Newly painted rocks have made their way into Texarkana, but it’s not for fun and games. This time, delicately painted rocks have been left hidden throughout the Texarkana and New Boston area, as well as other states and cities, as a way to bring awareness and remembrance to those who have lost a child. Each rock, painted with a character, or note, leaves finders excited to see them, and provides instructions on how to share them under the hashtag #Joeyrocks.
Ms. Heidi Paige, twenty one months after losing her son Joey Paige, began to paint rocks in his memory to leave a little piece of him wherever she went. Her journey to healing has been long, but starting to paint these rocks just three weeks ago has already made a huge impact on her healing. “I started to do this because I haven’t been able to work since I lost him. Nobody wants a crying hairstylist. So, since Joey was the best friend to anyone who needed one without judgement, and was always running out to talk to someone day or night, I thought I would love to keep his name alive by hopefully making someone else feel good,” said Paige. Heidi Paige is from Lewisburg, TN, and her rocks have already made their way to Pennsylvania, and other rocks are being transported to truck stops, and other areas of the United States right now.
Grief is the hardest part of loss, but for parents who have lost their children, it hits especially harder. “Making the rocks surprised me, because they made me feel good. Which is a feeling I haven’t had since I lost him. Now, I am making them all the time and feeling great when people post that they found one. We all want to keep our children’s memories alive, but a lot of people feel awkward talking to us because we tear up, and it sometimes makes others uncomfortable. There are a lot of grieving moms in this group (# Joey Rocks), and I’ve started to put rocks out for their kids too,” said Heidi.
Others from around the US have joined in help and solidarity since Heidi began this project just three weeks ago. Many have also begun to paint their own rocks for Joey, and for other children that have been lost too soon. In fact, rocks are being left across other towns and states throughout the US, and the group is continuing to grow. Yesterday, Texarkana and the New Boston area were blessed with several rocks that were left in wait for visitors to find them, and the Facebook group #JoeyRocks has started to be filled with pictures of others finding them from all over.