Arizona mom buries daughter's ashes in biodegradable urn under tree

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
WITTMANN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

An Arizona mother who is mourning the loss of her daughter found a way to keep her close. She says in a way, her daughter is continuing the cycle of life. 

Susan Pendleton describes her grief like an ocean.

"It comes and it goes like waves and something can just set you off," Pendleton said.

In September of last year, Pendleton's 19-year-old daughter, Alexis Rumer, was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver on her way home from work in Surprise.

[RELATED: Valley family already touched by tragedy mourns death of teenager]

"It's still the realization I'm trying to live with, that she's not coming home, she's not going to be back here, and this is it, this is final," Pendleton said.

Now, she spends a lot of time in her Wittmann front yard, especially by the newly-planted jacaranda tree.

"I could feel like she is now giving life to the tree," she said. She put some of her daughter's ashes in a Bios Urn she ordered and planted it in the ground, with the tree.

"I can be with her all the time, she is right here," she said.

"There have even been times when I've walked by the tree, and that feeling you get when somebody is right next to you, I've had that happen," Pendleton said.

The urn, which cost less than $200, will dissolve in the ground, but the tree will be a constant reminder of the life that her daughter continues to give.

"She was one of a kind," Pendleton said. "She was really wonderful."

There is a fundraiser to benefit Chance Shelter in Surprise in honor of Rumer. For more information, click here.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

Click to learn more about Lindsey

Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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