On Friday night, the Grimmie family suffered a horrific loss when a gunman shot and killed 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie at a fan meet and greet after her concert in Orlando, Florida. A day later, in the same city, 50 lives were taken at Pulse nightclub when a gunman opened fire on the people inside.
The back-to-back tragedies have certainly resonated with the Grimmie family, who held a vigil for Christina on Monday night in her hometown of Evesham Township, New Jersey.
“About four miles away from where we were staying, there was a huge tragedy to Orlando, to the U.S., the LGBT community and to the whole world,” Christina’s older brother Marcus told the crowd. “To those people that died and are suffering, my heart goes out. Look at these people behind me. I had five people fly out immediately. My dad... people bought them plane tickets. Adam Levine paid for Christina's funeral. Twenty One Pilots, her favorite bands, people donated, Selena [Gomez]'s singing a song and crying. [The Orlando victims] didn’t have that, and we're blessed to. So I'm at a great peace right now.”
Marcus was labeled a “hero” by Evesham Township Mayor Randy Brown, who spoke before him at the vigil, for tackling the gunman who killed his sister before he could cause anyone else injury. Two of Christina’s childhood friends, Lauren and Sarah, also spoke, praising their friend for her kindness and faith.
“She really isn't dead,” Sarah said of her late friend. “She's alive, and she's more alive now than she was here. Mr. Grimmie said the other night to us, 'She's fully alive. She's better now than she ever was before.'”
The touching service saw hundreds of fans, friends, and family come out to remember Christina’s life. The vigil ended with a bagpipe performance of “Amazing Grace.”