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The Regional West Foundation's Sparky Cooper Memorial Fund

Hi, I’m Tom Cooper. If you have a minute, I’d like to tell you a little about my brother Sparky and my personal experience with grief.

In 1980, LeRoy “Sparky” Cooper was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a teenager and died shortly after. His diagnosis and quick death left our family reeling in grief. We created the memorial in his name to help others experiencing grief understand they are not alone and that there is help.

The grieving process is different for all of us. Even though my brother died over 40 years ago from a brain tumor, it wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I fully grieved his loss. At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening, and it happened so fast. One minute we were teenage brothers horsing around, and the next, we were planning his funeral. To see my parents and other family members grieving and dealing with the loss was pretty tough, and I just blocked it out. Fast forward many years to being married and having my own children; that’s when it hit me. That is when I went through all the grieving stages.

I think the most important thing I want to share is for you to know there are people who care for you and want to help you through the grieving process. You may find comfort through your church or a close friend. It’s just important that you seek help. It isn’t easy. My family and I know that, and we want to help you.

If you are grieving and need support, call Regional West’s Pastoral Care team at 308-630-1480.