Fallen officer’s mother creates quilts to help other grieving moms

(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)
(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Three years ago, September 20, 2014, IMPD Officer Rod Bradway lost his life on duty.

He was shot while responding to a domestic violence call and helping a woman who was being held hostage at gunpoint.

Bradway’s parents were in Indianapolis Tuesday to attend the FOP Memorial Service.

His mother said that the grief never ends, but there are ways to cope.

She’s taken the experience of losing her son and has found a way to help other mothers of fallen officers across the country.

Sheri Bradway found a way to begin healing after the loss of her son.

“When we lost Rod, my life was in pieces, so a quilter picks up those pieces, she puts them in a quilt,” she said.

She made a quilt to remember her son and to be comforted in her grief.

She quickly learned that comfort is something all mothers of fallen officers desperately need.

“When we went to Washington D.C. in May for National Police Week, there really isn’t anything for a mother,” she said.

She said that all the flags, proclamations and other items are given to spouses or children.

So, she started the non-profit “A Quilt for Mother’s Tears,” and began making quilts for mothers of fallen officers across the country.

Her team of quilters has made more than 300 in just a few years.

“I have women all across the United States that are helping,” she said.

When Sheri and her husband Tom attend National Police Week each year, she personally presents the quilts to the other moms.

“I just want them to heal,” she said.

“They understand each other without saying a word, or maybe not knowing each other,” Tom Bradway said. “When they see the quilts each one of them knows that they’ve been kind of in the same place through their grief.”

But keeping her mission going forward takes funds.

Each quilt costs about $125.

“We want to keep this going as much as we can, we think there’s great value in it,” Tom said.

A wall-sized quilt that looks like a crossword puzzle is the centerpiece of an upcoming fundraising auction.

It has last names of Indiana fallen officers from the last 25 years.

It represents the spirit of the men and women, like Bradway, who lost their lives protecting their communities.

The auction to raise funds for “A Quilt for Mother’s Tears” is October 1st at 1 p.m. at the Pike Performing Arts Center.

For more information on the organization, click here.

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