JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Friday night, Aurora police had the grim task of notifying the 12 families their loved one was gone. It is a nightmare some parents on the First Coast understand far too well.
"It was the start of a journey that we never expected, because that always happened to somebody else, somewhere else," said Glen Mitchell.
Mitchell's oldest son, Jeff, was shot and killed outside Terry Parker High School during an attempted robbery in 1993.
Now as he and his wife watch the pain unfold in Aurora, their hearts ache for the families learning their loved ones will never come home.
"You never overcome the tragic memories that are associated there. You go through periods of time where you feel almost normal, but out of the blue it will hit you again," told Mitchell.
After his son's death, Glen Mitchell wanted to find a way to honor his son's life. So he and his wife began Compassionate Families Inc., an organization that helps the families and friends of homicide victims.
Finding a way to honor a loved one that has passed is his best advice for families grieving.
"Find a way, in your own way, of honoring that loss and just remembering and cherishing all the good times ," said Mitchell," It is a journey you will go through, it will not end. It will be with you for the rest of your life."
First Coast News