'Get on with your life' community rallies behind mom who received letter to remove son's memorial

Mom told to "get over" son's death

A neighbor is reaching out to a crash victim’s family – but not in a friendly message.

“He had a big heart, and he would just light up the room,” said Ansley Rushing, the victim’s sister.

It was five years ago when Ansley Rushing lost her brother and best friend, Dylan Coen, 18, in a crash.

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“He was going around a curve and must’ve lost control and went off into the woods,” said Rushing.

Over the years, her family has found comfort by placing a memorial and flowers at the crash site on Harry Driggers Boulevard in Brunswick.


“It’s a visual reminder of where he took his last breath for us,” said Rushing.

But some neighbors said they don’t want a constant reminder of this tragedy. Ansley said her mother got a letter from an anonymous neighbor. Part of it said, “you burden us with your make-shift memorial in our backyard. It has been five years, get on with your life. We are tired of sharing your pain.” The letter was signed by residents of Harry Driggers Boulevard.

“It’s already painful enough that we lost him. And then for someone to send a letter that is just so heartless,” Rushing said.

Action News Jax reached out to neighbors and asked if it was a problem. Freida Hartzog responded, “No, not at all.” She added, “they’re hiding behind the residents instead of just you know personally owning up to it and speaking their opinion to that family.”

People in the community, even strangers reached out to Rushing’s family. One person even placed a sign at the memorial. It says, “God Bless Dylan and his family. May this memorial forever stand as a symbol of a community’s love for a special kid.”

“This outpour of love and support has really built us back up and has made us feel a little better about this terrible letter that someone sent my family,” she said.

Action News Jax did reach out to the county and was told it has received no complaints. The county’s spokesperson said they only act if there are complaints. He also added, “We have them (memorials) all over the county.”