I don’t believe anyone truly recovers from the loss of a family member.
And even though you might not be able to see your loved one in person again, going to their grave or memorial allows you to at least temporarily feel their presence.
In a car accident on a Richmond, California, road in 2003, Ray Olson lost his son, Raymond. A drunk driver killed the 22-year-old.
The multibillion dollar corporation Chevron owned the property where Raymond was killed, and Ray was so certain the business would never permit him to erect an official memorial that he didn’t even ask.
Instead, he built a memorial there and went to it every night in secret. Until Ray received a startling message from the company one day: the area would be redeveloped.
A mysterious roadside memorial was located for many years on property owned by energy giant Chevron in Richmond, California. According to NBC News, no one knew who set it up and maintained it.
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Chevron executive Joe Lorenz said, “We’d see that it was being maintained, but we’d never see who was maintaining it.”
Ray Olson was revealed to be the memorial’s caretaker. He paid a nightly visit to the location for more than 12 years in memory of his son, who had passed away in a nearby car accident.
Then, in 2016, Ray experienced a heartbreak. He was informed that the area would undergo development. Chevron posted a note at the memorial asking the unnamed caretaker to get in touch with them because they believed the property required an upgrade.
Ray Olson made the decision to move forward at that point. He was certain that Chevron would destroy his monument and his memories with it.
”I just knew they were going to take it down,” Olson said.
But he undoubtedly never thought the business would erect a new memorial in its place. Yet as it turned out, the business erected a plaque in Ray’s son’s honour and put a bench next to it for visiting mourners like Ray.
“We said, ‘This is your spot, Ray. You no longer have to come at night,” Chevron’s Joe Lorenz told NBC News, adding:
The business got in touch with the neighbourhood council’s president, Cesar Zepeda, and inquired about working together to erect a permanent monument.
“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.