INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — A family’s personal loss sparks the flame for three grieving centers in Ohio 

What You Need To Know

  • Mark Tripodi and his wife Christi lost their three-year-old son Bobbi after an onset of meningitis 

  • Bobbi was in the hospital for what Mark and Christi thought was just the common flu

  • Instead of crumbling in their grief, the couple started a grief center known as Cornerstone of Hope 

  • For 20 years the center has provided grieving families a place for support, comfort and consultation 

“You think we’re bringing our son to the emergency room just to get some fluids to treat maybe a common flu,” said co-founder of Cornerstone of Hope Mark Tripodi. 

A common flu, however, was not the case. Tripodi said his son Bobbi ended up having meningitis.

“The news never got any better,” said Tripodi. “It was, you know, in meningitis, unfortunately, what happens is, you know, the swelling of the brain shuts the rest of the organs down just with the extreme infection and high temperature.”

Tripodi’s three-year-old son Bobbi was in the hospital for just 24 hours, but his family says it felt like a lifetime.

“You know, the unfortunate thing is we came home without our son,” he said. “I mean, to walk into a hospital thinking it’s the flu and 24 hours later to come home empty-handed.”

It was truly a profound loss for a young parent dealing with unexpected tragedy.

“I remember walking back into our house, and we literally just collapsed face first on our floor and just in like uncontrollable tears, like what just happened,” he said.

Instead of crumbling in their grief, Mark and his Wife Christi build the Cornerstone of Hope.

“My wife and I are always quick to say, like, nobody dreams of losing a child and starting a grief center,” he said.

Cornerstone of Hope is a grief center built on the foundation of providing support for grief-stricken families.

“Cornerstone of Hope, you know, really came out of our personal grief journey of losing a child and trying to find support that was helpful for my wife and I and our in our children,” Tripodi said.

For 20 years the center has been a place of healing, understanding and consolation, through group and individual sessions as well as summer camps for children.

“People come in broken with all different types,” he said. “You know, they hear about Cornerstone of Hope, they hear our story and think, well, it’s just for the death of a child. That’s not the case. It’s anybody in the community, kids, teens or adults that have lost a loved one and are seeking support.”

“You know, our son’s death was ultimately the seed and the catalyst for us to even think about starting a program like this and a community,” Tripodi said.

If you or someone you know needs help, Cornerstone of Hope has three locations in Independence, Columbus and Lima.