Hundreds walked A Mourning Walk on Sunday to honor their loved ones who have passed. Rumson mom Dawn Tilton Massabni was one of them. So was her son, Georgie and a host of other Team Don’t Shock Me supporters who honored the memory of Maddy Massabni.
Maddy, a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School graduate, lost her life at 19 to the ramifications of toxic shock syndrome. That was Dawn’s particular cause. There were many messages to be heard in the mourning of the many others as well.
The walk, with a tagline of “Journey in the light,” was a milestone moment for the participants as well as Stephy’s Place, the non-profit organization that spearheaded the walk and provides free bereavement counseling tailored to every loss.
By all accounts, despite the weather, the walk was a success. Following a meditation and butterfly release, nearly 300 took the stroll from Seven Presidents’ Park to Pier Village in Long Branch. The significance of a walk: It represented a journey, the walkers’ intention of moving forward, despite the grief, and embarking on their journey of life with loss. Never forgetting, but living and giving.
And Dawn Tilton Massabni would be the first to say that while her grief over Maddy is strong, so is her mission to continue on a journey to help others. Dawn is also the first to say that an event such as A Mourning Walk shines a light on the fact that mourners are not alone and grief comes in many forms and for many different relationships with loved ones. The many faces of grief and causes in the name of moving on were shown on Sunday, as various groups marched for certain loved ones lost and their own purposes in moving forward.
A total of $49,945 was raised via the walk. The goal was $80,000.
Most teams came close to or surpassed their goals. Dawn raised $1,395. The funds go toward growing and maintaining grief support services at Stephy’s Place. The services, again, are free. There are 28 support groups at Stephy’s that are support-specific. For more information click here.
— Photos/courtesy of Stephy’s Place