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A grieving mum has carried her murdered son’s ashes with her to dinner and on holiday to stay close to him for seven years.
Alison Cope, 46, from Birmingham is mother to Joshua Ribera, 18, who was stabbed to death at a nightclub in 2013.
She said: "I go out for dinner with Josh.
"On the anniversary of his death, I want him by my side 24/7. He is lovingly going to be in my handbag.
"I take him with me when I am away from home for long periods.
"The pain of losing a child doesn't get easier, you just learn methods to cope, you will forever live with a broken heart.
"When you lose a child you live in pain forever.
"I miss Joshua every moment of every day. I miss his warmth, his smile, his embraces… everything.
“The pain of knowing I will never hug him, feel his skin or hear his voice ever again is very difficult.”
Alison has stored hundreds of letters with kind words from strangers since her rapper son died in his room.
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She has also shared heartbreaking texts sent to her by Joshua before his death, where he tells her how much he loves her and his final message, that reads "till the end mom".
She said: "Since my son was murdered I have kept him alive in the only way I know and that is to share his inspirational life story and the devastation of his death.
"Joshua was my world and he still is, everyday he gives me the strength to wake up, inspire change and give hope to young people.
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“I live with a broken heart and miss him every moment of every day but I will do everything I can to keep his memory alive and save as many people as I can from knife crime.”
Since her son’s tragic death, the mum has given talks to thousands of schoolchildren, families and parents to raise awareness about the dangers of carrying weapons.
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The mum takes her son’s urn with her to “shock” students and convey an urgent message to show the reality of what knife violence can lead to.
She even asks them if they want to see inside of the urn.
Alison has set up The Joshua Ribera Foundation in 2019 in memory of her son, and organises an annual event, The Joshua Ribera Achievement Awards, to celebrate the achievements of young people who have otherwise been “forgotten” in society.
To donate, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-joshua-ribera-awards-2021
- Knife Crime
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