SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Inside the Salt Lake City Cemetery is a beautiful angel and at the feet of the angel are roses parents have left behind in honor of their children. 

Lisa Mitchell lost her son, Eli, in April to a drunk driver who left the scene shortly after hitting the 13-year-old. 

“You do feel kind of alone because there’s not many people who know how you feel and it just feels supportive and I feel Eli’s light and the light of people around me,” said Mitchell. 

Lisa said she still manages to have a relationship with Eli, writing to him a few times a week, and she is grateful to still have that connection. 

On Tuesday Mitchell spoke during the Christmas Box Angel Vigil at the Salt Lake Cemetery. Angel representative Lisa Johnson said many families refer to the statues as an angel of hope. 

“I think for a lot of people a cemetery doesn’t offer the kind of hope that this angel statue does. You remember leaving your child behind in a grave. And here by the face of the angel you’re reminded to look up and reach out just like her arms are reached out to all of us,” said Johnson.

Johnson said Christmas Box Angel has been doing this for 28 years and has created over 170 statutes around the world.