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The Compassionate Friends

of Cumberland County, NJ

Precious Child, Karen Taylor-Good

Child and Member


Alberto Caraballo Jr. Jan. 1979 to May 2005

We laugh, we smile,

we play the part,

But beneath it all is a broken heart,

we hide our tears when

we speak your name,

But the ache in our hearts

is just the same.

It doesn't matter the day or year

there are always memories,

always tears,

Memories don't fade,

they just grow deep, For someone we loved and just couldn't keep.

Our hearts still ache with sadness and secret tears still flow,

For what it meant to lose you no one would ever know.

They say that time heals everything We know it isn't so.

Because it hurts as much today, as it did 17 years ago.

Sadly missed and always remembered, Mom, Luis, Angie, Danny, Chrissy, and children Alex, Aleana and Berto.

Connie Roman, A Mother's Journey

In May 2005, I lost my first born son, Alberto Caraballo Jr., to a senseless homicide.

My world was shattered. To say that a pain so devastating occurred that it nearly killed me would not be an exaggeration. It is a sense of total loss so profound that unless someone has also felt the unimaginable, words can do no justice. I truly can say that the days that immediately followed are a near blank to me. My mind still cannot grasp the horror of laying to rest my child. My husband, Luis, tells me that hundreds attended his viewing. I cannot remember a single person. To all those who attended, please accept my thanks and heartfelt apologies.

My son's death nearly destroyed a large loving family. Some have coped as best as possible, some not at all.

For year's, I placed one foot in front of the other and moved forward through the daily paces of life. I tried my hardest to salvage the relationships that mattered most, and begrudgingly wished the best to those who couldn't understand.

In December 2006, I attended a Remembrance Candle Vigil for those who have lost their children, held worldwide, and sponsored locally by Dawn Beebe (who also lost a son, Josh Beebe ). I was inspired by Dawn's strength and courage. I have attended the candle vigils yearly and have seen the attendance grow annually. Far too many families are dealing with the unimaginable here in Cumberland County. I reached out and was contacted by The Compassionate Friends, a national self help support group. I felt that families in this area can benefit from the meetings as I have benefited. I applied to start a chapter here in Cumberland County and was approved. The Compassionate Friends of Cumberland County, NJ will soon begin meetings locally.

This May of 2022 will be the 17 year anniversary of my son's death. It feels as if it was yesterday. To be honest, the next step in this journey frightens me. It is still a struggle daily to cope with the memories, the holidays, and the little things that pop up to remind me of the loss. I hope that the strength that I know my son would want me to have, can help me to stand and help others dealing with their own grief and sorrow. The Compassionate Friends say that we need not walk alone. I hope that we all can join together and support each other so that...

We Need Not Walk Alone.

by Luis Roman

Josh M. Beebe

August 1990 to Oct 2003


By Elizabeth Dent

Go ahead mention my child,

The one that died, you know,

Don't worry about hurting me further.

The depth of my pain doesn't show.

Don't worry about making me cry,

I'm already crying inside.

Help me to heal by releasing

the tears that I try to hide.

I'm hurt when you just keep silent,

Pretending he didn't exist.

I'd rather you mention my child,

knowing he has been missed.

You ask me how I was doing

I say "pretty good" or fine.

But healing is something ongoing

I feel it will take a lifetime.

Dawn Beebe,

Go ahead, mention my child

My name is Dawn Beebe, I am married with two sons, one I can hold in my arms, the other in my heart and memories. I would like to tell you a little about Josh whom we lost at the age of thirteen. Josh was an only child for eleven years until our youngest son Colby came along. Josh was a very proud and protective big brother. He loved his atv, wild life, hunting, fishing, family and friends. Josh had many friends and always had a smile on his face. He never left before saying "I love you." Josh was in eighth grade, it was the beginning of the new school year. I picked him up from school when he asked for something for a sore throat. We did what we had to for him and told him if he didn't feel better the next day, to let us know. The next day, he said he was feeling worse. The doctor's office was closed, it was the day after a hurricane, so we took him to the ER, where he complained of burning in his throat and chest. He was sent home with the diagnosis of acid reflux which we did not agree with since the burning began in his throat not his chest. By the next morning I went to check on him after having checked on him throughout the night. I found him in bad shape. I did not know where to turn, so I rushed him to his doctor who called 911 immediately. Josh was rushed to Children's Hospital in Philadelphia(CHOP). He was found to have a staph infection. He was on life support for 15 days until he could no longer sustain. He passed away October 2003. It was Fall, our favorite time of year.

