RHODE ISLAND (PIX11) — A surfer in Rhode Island helps people who have lost their loved ones find peace through his love for the ocean.
Dan Fischer founded the “One Last Wave Project” earlier this year as a way to cope with the loss of both his father and his dog in 2019. He wrote his father’s name on his surfboard and “took him out there into the waves.”
“When I recorded the first TikTok video and people started to write in the comments about the grief they’ve been experiencing with their own loss, I think that inspired other individuals and gave them the confidence to then share their stories,” Fischer said.
He said the phrase “one last wave” is common with surfers because there’s always another wave to catch before heading in. Now, late surfers and ocean lovers from around the world have one last chance to ride a wave off the coast of Rhode Island.
“I etch the names of loved ones on surfboards and take them out into the ocean for one more symbolic last wave. It’s a way to forever memorialize them in a way that they love,” he said.
Fischer has already etched thousands of names on three surfboards, and the list is growing as word of the unique project gets around.
“I didn’t have any expectations that it would resonate in the way that it has,” he said. “It’s been healing to me, as well.”
Fischer said surfing is no longer a solo pursuit since he is always surrounded by hundreds of lost loved ones whose stories their families shared with him.