Family and friends remember teen who died at summer camp

A church congregation is celebrating the life of a young girl who died at summer camp, using of a short children's story with a powerful life message.

It's been a week since 16-year-old Olivia Grimes fell to her death from a rope swing at Carolina Point Young Life Camp in Brevard, North Carolina.

Sunday evening, friends, family and members of the Oasis Community Church congregation gathered to cry, laugh, pray and remember Liv, as she was known.

"Death sucks," Youth Pastor Josh Galletta said. "It's the worst thing to go through, but we know God's going to give us hope and peace through that."

Hope and peace comes in the form of an illustrated children's story about a bright shining star that lived life to the fullest.

Liv's father, Oasis Church Pastor Phil Grimes, wrote the story in the days after her death.

"I think for Phil, he had to capture the essence of her life and the joy that it was and the light that she brought to so many people," congregation member Kevin O'Brien added.

Last week, Pastor Grimes handed the script to O'Brien and asked what could be done to express his message to the rest of the congregation.

O'Brien asked Galletta - who is an accomplished artist - to read through the story and illustrate it to best represent Liv.

"And so when we were putting this story together, I just knew the look that we wanted to have. We knew the brightness had to be the most epic brightness that we could create," Galletta said.

The story starts with a bright light, and the narrator says, "Once upon a time, a star was born. Her name was Liv and she was different than any star in the universe."

It describes the childhood of a young, bright star named Liv and how she positively impacts all of those around her.

In the story, Liv's light shines brightest right before her death, and it serves as an inspiration to others to choose to live.

"[Phil's] message boils down to, you have two choices in life. You could play it safe or you could take a step and 'Liv it up.' L-I-V," O'Brien explained.

Church members are now wearing bracelets that say, "LIV IT UP," to serve as a reminder of the positive life she lived- even if it was ended far too soon.

"Some people use these tough times to go a different route, or be negative, or just go blank. Others of us are like, you know what, let’s just keep this story going and let's use this story to help others, change others and support others," Galletta added.

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