Saturday, 18 June 2016

Remembering Chrristina Grimmie

Christina Grimmie became popular and one of the YouTube sensations by covering performances of tunes by other artists, afterwards got more acclaim after placing third in the 2014 season of "The Voice" with Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine as her trainer. Since that time, she amassed nearly 3.5 million YouTube subscribers.

Grimmie, who was raised in Evesham and went to Cherokee High School, left Burlington County in 2012 and went to southern California to hasten her singing career.

Individuals who came to pay their last respects to the growing pop star were greeted by the familiar voice of Grimmie herself as she sang and played the keyboard on two video screens above the phase of the South Jersey church where she often worshiped.

The songs were about love and Christian redemption — the same two themes of the service where friends, family, and other assistants heard those closest to Grimmie recount their memories of the vocalist and her religion and love of Jesus above all else.

Thousands of patrons and friends said tearful farewells Friday to Grimmie, a growing pop star from South Jersey who was murdered by a stranger a week past while signing autographs after a concert in Orlando, Florida.

Mourners arrived in a steady flow through the whole day during a five-hour visitation for the fans that preceded an inspirational, emotional memorial service at Fellowship Alliance Chapel in Medford.

It was Grimmie’s precious voice that started the memorial service: a record of her performing “In Christ Alone,” which senior chapel pastor Marty Berglund said that tune was “one of her favorites.”

At the service, Grimmie's tearful mother of Christina, Tina, had one question about the passing of her 22-year old daughter: Asking "Why?"

Her mother, who's fighting cancer, said she wasn't mad about the catastrophe but declared she isn't strong. "I tell you I 'm inferior ... and declare my reliance on Jesus Christ."

Berglund had an answer about the why: God allows human beings to make selections. Some make "horrendous choices," he said, referring to the gunman, but Grimmie chosen Christ and now has eternal life.

Grimmie's father, Bud, said: "There's this enormous hole in my heart that's never going to go away, but God is bigger when compared with the hole."

He said he realizes what happened and he will see her again in paradise. "She's way better off now. She isn't going to be hurt anymore ... (and) God's strategy surpasses my strategy.

"I can not even plan dinner," he joked. His wife interjected, "I understand you may not!" in only one of several lighter moments that prompted bunch laughter during the almost 90-minute service.

Grimmie's brother Marcus, who viewed the murder, had merely several words at Friday's service.

"When the gunman came, her arms were open to him," he said. "Her arms were open on a regular basis. All I will say is thank God for the mark she left on this particular world. It truly is increasingly more clear to me now than before."

Orlando authorities identified her killer as Kevin James Loibl, 27 years old, from St. Petersburg, Florida, who was waiting in the autograph line to see Grimmie after the show that night. Authorities haven't revealed a motive for the shooting, but authorities described Loibl as possibly a deranged fanatic.

Quickly after shooting Grimmie several times, Loibl was handled by her brother, Marcus, 23, who often accompanied her on every tour; the stranger gunman shot and killed himself during the fight. Authorities said Marcus Grimmie potentially saved other lives with his heroic act.

Loibl brought two pistols, two loaded magazines and a hunting knife with him into the building. He did not have a criminal record, nor did he have a license for firearms.

Orlando Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Wanda Miglio said this week she'd no upgrades to release about the investigation. An autopsy report will not be made accessible.

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