by Melissa Medina
RIP Sweet Jeffrey
I am thankful that I found this website as a way of healing myself from the worst grief that I could ever imagine. Jeffrey was someone else's child, whom I have never met. He died tragically on April 10, 2012. He was a beautiful 6 year old child, probably much like my own 6 year old son! I heard what happened to him through an online news link. He died very tragically and very violently. When I read the words, I felt like I was going to vomit. What happened to him was so awful, beyond awful!! I am certain he was a dear little boy, and he did not deserve to die that way. I am not sure why I am mourning and grieving for this child whom I do not know anything about. I feel terribly sorry for his family, and have said prayers for them and him, but I can't seem to stop this aching, sinking, deeep sadness that is leaving me feeling depressed, hopeless, despairing, and in constant physical pain. I cry everyday. There are so many triggers. I imagine what he was like, and I imagine the things he had done when he was living, up to the moment of his death (the mundane things like putting on his jacket, having breakfast, laughing, telling jokes,playing games) and also the things that he will never do again (like go to school, have lunch and recess, go on vacations with family etc). I do not know why I feel this way, because I have my own children who are very much alive. But I feel as though I have lost one of my own children through Jeffrey. I feel a little selfish in writing about my own pain, when I know Jeffrey's family and friends must be experiencing it worse. Or maybe I do feel their pain from far away. I am trying to cope with what happened to Jeffrey somewhat in isolation. I have never heard of someone being so upset over a stranger's death. How could I feel what relatives feel? I must be crazy! I can't go to my family with this, because they won't be able to understand the magnitude of my feeling for Jeffrey. I managed to email a friend who is studying psychology and he validated my grief for me. I tried to cope for a few days on his words alone, but I still find myself deeply saddened over Jeffrey's death! I can't function and my thoughts always turn back to him. I walked over to a neighbor's house where I shared my grief with her. She was understanding and validated my grief also. She suggested I write my thoughts down in a journal, and then I found this website.
Some of the irrational ideas and thoughts I have been having are quite selfish and impulsive. I have a strange need to connect with someone who knew Jeffrey. I am so tempted to contact his family, or people who knew him (through social media) in order to find some solace and closure, but I know that I would be terribly out of line, selfish, and probably labeled crazy. I want to visit his grave to find closure, but I am leaning toward conducting my own "funeral" here in my own garden. I am planning this year's garden around Jeffrey's memory. Will this help to heal me or prolong the anguish and obsessive thoughts? I can't tell if it's genuine grief or obsession that makes me constantly think of Jeffrey. Could I be in denial that he died so violently? What business is it of mine, since I did not know him or his family personally? I know that I have seen many other people who express through social media that they cannot stop thinking of Jeffrey or his family. This little guy has touched so many lives! Reading the condolences from the memorial section of the online obituary shows that many strangers are feeling the sadness that I feel as well as crying episodes every single day. How is this possible? Are they truly experiencing the same grief, or are they just being polite? I don't want to feel all alone while I mourn Jeffrey. I dedicated a RIPJeffrey page on Facebook so that only those who did not know him could mourn, but so far only two people have joined the group. I am the only one who posts anything, so it has not offered me the solace or comfort that I was initially trying to get.
I am seriously considering grief counseling at this point. I imagine that most of my grief will go unresolved because I have no one around me who can share this sadness with me. Jeffrey's family and friends have each other to turn to, and have wonderful memories of him that they can share. I have no memories of Jeffrey, except for the horrible way he died! It replays in my mind over and over, and I know that having this knowledge is causing me a lot of the pain and anguish!! I care about what happened to Jeffrey, I care about his family. I love Jeffrey and will never forget him. I want all of this pain and anguish to go away. I want to live my life, but I don't think I will ever look at things in quite the same way ever again. I pray for the strength to take care of my own children the way they deserve, and not obsess so much over a child I never knew. (Guilt about wanting to be free from Jeffrey's story brings another level to my grief and sorrow. I do not want to ever forget this child, I want to EMBRACE him and never let him go!) Somehow, I need to find a way to honor his memory through living and life. I pray that God helps me to do so!