We found ourselves in more pain that we knew could ever exist. I found the TCF website and went to a parent's chat. I found comfort knowing others knew what I felt. I wanted to know how this pain I felt could ever get any better. It helped me to talk to others. You need to talk to people that understand or you can find yourself in bad health, like my husband. he held it all in and it caused him to have a heart attack. The holidays are the worst, but I read that TCF and CHOP held a service for these children that we miss so much. I held my own remembrance candle vigil service, where I met Connie and Luis. I am thankful to them for starting a chapter of The Compassionate Friends in our area.

By Dawn Beebe, Mom to an Angel




Jimmy Grace

December 1985 to April 2006



" Sunny days seem to hurt the most.

I wear the pain like a heavy coat.

I feel you everywhere I go.

I see your smile, I see your face,

I hear you laughin' in the rain.

I still can't believe you're gone.

It ain't fair: You died too young,

Like the story that had just begun,

But death tore the pages all away.

God knows how I miss you,

All the hell I've been through,

Just knowin' no-one could take your place.

An' sometimes I wonder.

Would you see the world?

Would you chase your dreams?

Settle down with a family,

I wonder what would you name your babies?

Some day's the sky's so blue,

I feel like I can talk to you.

An' I know it might sound crazy.

It ain't fair: You died too young,

Like the story that had just begun,

But death tore the pages all away.

God knows how I miss you,

All the hell I've been through,

Just knowin' no-one could take your place.

An' sometimes I wonder,

Who you'd be today?

Today, today, today.

Today, today, today.

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.

I wear the pain like a heavy coat.

The only thing that gives me hope,

Is I know I'll see you again some day.

Some day, some day, some day."


Wendy C. Bennett McCarter 35

Scotty D. McCarter Jr. 12

Melanie R. McCarter 6


Three angels, perched on a cloud

auras of innocence surrounding each.

Send the stars our way on a summer night,

Written in the sky with your sweet voices.

Don't worry- we will know it is you.

by Chick and Eileen Bennett


My sisters Joann and Betty were fighting cancer together. They lost their battle, but they

are together in Heaven. By Susan Diaz


Robert "Duke" Wayne Mead Jr.

May 1974 to December 2007

On December 2007, the New jersey surf community and the world in general lost a great friend. Robert "Duke" Mead Jr., 33 was born in Elmer, NJ on May 1974. Before Duke was old enough to get a driver's license, he was finding ways to the South Jersey beaches, forty five miles away. After graduating high school he made that trip easier on himself by moving to the Atlantic City area.

Duke quickly made his mark on the area, helping with the organization of the Absecon Island Surf Contest and assisting with local surf camps. During the summer months, Duke could be found either enjoying warm weather and waves at the Ventnor Pier or working hard to save up for winter surf trips. Rob made frequent trips to both Cape Hatteras and Puerto Rico. In addition, surfing took him to Panama, Tortola and St. Thomas.

Duke was a rare soul who reminded everyone he encountered to keep randomness in their lives. He had a true understanding of what was important and how precious life was, and he lived it to the fullest. You were lucky to have spent five minutes with him, and if you were fortunate enough to do so you had a friend for life. At the time of his death, Rob was studying to become an emergency room nurse, or "Focker," as he always said. It is of no surprise that he chose this path. As his friend Megan said of Rob, "He was overly giving, but yet, he never gave his generosity a second thought."

In January 2008, friends and family honored Duke with a paddle out service at the Ventnor Pier. Rob hated the cold and probably would think we were stupid for paddling out in the winter... but he would have been the first one to do so for any of his friends.

You will be forever missed and never forgotten, Duke



In Loving Memory

Ryan P. Phillips

June 1989 to January 2011

Miss Me- But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road and the sun has set for me. I want no rites in a gloom filled room. Why cry for a soul set free? Miss me a little- but not too long and not with your head bowed low. Remember the love we once shared. Miss me- But let me go. For this journey we all must take, and each must go alone. When you are lonely and sick of heart go to the friends we know, and bury your sorrows in doing good deeds. Miss me- But Let Me Go...

