The world stopped when Madyson Middleton’s mother approached Adrian Jerry Gonzalez’ mom at the girl’s funeral. Jordan Middleton then enclosed Reggie Factor in a tight embrace.
Many were touched but there were some who beg to differ. Now, people are divided whether it was only right for Maddy’s mom to develop a bond with the mom of the suspect. Gonzalez allegedly beat Madyson, tied her up, sexually abused her, killed her and dumped her in the garbage.
Maddy is eight years old and the suspect is 15 years old.
Is it right for forgiveness to come this quick?
While sitting in one corner during Maddy’s memorial rights, her mother, Jordan, heard someone who was wailing painfully, SFGate reported. It was Factor, the mother of the person believed to have killed her daughter.
Factor was crying vehemently, saying that his son, whom she calls AJ, is a terrible boy. She blamed herself for not seeing the sign. She was his mom, “how could she not have known?”
Jordan approached her, held one of her hands and told her, “I love you, I don’t blame you. It’s not your fault.”
Those who witnessed the poignant moment have differing opinions. Some say it was only right for Jordan to immediately form a bond with Factor. For some, the bond came too quickly.
Speaking with Yahoo, adolescent psychologist Barbara Greenberg said Jordan’s behavior towards Factor was “highly unusual.”
“Because if you raise a 15-year-old who rapes and kills a girl, the parent does bear some responsibility. I don’t believe in the whole ‘snapping’ thing. There must have been signs,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg said she would like to know what will happen when Jordan’s grief finally sink in. “You have to go through stages of grieving, and she’s putting closure on this so quickly, probably because she’s devastated and still in shock. Good if it works for her, though,” Greenberg said.
For psychologist Fred Luskin, Jordan’s behavior is not surprising. “She just experienced a severe personal trauma. She’s looking for support and understanding, and who else could understand so well but somebody whose life is life turned upside down [by the same tragedy]? She found a peer suffering the same intensity of devastation, who can relate to that degree of rawness.”
David Kessler, an expert on grief, said he hoped that Jordan’s forgiving nature could be replicated by some who will finally see themselves in the same situation. He however said that he will not be surprise if Jordan’s anger eventually erupts.
AJ in the eyes of his classmates
AJ was “sweet and down to earth” and was always “making small jokes in class,” his classmates told KRON 4. Most of the time he was quiet, the classmates said. AJ played piano in the school jazz band and is very good in boy.
“I don’t really know what to think now. I still can’t picture him as a terrible person that is capable to do that,” one classmate said.
“I don’t really believe it at first. He has always been quiet in class, was always making small jokes in class. And he is always on his yoyo. And I really thought he is sweet and down-to-earth,” another classmate said.
Maddy leaves a legacy
Asked why she embraced Factor, Jordan told SFGate: “I just love her, and we both lost our children that day. That’s the tragic truth. I don’t fault her.”
Jordan is actually thinking of starting a fundraising on AJ’s name to help spread awareness on mental illness and prevent more cases of childhood sexual abuse.
“My daughter was sacrificed, but she didn’t die in vain. So much good is coming from her death.”
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