NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Bradenton parents who lost their daughter in Las Vegas mass shooting turn grief into hope

The couple starts GriefShare at Bradenton church
Posted at 11:50 PM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 02:44:15-04

BRADENTON, Fla. — A Bradenton couple, who lost their 34-year-old daughter in the Las Vegas mass shooting in October 2017, found a way to help other grieving families.

Summer Lassette Hill and her husband Frank Hill said the past two years have been filled with denial and disbelief.

"I look at her pictures and it's really difficult to realize that she's actually gone," Summer Hill said.

"I cannot imagine what life would have been like had she lived, her short time here," Frank Hill said.

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Hannah Lassette Ahlers died in the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas. Fifty seven others also died after a gunman opened fire at the music festival.

"I just shook my fist and told Satan, he did not win, he did not win this battle," Hill said.

Hannah's parents started a program at their local church called "GriefShare." The program is expected to begin in June at First Church of the Nazarene Bradenton. It will last 13 weeks and anyone can join.

"People that are in grief or have suffered grief and it has been unresolved will come and there could be a small group or a large group. We will run this continuously," said Lead Pastor Steve Gibson with the First Church of the Nazarene Bradenton.

"Our real goal is to meet the needs of this community. My desire has always been to reach out in the community. We're commanded to do it anyway so what a better way to do it through using grief and bringing people to hope," he added.

GriefShare is a national program made up of seminars and support groups.

For the Hill family, it is about building bonds, sharing memories and turning grief into hope.

"Everybody goes through grieving differently, but some people don’t ever heal, but with Christ in your life, you heal," said Frank Hill.

Ahlers left behind a husband of 17 years and three children.

"She was very kind. She loved animals. She could hardly kill a spider because she didn’t want to hurt it. She had an amazing personality, unconditional love, that's what she had," said Summer Hill.

For more information on the GriefShare program you can call 941-794-1685 or click here.