By Jennifer McGraw

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — A local woman’s sudden death has prompted a project to send painted rocks on a journey around the world.

“They have dragonflies on them because we always say she’s going to fly high,” said Tiffany Clark while showing off small neon painted rocks.

It’s a journey Clark is going to make happen for her cousin who never got the chance.

“It’s something so small, but to us, it’s something so big,” she said.

Their world turned dark the day Tara Jessen passed suddenly in her sleep at just 34 years old, leaving behind her three daughters and a grieving family.

“This has been my therapy through the loss of my cousin. She was my best friend,” Tiffany said.

So they decided to brighten their world the only way they knew how and started hand painting each stone in honor of Tara and now, asking the community for help.

“You take it on a trip, pass it to a traveler, they take it elsewhere and then we kind of see how far they can take it,” she said. “I set a pretty high expectation goal of 220 by February 20, which would’ve been her 35th birthday.”

Travelers have taken Tara’s spirit just about everywhere.

“We wake up every morning wondering where she has been, where did she go today?” she said.

And snap pictures and post it on social media along the way.

“She has been on dogsled races in the Yukon. She has been to the eye of London,” said her Aunt Brenda Clark.

They never expected just how far Tara’s memory could go and never expecting how much it would mean.

“I did it to help my daughter heal, and this puts such a smile on her face, it really warms my heart,” Brenda said. “I love these stupid stones, and I’m grateful that you guys are doing a story so that more of them are going to pass.”

Passing the stones from one hand to the next, Tara is now flying high and around the world.

Find out how to follow Tara’s Travels or be a part of it.


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