Niagara Gazette — “Right before his death I had an issue at school,” Casseri added. “It was really bothersome for me, in my mind and in my heart.” The principal said he arrived at school early one day and there was no one else in the hall, except for Jonathan, who said he’d been lifting weights. The teen asked the principal how things were going.
“I said, ‘Oh, I’ve had better days,’” Casseri remembered. “Jonathan said, ‘Don’t worry Mr. Casseri. Everything’s going to be all right.’”
Jonathan’s passing, soon after, seemed to resolve the issue Casseri was troubled over. “We were all so upset at his death, his death brought us back together ... Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it was like he somehow knew.’”
When another student died in a car accident the following Sept., the boy’s mom told Jeannine that her son used to wear a bracelet made in Jonathan’s memory because J-Mill was the first person to befriend her boy when he first started at the school. Jeannine was able to guide that boy’s mom through her grief. It is one of the gift’s of her son’s death. “Grieving mothers are sent my way by people who know me,” Jeannine said. “People who see how I’m coping are intrigued by me.”
The family’s foundation, called the Jonathan “J-Mill” Giving Fund, provides scholarships to students like Jonathan, who live as he did in quiet service of others. The foundation also gives money to many charities. In an effort to bring hope and faith to others, the family is holding an event Wednesday examining matters of life and death. Jonathan’s uncle, Michael H. Brown, who has written many books including “The Spirits Around Us,” “The Other Side,” and “Afterlife,” will be speaking at the fundraiser. All proceeds will be donated to the J-Mill fund. The event will share some of the beliefs that are keeping Jonathan’s family strong, despite their broken hearts. “If I didn’t have the faith I did, and the comfort of knowing that noboby ever dies,” Jeannine Miller said of her unexpected strength to carry on, “I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
(For more information visit www.J-Mill.org.)IF YOU GO WHAT: An Evening of Inspiration: A talk by spiritual author Michael H. Brown about what happens when we die WHEN: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday WHERE: St. Vincent De Paul Parish Center, 2748 Military Road, Niagara Falls FOR MORE INFORMATION: Sign up online at www.j-mill.org or email Kevin Miller at email@example.com or call 946-8289