Mourning Jeffrey

by Melissa Medina
(Blackwood, NJ)

RIP Sweet Jeffrey

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!

Comments for Mourning Jeffrey

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Sep 13, 2016
Grieving for a girl whom I never met
by: Anonymous

Recently a teenage girl who was known merely to see by my younger sister of the same age, committed suicide.

I can't stop thinking about how she must have been feeling to end her life and what her family and friends are going through. I don't even know this girl's name or what she looked like. She was so young, she had so much more life to live but
I don't understand why this is affecting me so much.

Dec 07, 2014
Glad I'm not the only one grieving strangers
by: Anonymous

My daughter has brain cancer and she was fighting for her life at the hospital recently. All around us children were dying. And I can't seem to stop grieving for them. Everything I've seen there keeps replaying in my head. It's torture. And it brings home the reality of death.

Apr 26, 2014
Mourning Alex
by: Anonymous

I had the same reaction to the death of one of the victims of the Aurora theater murders. Just of the victims touched me very deeply. It is so obvious his family and friends loved him and miss him so much, I still cry for them. And pray.

Sep 17, 2013
Beautiful little April Jones
by: Anonymous

I feel exactly the same as others above. I feel as though I have lost one of my own children in April. She reminds me a lot of my own daughter, although I fell in love with her, just looking at her beautiful face. I keep playing over and over what she must of gone through and it eats me up... I just wish there was something someone could of done. The first year anniversary of her death is close, I know this will be such a sad time. I wish there was something I could of done! I have no memories of her to hold on to, just pictures that have been posted. I hope that she can see that I and everyone else that loves her cares so very much. I have never been as emotional moved for someone I didn't know as I have with little April. My life will never be the same. I just hope that one day that evil man will let her parents know what happened and what he did with her. A funeral is going to take place, with what remains they have, I hope this helps us all... I hope to go... Xxxxx

Sep 15, 2013
April Jones
by: Anonymous

I too can truly relate to how you feel. I have been grieving over little April Jones who was snatched infront of her home on the 1st of October 2012, while playing on her beloved bike from the moment she went missing I felt all kinds of emotions, fear for her, anguish, despair. I even felt like time stopped for me. The year of her anniversary is close & I can't stop thinking of her. I've cried nearly every day for April. That beautiful 5 year old little girl died a horrific & brutal death. Her remains have never been found after the biggest police search in british history. After 8 long months of searching the search came to an end. Her killer got a whole life Tarrif never to be released. He has never told the truth of what he did with that little girl. My heart breaks for her &.her family every single day. I've had this deep sadness that won't go away. I fell inlove with & maybe knowing the brutal truth & reality has hit me so hard. Because I'm a mum

Aug 05, 2013
Mourning Daniel Pelka - I'm going through the same experience
by: Anonymous

I came across your writing when searching for information on how to grieve for a stranger. I have no children, and am heartbroken by the death of 4 yr old Daniel Pelka.
This little boy was murdered last year, I don't know him, don't even live in his country, but I am as sad as the day my Dad died. I was never abused like he was and I just don't understand the point of anyone's existence anymore. Do our lives even matter at all?
A little 8 yr old girl was murdered by her father in my country last month, and her death was instantaneous. For some reason I wasn't plunged into numbing grief like this - I think its because the little boy suffered and was torture for more than a year in front of his sibling, who couldn't help despite their best efforts.
I'm glad its just not me, but that this deep grief over the death of a stranger is something a lot of people experience.
Thank you for taking the trouble to write of what you experienced. I hope with time I can remember this child with a smile, not tears.

Mar 21, 2013
Mourning a stranger
by: Anonymous

I'm glad you shared your story, Melissa. It was very moving; and it made me realize I'm not alone. My situation is almost exactly th e same as yours--except for the ages of the boys--my son and the victim are both seventeen. I believe the grief is so strong because when our children are the same age as the victim, there are many ways we strongly relate to the victim and/or the family or both.

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