Landavazo's working to create statue for grieving parents

The Angel Statue
The Angel Statue

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Vern and Bianka Landavazo said there is no worse tragedy than losing a child.

"When you lose a child as a parent, you have lost the biggest hope you had for the future," Vern Landavazo said. "It's not how you respond to that, it's how you respond to other things in life.

The couple lost their daughter, Lauren, eight months ago in a shooting in Wichita Falls. They want to help others who have suffered similar tragedies but need the city's help to do it.

"There are other families, unfortunately, in our same shoes," Vern Landavazo said. "They all need that same support and this is a place for all of them."

They are creating a Christmas Box Angel statue to honor fallen children. Right now 135 statues like this stand across the United States, Canada, and Japan.

These angel statues are sites for grieving parents to find hope, comfort, and healing. If approved by city councilors, the statue will be placed behind the MPEC near the Wichita River.

The Landavazo's said that they picked this spot because of its serenity, beauty, and accessibility. The statue would not just be for grieving parents.

"It's for their families, their friends, for anyone who has lost a loved one that needs some peace, comfort, and healing," Bianka Landavazo said. "They are welcome to come visit the angel and hopefully find some kind of healing and comfort in it."

"This is not a statue for Lauren," Vern Landavazo said. "This is for the community. This is for any parent that is in a group that none of us ever wanted to be in. But this gives us hope. It gives us healing. When we were faced with this tragedy, we knew when it didn't destroy us that we had to carry on. Not just carry on, but try to do it in a positive way. Try to do things that Lauren would have done."

Cities with the statues participate in a healing ceremony every December 6th that includes a children's choir, white flowers placed at the base of the statue, and the names of the children lost read.

The Landavanzo's also envision a wall where parents will be able to purchase bricks engraved with their children's names. Wichita Falls city council will vote on the statue's placement Tuesday.

Newschannel 6 will be there and let you know what happened.You can follow Alex Achten on Twitter @Alex_KAUZ for up-to-the-minute results.

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