Author Unknown



Mathew Patrick Giannio

Sunrise July 1985 Sunset August 2010

Mathew was a 25 year old young man who had found what he loved to do in life. Matt loved working as a deckhand on tug boats. He completed certification to become a Merchant Marine and was very proud of that. Mathew was excited about becoming a dad for the first time. His son, Salem Michael Giannio, was born 3 months after his death. Matt was always upbeat and wanted to cheer up everyone around him. If you knew Matt chances are you heard him say " don't make me hug you" at one time or another. Matt's death has left a hole in our family and a hurt in our hearts.

Willie Danelle Gibbons

Sunrise April 1978

Sunset May 2011


The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul:

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death;

I will fear no evil:

for thou art with me;

thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

thou annointest my head with oil;

my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Scott R.W Bailey

Sunrise Oct 1994 Sunset May 2010

On April 23 at 4pm on Rhonda Dr, Scott was involved in a horrific ATV accident when his 4- wheeler axle broke. Scott was thrown onto the pavement and his ATV flipped crashing down on his body and head. Scott was not wearing his helmet that day. A mistake took his life. Scott was flown to Atlantic Care and then flown the same day to C.H.O.P. Scott could not survive his injuries and left his heartbroken family on May 2010. The doctors and nursing staff at CHOP did everything humanly possible to save his life. There are no words to express the loss and suffering of his family. Scott was an amazing child and his family has cried oceans of tears over him. Scott loved hunting, riding the trails with friends, reading and building boats.

Remember me in quiet days

When raindrops whisper on your pane

But in your memories have not grief

Let just the joy we knew remain

Remember me when evening stars

Look down on you with steadfast eyes

and when your thoughts do turn to me

Know that I would not have you cry

Remember me when autumn arrives

and fall leaves blow thru the air

Think of me when you are glad

and while you live, I shall not die

author unknown

Miss you for all the days of our lives,

your heartbroken family

Katherine Swayne

Sunrise Feb. 1978

Sunset October 1996

Kathy wrote the following while in her senior year at Millville Senior High School in 1996


Why is it people are

afraid of me?

I'm not going to hurt anybody

(except maybe myself.)

It's hard being me, always being

mistreated for something

I can't control.

I take medication,

but that's not even working.

Sometimes I wake up wondering

if it will ever go away.

I'm supposed to grow out of it.

But I still haven't yet.

For I have


Kathy passed that year during a grand-mal seizure with me (Mom) at her side, struggling to bring her back. I wasn't ready to let her go. However, two weeks prior to her death, she expressed her wishes to become an organ donor. Her final wish was honored and she still lives on. She never knew in her lifetime how much she would be missed in ours. I wish Heaven had a phone.

Nicole Maslin

Sunrise Nov. 2015

Sunset Nov. 2015

 Prayers For Nicole

Dear Father in Heaven

We are here before you

To offer humble prayers of thanksgiving and praise

We thank you for life

Which we know comes only from your infinite love

for us all.

Yet since life and death are inseparable,

So we must accept

That death is also from the same love.

We thank you for little Nicole

For she is and always be loved by us;

And we are able to love each other more deeply than before

because of her brief presence.

We ask your help, dear God,

To continue our lives

in the spirit of this pure, beautiful

manifestation of your love.

For it is by our nature, as you know, That we can be tempted

even from this.

We are certain that Nicole is with you now

and will be forever.

And that you have truly favored her so early

Because of your love for her and us.

So it is in praise that we now offer this

prayer together...

Our Father, who art in Heaven..

In loving memory of our granddaughter

Nicole Maslin, from Michael and Janeane Maslin

Our baby's breath

It did not last

Stolen by death

Too soon she passed

Our family destroyed

We had such hope

Now there's a void

We're trying to cope

We meet each day

But don't understand

Why she was taken away

That wasn't the plan

She was so loved

By her parents and brothers

Grandparents here and above

Aunts, uncles, cousins and others

Baby Nicole will always be

Deep in our hearts

A cherished memory

That only love imparts.

For Baby Nicole,

Deeply missed and loved

Angelo Rivera Sr.

Forever In Our Hearts,

Felix Rivera, father,

Magdalena Rivera, mother,

and Marisol Rivera, wife.