I don’ think anyone ever really stops mourning the loss of a family member.
And while you might not be able to meet your loved one again physically, by visiting their grave or memorial, you can at least feel their presence for a while.
Ray Olson lost his son, Raymond, in a 2003 car accident on a road in Richmond, California. The 22-year-old was killed by a drunk driver.
The land where Raymond was killed was owned by the multi-billion dollar company Chevron, and Ray was so sure the company would never let him put up an official memorial that he didn’t even ask.
Instead, he secretly set up a memorial there and visited it every night. Until one day, Ray got a shocking message from the company: the area was going to be redeveloped.
For years, a plot of land in Richmond, California owned by energy giant Chevron hosted a mysterious roadside memorial. No one had any idea who set it up and maintained it, reports NBC News.
“We’d see that it was being maintained, but we’d never see who was maintaining it,” Chevron executive Joe Lorenz said.
It turned out the memorial’s caretaker was Ray Olson. He visited the site nightly for more than 12 years to honor his son, who had died in a car accident on that very spot.
Then in 2016, Ray’s heart was broken. He learned that the area was going to be redeveloped. According to Chevron, the property needed an upgrade and so they posted a note and left it at the memorial, urging the anonymous caretaker to contact the energy giant.
Then, Ray Olson finally decided to step forward. He was sure Chevron would tear down his memorial and his memories along with it.
”I just knew they were going to take it down,” Olson said.
But he certainly never imagined that the company would set up a new memorial in its place. Yet sure enough, the company put up a plaque honoring Ray’s son and placed a bench beside it for grieving visitors like Ray.
“We said, ‘This is your spot, Ray. You no longer have to come at night,” Joe Lorenz from Chevron told NBC News and added:
The company contacted Cesar Zepeda, president of the neighborhood council, and asked if the could collaborate to create a permanent memorial.
“Knowing that you’ve given life and hope to a father … and knowing that you make somebody’s life better, it’s an amazing, amazing feeling to have,” Zepeda said.