NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee's Governor and the First Lady prepare to host an annual event that honors families that lost a loved one to violence.
Governor Phil Bredesen and his wife began Tennessee Season to Remember eight years ago, while he was serving as Nashville's mayor.
The annual event invites family members from all across Tennessee that has lost someone to violence. Family members place ornaments on a wreath to honor their lost loved ones during the event.
Marianne Purcell is attending Thursday's event. She lost her fiancée, Chris Caris in 2007.
The Nashville woman first attended the annual event just a month a half after Caris' death.
“I had no hope. I was broken my first year. To come to this event and see people who had been through the same thing and really understood what I was going through, and see them smiling and embracing each other, it gave me hope to know I could heal too,” Purcell said, adding,” That's why it's so important to me. Now, four years later, I am not as broken as I was, and I need to be that rock that people were for me at that time.”
Purcell told News 2 that Caris worked as the manager of the Bellacino's Pizza on White Bridge Road. He was robbed and shot in October of 2007.
“So much of me died the night Chris died, because I am not the same person,” Purcell told News 2.
Purcell said the holidays are difficult without her fiancée.
“Going through the holidays without him is hard. It's really hard, this is supposed to be an exciting time of the year, and it's the time of year that I remember loss,” Purcell said.
Purcell told News 2 that the person that shot her fiancée got life in prison, while the driver of the car was acquitted.
Thursday evening's Tennessee Season to Remember will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the State Capitol.