Deceased student remembered during vigil


Mourners for Kent State student Jared Grieb tell stories and give prayers at the vigil held on Kent State’s Memorial Field on Tuesday Aug. 30, 2016.

Dana Miller

A small group gathered near the May 4 Victory Bell by Taylor Hall for a candlelight vigil honoring Jared Grieb, a junior marketing major, Tuesday evening.

Grieb, a resident of Chardon, died Aug. 20 after drowning off Fish Point on the southern tip of Pelee Island in Canada.

He and friends were swimming in shallow waters near the island when a large tide came through, said senior accounting major Connor Crawford.

Crawford was one of the last people to see Grieb before he was caught under the waves.

“I don’t know how he lost his footing,” Crawford said. “ He ended up in a place he couldn’t stand up (and) wasn’t able to swim back.”

Friends attempted to swim after Grieb and to keep him above water for as long as they could, Crawford said.

“(The waves) took us all out,” he said, “and we weren’t able to bring him back.”

Crawford and others who knew Grieb gathered together to share memories.

“It’s still kind of a shock (that we’re) going through,” Crawford said. “It hasn’t all really set in.”

Crawford, who knew Grieb from their shared hometown, said they had been planning on being roommates this fall.

“Looking at the room, I’m expecting him to come in late one day and move his stuff in,” Crawford said. “It’s good talking to people about it (and) hearing other people’s encounters with him.”

Crawford said that keeping Grieb’s memory alive is important.

“He had a legacy about him … (and) you don’t want that to die out,” Crawford said.

Eric Asp, a pastor at the Kent State-affiliated H2O Church, led the vigil.

Asp said it’s important to have the community support each other during these (unfortunate) experiences.

“It’s really common in a time of grief for people to feel … lonely, and so we need to deliberately counteract that by having events like this — where we can grieve together, share their memories, the happy thoughts and the sad things,” Asp said.

Rebecca Finley, a Kent State alum and friend of Grieb’s, was among the small group gathered. She described Grieb as fun-loving and “just a genuine, sweet-hearted guy.”

“He never took anything in life too seriously; nothing ever got him down for too long,” she said. “He always bounced back from whatever was thrown his way.”

Finley said Grieb was there for her when she needed him the most. Putting others first was always his priority.

“He had a life left to live, and it’s sad to see him go,” she said.

Dana Miller is an assigning editor for The Kent Stater, contact her at [email protected].