Melissa Eastmond, a 27-year-old mother of three, told her family some time early Tuesday afternoon that she felt tired and was going to take a rest. Not long after, her mother was discovering Melissa’s lifeless body in the bed in which she had sought repose.
When Barbados TODAY visited Melissa’s home at Work Hall, St Philip around noon Wednesday, her mother Cora Eastmond was overcome with grief. Her shirt soaked with tears, she said she had not stopped crying since she found the fourth of her six children dead around 1:30 p.m. yesterday, leaving behind two-year-old twin boys Jaylen and Jayden and their nine-month-old sister Jelissa.
Holding the baby, who seemed a little cranky, close to her bosom, Eastmond cried that it was heart-rending that her grandchildren were now without a mother.
Melissa was the only person in the household who worked and her unemployed mother is now wondering how she will find the emotional and financial strength to care for the children.
“These children don’t have a mother. I am really going to need help. I know I have to do it but I don’t know where to start or how to start. I just don’t know what to do and I am asking the Lord to show me what to do,” a shaken Eastmond said.
The woman explained that Melissa had just returned home after taking her baby to a doctor’s appointment and sat in the living room chatting with others when she suddenly complained that she was feeling tired and was going to the bedroom for a rest.
The mother said minutes later, while doing dishes in the kitchen, she heard the little girl, who was lying next to her mum, crying.
When the child would not stop crying, Eastmond asked Melissa’s younger sister Faye to see what was going on, she said, only for Faye to realize her sister was unresponsive.
“Up to now I still can’t come to grips with my daughter’s death. I just cannot come to grips with this. My daughter was not sick that I know about. The thing that hurting me is that she gone long and left three young children,” Eastmond lamented, explaining that she did not sleep last night because she had to comfort the children.
Eastmond described her daughter as a kind, loving and helpful individual who dedicated her life to her three children and would give the little she had to those in need.
The deceased was employed at a cleaning firm and never said no when she was called to work on her days off because every dollar earned went into meeting the children’s needs.
“My daughter would tell me, ‘mummy, I get called into work and for the sake of the children I going and catch a dollar bill’.
“Even if Melissa ain’t feeling well and they call her she would still put on her clothes and go and spend all the money on her children,” she said.
The grieving mother said she would welcome any assistance she got to help with her grandchildren because she was determined to keep a promise she had made to her daughter.
“Earlier this year Melissa asked me to take care of the children if anything happen to her. She say, ‘mummy if anything happen to me I don’t want anybody else raise my children but you. The father could come and look for them but I want you to raise my children’. I will do it,” Eastmond pledged.
“I just can’t believe that my child gone,” she repeated.
The two had planned to celebrate Eastmond’s 58th birthday tomorrow at Q in the Community, but the mother was mourning instead, she added.
An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death.