NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – At times, as the sun sets over Ocean View in Norfolk, the Chesapeake Bay ripples along the coast with waves that flow like satin.

This is the cathartic setting a local woman will use next month to shine a light on something that is roiling families across the region: uncontrolled grief.

In recent months, 10 On Your Side has brought you the tragic stories of young people who were killed by COVID-19, tragic accidents and gun violence.

“Mother, fathers losing their children to gun violence, it’s just something that needs to be talked about,” said local grief counselor and founder of It’s Okay to Grieve Mechell Graham.

The stories of how their lives ended are in the headlines every day, but day after day, there are ripple effects that can leave families suffering in silence.

“Grief is emotions that get balled up inside that we don’t know how to release and we don’t know how to begin to talk about it,” Graham said.

No longer, said Graham, will some families have to suffer in silence. On Saturday, June 3, Graham will host an event titled “It’s Okay to Grieve: an all-white L.E.D Candlelight Grief Release Ceremony in the 100 block of Ocean View Avenue.

For the certified grief counselor and five other professionals, this is their way of taking back the community.

“There is hope, and there is help, and this is why I want to reach out,” Graham said. “Someone threw the rope to me [after three deaths of three family members] so that I can catch it, and I want to be able to throw it back to the next person.”

More information

For more information, Graham can be reached via email: To help Graham with the cost of the L.E.D lights see her Paypal account: Itsokaytogrieve.