SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio mother whose 5-month-old child passed away has found a way to heal and move forward with the help of making of flower arrangements for others.
“If you don’t have hope, you have no peace,” Jessica Craven said about what it’s like when your child dies. “You simply, you just die in your grief.”
It’s a dark place that Jessica realized she didn’t want to be in anymore after her son Benjamin died in 2015. His unexpected death left her hopeless, until she realized she wanted to help other families who were also grieving the loss of their children.
Jessica and her husband Jason Craven started a nonprofit, Benjamin’s Right Hand.
The pair would show up to funerals to be there for families, hold memorial services and eventually were funded by the Kym Rapiers Foundation to donate burial plots for children.
“I would show up to the funeral and hand pins, keepsake gifts, and I noticed that a lot of families that were in need didn’t have money for flowers,” Jessica said.
She met a florist named Josie Soto, who helped their nonprofit with funeral floral arrangements.
Josie then began teaching Jessica during that time how to make arrangements.
“As she started teaching me, I wanted to know more,” Jessica said. “And I found joy in it. I found peace. It was like meditation for me and just very peaceful.”
Jessica realized she had not only found her passion but healing as well, which led her to opening the flower and gift shop Craven’s Touch this year.
“Watching mothers bury their children over and over and over again, I’ve helped over 500 children, so I needed it, it was time for me to find something that, you know, brought me joy, peace, love, and hope,” Jessica said.
Taking her skills from Craven’s Touch, she has made and donated 21 angel wings to the Uvalde victim families, through Benjamin’s Right Hand. She wants other grieving families to know not to give up, and that it is possible to find a way to heal, like she did through flowers.
“The pain never goes away,” Jessica said. “But you learn to smile again. You learn to laugh again. You learn to move forward for the people that you love here. You also learn to have hope.”