Memorial

Memorial

Griffin James

Griffin James

Born
Died

What I will miss the most about Griffin is his smile, his sense of humor and his infections laugh. The way he would hug me & say "I love you Mommy". The fact that I will never plan his wedding or another birthday party or celebratory event for him ever again. The fact that he will not be here to meet his daughter when she is born. I miss everything about Griffin.

Tell us about your loved one.

Griffin was my first born child, my only son. He was the most remarkable, compassionate, funny person with the most beautiful smile that was contagious and would light up the room the second he walked in. He was always willing to help friends and neighbors and even strangers without being asked. Griffin was a college student with his whole life ahead of him. He collected sneakers,loved playing basketball and video games and riding his bike. Griffin loved his family and friends with a loyalty that could not be surpassed.Griffin was fearless and unstoppable. He set goals for himself and never became discouraged when obstacles arose. He loved life, his family and his friends.

Tell us about Griffin's struggle with addiction

About a year ago Griffin admitted to me that he started smoking weed at about the age of 14. I had no clue. He was always active , had a job and did well in school. About 2 years ago his personality started to change. He was still working and was attending Aviation Mechanic School, but he was not quite himself. In October of 2015, Griffin quit college and started hanging out in the "badlands" of North Philly. He eventually lost the job he had since he was 14 years old, working with a close family friend. Griffin was arrested and his personality rapidly changed. He went from happy go lucky Griff to sullen, withdrawn and sometimes downright mean. I'm not sure when he started using pills, but I later found out he was using Xanax, Percocet and Oxycodone. Griffin's appearance and demeanor changed completely over the last 6 months of his life. He lost weight, became withdrawn, sometimes angry and more depressed and I watched the light and joy fade from his eyes. I scheduled appointments for him with therapists, mental health professionals and rehab centers, and although he would optimistically look forward to getting his life back on track he would never follow through. On June 26,2016, I received the worst news a mother could hear, "you have to come with me, there is something wrong with Griffin". When I arrived, the paramedics were doing CPR. It seemed like hours and finally at 12:20 pm we were told he had no pulse, there was nothing they could do. His father, myself and his girlfriend spent the next 3 hours sitting with him. I laid next to him, stroking his hair, singing to him and begging him to come back to us. But Griffin was gone. An accidental overdose at the age of 20 would forever change so many lives.

What made Griffin smile?

When Griffin found out he was going to be a father he smiled so big. And he smiled when he was with is childhood friends, 3 boys who were more like brothers to him. And when he was hanging with his dad. They had a special bond that was unbreakable. Griffin never really stopped smiling until the last 6 months of his life.

What do you miss most about Griffin?

What I will miss the most about Griffin is his smile, his sense of humor and his infections laugh. The way he would hug me & say "I love you Mommy". The fact that I will never plan his wedding or another birthday party or celebratory event for him ever again. The fact that he will not be here to meet his daughter when she is born. I miss everything about Griffin.

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