SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It has been almost one year since Michael Rinaldo died after falling out of a tree stand while hunting. His family turned their pain into purpose.

“This situation is more common than people realize, and it’s something that needs to be talked
about,” Michael’s wife, Larissa, said.

She is determined to keep her husband’s accident from happening to someone else’s family.

“Just don’t let your feet leave the ground without a harness on. Don’t put my pain and suffering
on your family. Hunting can be a great sport. It can be fun, just wear your harness. Be safe. It’s
like a seatbelt. It’s there for a reason.”

Larissa has created yard signs and merchandise to remind people wearing a harness could save
their life.

“On the back obviously, I wanted something in a tree stand, so I created this, and you can also
see the safety harnesses attached to the tree. My quirky little saying right here, ‘Strap up before
you go up’ and ‘Always wear your harness,'” Larissa explained about her thought process for the design.

Larissa and Michael were together for 14 years. She says it wasn’t nearly long enough.
“And grief… really, this is my way of grieving, just knowing that I could potentially save a life and honor my husband. And that’s just where I’m putting my grief towards.”

As the holidays near and hunting season carries on, it’s important to remember to strap up before you go up.