child, if they are in a gang, selling drugs or fighting and if they feel a shock approach might help," said the mother.
She claimed that she used the urn while speaking just to remind people of how their future can end if they do not give up on these harmful weapons.
"I do not use graphic images but I will take my son's ashes into these settings and if I feel they really need a shock I will put my son's urn in front of them and ask 'is this how you want to end up? I then explain what happened to my son's body, the medical procedures used to try and save his life, the autopsy, the process of cremation and how his bones were ground down," said Alison. She continued, "I then ask the young people if they want me to open the urn - some say yes, some say no."
The mother also keeps the memory of her son alive through The Joshua Ribera Foundation. She organizes The Joshua Ribera Achievement Awards that celebrates children and motivates them to achieve more in their lives, no matter what their circumstances are.
"These young people have been through so much, their negative experiences have had a detrimental effect on their ability to cope with mainstream education, it is our job to show these young people that past mistakes do not need to determine their future. The awards evening is a community event, the young people, their families, their teachers all come together proud and ready for the next phase of their life," said the mother, according to the GoFund Me Page.
Alison hopes to raise money for the 2021 edition of the awards through the fundraising website.