I Will Bless the Lord: Dellvanee Blake-Nelson

I will bless the lord at all times. His praises will continually be in my mouth.

Six years ago I couldn't say these words and mean it from my heart. They were mere words to me because I was mourning for my son. Yes! Mourning. In most cases, mourning is when we lose a loved one to death, but in this case, I was losing my son to prison. I have been through rain, I have been through storms, I have been through muddy waters. My son is still incarcerated and I don't know when he will be free, but I thank God because he gave me hope, and he has blessed me in so many ways along this journey.

Thank you Jesus!


By Akeem King

Hi, my name is Akeem King and I would like to tell you that there is a very thin line between perception and reality. Sometimes what we see or think we see is often what we believe. Sometimes what we believe or think we believe ultimately becomes what we see.

There was a time when my life was this big fun house mirror. The one you would find at a circus or a fair, where the image you see is all twisted and distorted. Like many young boys today, I had no conscious understanding of who I was or what I wanted in life. I had no drive and no clear goals or definite expectations for my future.

My life was in influenced by the sub-culture of the streets and the lack of real male guidance within my community. Since I never personally knew anyone who went to college, the idea of having an education and its importance to not just a young black male but to anyone seeking social importance and financial security had never crossed my mind.

I strongly believe that the absence of real male guidance and lack of education really caricatured my perception and consequently my reality so much that my ignorance and immaturity lead me to play a role in an act that resulted in a young child losing his life and it was at that point in my life when the fun house mirror completely shattered into a million pieces and for years now, there are lines throughout my mirror from where it was once broken and whenever I look into that mirror I recognize that. “There is a very thin line between perception and reality.”

Cracks within one’s mirror often make it difficult to not just see but truly understand that in order to Let the Healing Begin we have to challenge ourselves because how much of our perceptions come from presumptions. If a mother was to stand in front of her mirror and put on a dress for her son’s funeral, what would she see? If another mother was to stand in front of her mirror and put on a similar dress for her son’s arraignment, what would she see? These are just some of the questions that I often reflect on whenever I try to think about the pain and suffering I have caused to my victim’s family and the pain and suffering I have caused to my own family (especially my mother) or whenever I look around the prison yard and the chow hall at the black and brown faces of young men who look like me and whose lives tell a story equal to mine.

If only I could stand them in front of their mirror, ask them what they see and then explain that there is a very thin line between perception and reality.

A Special Thanks From Our 2017 Pre-Mother's Day Brunch

On behalf of let The Healing Begin, Inc. (LTHB) and the 100 community members that attended our 8th annual Pre Mothers’ Day brunch fundraising event held April 29, 2017 at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, MA, Thank You tremendously for your donation. Your support contributed towards making a positive difference in lives of families of homicide victims and youthful offenders. Whether it’s the incomparable grief of homicide or the immeasurable anguish inherited from a youthful offender’s actions, distress is not mutually exclusive. Spirits were uplifted as families united to share strength, sorrow and resolve to address a common crisis. Massachusetts state elected official, clergy, and motivational speaker participation along with support from local professional sports teams, corporate and community contributors made this year’s event a very memorable and beneficial experience. Shared personal testimonies from those affected by a cycle of violence and incarceration plaguing Boston communities will not soon be forgotten.  Again, eternal thanks’ for your support and God bless. 


Thank you thunderously and God Bless.


Denise Whitley, LTHB President and Founder



The "Let the Healing Begin" Pre Mother's Day Brunch, was an amazing experience. To see women who have lost families members to violence and women who have lost sons to a lifetime in prison come together to mend their hearts and souls, by releasing their pain together was a beautiful thing to witness. I know that the hurt probably doesn’t ever go away, but it was nice to see that there was a process through faith and God, that helped them move closer to peace and healing. ~Antoinette Thomas

A Special Thanks From Our 2016 Event

Thank you immensely for supporting Let The Healing Begins' (LTHB) 7th annual Pre-Mothers' Day Brunch, held April 30, 2016 at Lombardo's in Randolph, MA.

On behalf of the 180 people that attended the event and the countless families affected by a cycle of violence and incarceration plaguing Boston communities, you have our endless gratitude. Your support contributed to making the event memorable and emotionally moving, as well as helping to motivate many to play an ongoing role, no matter how modest, in addressing a massive social problem that is jeopardizing futures in Boston communities. Strength was gained through shared sorrows and inspiration through shared success. Families experiencing the incomparable grief of victimization and the immeasurable anguish associated with a criminal offense united and stakeholders in hurt became shareholders in hope.

Thank you thunderously and God Bless.

Sincerely President LTHB 

Click here to see pictures from this event.

I Remember…

Let The Healing Begin has grown in such a supernatural way. I remember setting up tables and chairs and transforming a church sanctuary in to a banquet space. I remember leading praise and worship with nervous sweaty palms afraid that I had chosen the wrong song for the occasion. I remember pre-planning and prayer meetings at Denise's house

Why I Started Let The Healing Begin

Why I Started Let The Healing Begin

After my 19 year old son was arrested and sentenced, I went into a cycle of depression and despair. I had to make a choice between living and dying. Suicide was a strong thought. It would have been a short simple solution to end my despair. Loving and needing to be in the lives of my other two children prevented me from being weak and choosing the option of suicide. Before I could continue living a productive life, a healing process would be necessary. The concept of Let the Healing Begin was birthed.