Grief is not biased. It does not select based on age, race, or social status. The fact of the matter is that everyone will experience grief in their lifetime, and no one will experience it the same—because grief is as personal and unique as our fingerprints.
Green Bay Packers running back, Aaron Jones, has been discovering this to be true ever since April 2021 when he lost his beloved father, Alvin Jones, Sr., to complications from COVID-19. Alvin Jones, Sr. was a 29-year U.S. Army veteran, a devoted Christian, and family man. He traveled the country, rarely missing an opportunity to watch his sons’ professional football games.
It’s been over a year, and Aaron’s grief remains raw. “I feel like I’m still walking that [grief] journey as we speak,” he shares. “You know, you think you’re getting better, you think you’re healing, and then boom, something else pops into your head and you think about your father because he was always there every game. Now on Sundays when we get on the field, I turn and kind of look for my dad, not there, and that’s when it hits me again kind of hard. I’m gonna keep pushing like he said, and know that everything is going to be okay.”
Since his father’s passing, Aaron has made a conscious effort to step up in his family as they navigate this new chapter without Alvin, Sr.
A Diamond to Honor His Memory
When we lose someone remarkable, oftentimes we want a way to keep their memory alive. Some people keep their loved ones close by keeping pictures, mementos, cremated ashes, or by honoring traditions.
Dealing with the immense grief that came with losing his hero, Aaron chose to wear a football-shaped pendant that contained his father’s ashes—so Alvin, Sr. could still be at every game. However, after an incident where he nearly lost the pendant during a touchdown play, Aaron turned to Eterneva to create a memorial diamond to commemorate his father.
“My father was the greatest man that I’ve ever known and losing him tore my heart into a million pieces,” shares Aaron. “The diamond is one way I intend to honor his memory and keep him by my side.”
Aaron’s Diamond Journey
Like grief, every Diamond journey is unique. Eterneva’s remarkable seven-step process integrates four crucial elements of heat, pressure, time, and carbon to create stunning, one-of-a-kind diamonds.
The duration of this intricate and intensive process varies by size and color of each Diamond. Aaron has committed to creating multiple Diamonds from his father’s ashes to gift to his family, and of course, to have one of his own.
Currently, Alvin Sr.’s diamonds are in the growth stage. In this stage, our highly intelligent machines replicate the growing conditions under the earth (2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and 850,000 pounds per square inch). The carbon from Alvin Sr.’s cremains will crystallize on top of a diamond seed, and grow into raw diamonds.
An Inspirational Mission
Inspired by his father’s ability to make a massive impact everywhere he went, Aaron has also become an investor in Eterneva’s mission to bring brightness and meaning to loss.
“A diamond is full of brightness and light, and that’s how I’ll always remember my dad,” Aaron explains. “I think a lot of other people would consider doing this if they knew about it, which is why I decided to invest. I’m going to miss my dad for the rest of my life, but this diamond is how I choose to carry him forward and keep him close to me.”
Aaron has stepped up in his community, too, and continues to support military families with A&A All the Way, a nonprofit organization led by Aaron and his twin brother, pro football player Alvin, Jr. (Saskatchewan Roughriders). Making a meaningful connection between his foundation and Eterneva, Aaron will be gifting a diamond to a deserving military family at A&A’s annual gala on November 18, 2022. “If you’re blessed, you bless others and it will come back full circle,” states Aaron.
A Legacy that will Shine Bright Forever
Aaron and his father, Alvin Jones Sr. truly had and still have a remarkable bond. On behalf of everyone at Eterneva, we are honored to walk beside Aaron and his family on this incredible journey and cannot wait to help them welcome Alvin Sr.’s Diamonds home.
“The healing process, being able to talk to [Eterenva] about it has helped a lot,” Aaron shares. “You guys aren’t counselors, but you should definitely add that to your résume because it’s very therapeutic and it helps people. I’m excited for other families to have that and I’m very excited to partner with Eterneva and also, it’s just a way that my dad will live on and his legacy will shine on forever. And it’ll be shining right with me.”