WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Felicia Williams is a mom on a mission after her young son, 2-year-old Labryon Merritt, was killed by a neighbor as they were backing out of a driveway in 2006.
His death changed her life forever, so now she's dedicated to leaving a lasting impact on parents and the lives of their children.
"I remember being in the shower coming from the hospital and just washing my son's blood from my legs and my arms from me picking him up and me running with him trying to get to the hospital," recalled Williams.
She remembers coming home from the hospital moments after her son was hit by a neighbor's car right outside of her home. He died at the hospital a day after Mother's Day.
"It doesn't get easier. You learn to cope. When you have your bad days, you have to allow yourself to feel it," she said.
His death is a wound she still feels and continues to heal from day-by-day. She says her other children are still in pain, and it motivated her to start a festival in 2019 for kids ages five and up dealing with loss or tough times.
She wanted to give them a chance to come together to address their feelings.
"The purpose of this event is to let the kids know it's ok to say what they're feeling and to always seek an adult when it gets hard, because look at our suicide rate with our young kids," said Williams.
She knows the immense pain of losing a child and wishes no other parent has to go through what she did.
"I feel like I have to be strong for everybody else, but I do have my week moments. Everything takes time," said Williams.
At a time when teen and child suicides are on the rise, she says she wants to make sure kids know they can talk about their problems instead of turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
She is already planning next year's event and plans to have on-site grief counselors for kids.
This year's 'Kids Kickin' Grief Festival' is Saturday, May 21, at Memorial Park in Warner Robins.