NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodMcLennan CountyWaco

Actions

Couple converts school bus into testament to suicide loss

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jan 26, 2024

WACO, Texas — Parked feet away from the 18-wheelers of a busy Waco truck stop, it's not your typical ride.

Cory Richez and his wife Kelly Logan call this place home. It's a traveling memorial, built around the loss of a loved one from suicide.

"No matter where we park in this nation, people encounter us," said Cory Richez, co-creator of the bus.

"They mark loved ones. We've been here for about three hours. There's already been about eight people marked on the wall."

The couple said it's also a traveling museum, holding objects. Each one connected to a life taken.

"Everything you see inside and out are things people have brought us," Richez said.

Cory and Kelly said they've been traveling the U.S. for three and a half years, but lost their first bus to a fire nine months ago.

They had enough to rebuild and call this one "Phoenix."

While Cory might be the showman of the rolling exhibit, Kelly is the artistic genius. She channels past trauma into murals and paintings adorning the inside of the vehicle.

"I'm a suicide survivor from multiple occasions," Logan said.

"Life isn't always so kind to people. I happen to be one of those people it wasn't so kind to."

For Cory too, suicide is personal. His stepfather took his own life.

"Even with battling depression, none of us saw it coming," Richez said about the loss.

"He's one of the many inspirations behind doing this."

Among the mementos of the dead are notes from the living, left by visitors sending messages of gratitude and hope.

"That shrine could encourage people to live," Richez said.

"That significant art could just maybe get someone through one more hour, one more moment, one more day. And that's our hope."

The couple said they plan to stay in Waco the next few days at the Flying J Truck stop on New Road and offer admission to their traveling memorial.