So, What's my story?

Heyyy, I am Syreeta or better known as "Rhee" 

I’m a mother, daughter, sister, loyal friend, committed family member and serial entrepreneur.

On August 29th, while I and a majority of family were celebrating my father’s 75th milestone birthday, my son Jalen (21) was lured to a remote area and senselessly shot in the back of the head.  It wasn’t until later that evening that I would receive the phone call that has forever changed my life.

Upon arriving at the hospital, I was told Jalen was considered brain dead, however, I wanted to keep him **alive**, so that not only could my brother make it in time to spend his last moments with him, but I had decided to donate his organs.

He made it through the night, however, he took a turn for the worst by the next day.  While they were trying to revive him (as they had already done for the 3rd time that day) we prayed and hoped his heart would start back, unfortunately, I was tasked with the hardest decision I had ever had to make; to pull the plug.

I stood back as doctors came rushing to resuscitate him for the last time, and I whispered for him to give me a sign he was ready to go and instantaneously, his left-hand sloped to the side of his bed. Coincidence, only God knows, but I knew then, I was about to make the gut-wrenching decision to let him go.

And this is where my journey as a grieving mother began.

Losing a child is one of the most unimaginable and unbearable losses to experience, and those who have lost a child to gun violence know a “different kind of grief.”  Against our will, we are inducted into a secret society, a sorority, a private club NO ONE wants to be a part of, or signed up for. 


While I believe there is a season for mourning and grieving, a tragedy, such as this, has a way of defining people.  As I journey through my grieving process, I have come to realize I grieve a little differently.  I am a life enthusiast, relentless about living a purpose-filled life and have learned to "grieve out loud".

That is why, in honor of my son, I am preserving his legacy and turned my pain into purpose.  I, along with my youngest brother Baku, created the Talbert Memorial Fund/Jalens Journey  (www.JalensJourney), to honor not only the life of Jalen, but also our bother, Russell Talbert III who, at the same age of 21, was also murdered.  Our loved ones, along with countless others, were taken much too young through acts of senseless gun violence.

only release at least some of my hurt, pain, and guilt, but to reconnect with life, and relearn how to smile and enjoy life again without feeling guilty for wanting a moment of happiness. 


Life is such a precious gift, it isn’t a practice test, and there are no ‘do overs’. Death has already claimed my son’s life, and I won’t let it win again.  I won’t let it allow the dark cloud of grief to take mine!

This first year of loss has been a blur, I’ve merely just survived.  Now, it’s time for me to thrive!  Fueled by courage, hope and faith, I embark on my new journey.  My destination….healing.  So, however you’ve stumbled across my site, I invite you to join me on this courageous journey.  Whether you need to heal from the loss of a loved one, bad decisions, regrets and/or hurt, it’s time for YOU to heal, and live the bold, beautiful and brilliant life you deserve.

And so the healing begins…..

With Love and Light,



An initiative of Jalens Journey, I launched as a means of expressing my

feelings, whatever they may be, in order to not




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