Memorial Walks

David Pierce, President of Friends Along the Road, is planning walking tours both small and large throughout Colorado and the U.S. The purpose is:

To honor your loved ones
To help us learn from your own experiences of grief
To raise awareness about individuals experiencing bereavement
To help you establish bereavement sanctuaries wherever you are

David is gathering information behind those roadside markers where people have been killed. Mostly, these markers are ignored, and yet they represent unique, eventful, important lives. He is collecting the stories behind these solitary remembrances, and finding out from participating families and friends how they have lived with the deaths of their loved ones. The walks, including stories and pictures gathered along the way, are becoming precious material for a book: Looking for Lilli: The Big Walk.

Along the memroial marker walking routes, David will be giving interviews on television, radio, and in newspapers and magazines. He'll be keeping a photo journal that will be updated weekly on the FAR Discussion BBS. Sometimes he will call in from the road, via cell phone, to radio and television talk shows. Documentary: David's nephew Ben Tyson, who has made several small films about places he's visited in Africa, is going to interview David at various points along the road, filming him for a documentary about Friends Along the Road and caring grief support. Keep checking this website for updates about the film, and about where David might be walking.

Another purpose of the walks is to solicit donations and grants so that FAR can buy land in Colorado to build the first Friends Along the Road Sanctuary, a fully-staffed facility where those in deep grief can stay or live in a safe, idyllic, nonjudgmental atmosphere. The sanctuary will became a model community filled with edible landscaping, a fish farm, and loving individuals.

The routes will take David along hiking trails, country roads, and sometimes through cities. If he has an opportunity to spend time with the bereaved, or if he needs rest, David will stay in one place until it is time to move on.

For accomodations David will be camping as well as staying indoors. Sometimes he'll be sleeping in a tent or outside under the stars; sometimes he'll be with friends or relatives; sometimes he'll be staying in private homes, churches, hostels, or homeless shelters. When possible he will stay with new friends kind enough to take him in. David is looking forward to spending time with the Brothers and Sisters of Charity of Berryville, Arkansas; they have a very special sanctuary of their own. Waymakers in towns along the particular routes will be keeping an eye out for him, making sure he comes through when he's supposed to. If you'd like to be a Waymaker, and volunteer your vigilance and/or sleeping quarters for David, please click here.

With the help of his Friends Along the Road, David is planning the walks so as to minimize danger, and to maximize time for interviews, meeting people, and self-reflection. He will carry a backpack filled with clothes, food, and other basic supplies; additionally, he will have a pda phone in order to access the Internet and a special radio/flashlight that is rechargable by cranking a handle, and that can recharge David's phone in the same way.

The walks, as with all of FAR's events, is funded by grants and donations from businesses, government agencies, churches, and private individuals. If you would like to help David's walks be a success, consider giving to the cause with donations, grants, or by taking a pledge walk of you own. Hopefully, folks will get involved by helping us with fundraisers: if you have a band, do comedy shows, or have a talent or an idea that might help, contact us. You can also help by purchasing T-shirts and other items emblazoned with the beautiful FAR logo from our online Store.

Until funding is available for the bigger walks, David will be making small walks in his local area in order to begin gathering data on roadside memorials, and to get in shape.

You can help. Please consider supporting this valuable life-art by looking into the concept of caring grief support and Sanctuary Anywhere. For you are unique and wonderful; you are truly our friends along the road.

PS. To read about another big walk, check out the adventures of Walking Tom!

A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free 1-800-435-7352 within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.