By Betty Gandee

Photos courtesy of friends and family.

It is hard when you lose a friend, co-worker, or family member, but the loss of a child is unimaginable.

Jason Grose and Shella Cross got the news this past week no parent should hear. Dylan Grose went missing while traveling from Tyler County to his home in Clay County. His vehicle and body were found in a single vehicle accident in Doddridge County on Friday afternoon. As his parents, friends, and the community mourns the loss of a soul taken too soon, the outpouring of support and memories provides some comfort in such a sad time. Not an unfamiliar scene in Clay County, as in times of grief and despair this community always shows up to be there for one another.
Dylan’s father says that his son was an exceptional human being, full of love and laughter. He had compassion and empathy towards others that you rarely see in a person. He was a jokester and always wanted to make people laugh. People were naturally drawn to him, and his younger brother and sister looked up and admired his charismatic personality. After speaking with some of Shella’s closest friends, one thing she will always remember is how Dylan’s smile could light up the entire room and how his outgoing personality was contagious.
His friend Trae Stout recalls many nights playing Madden football and eating pizza rather than going out drinking, partying, and being out of control. He praises his group of friend’s parents for raising them in a respectful way, and says he will always hold their memories together in his heart. Jonathan Ratliff remembers his times with Dylan playing football and basketball, and says he was more than a cousin, but a best friend and more like a brother. Drew Belt looks back on their many nights of going to Flatwoods together just because they were bored, eating pop tarts in the kitchen at 3 a.m. trying not to wake anyone, and all the fun times they shared.
Dylan loved playing football and proudly represented #71 on Friday nights as a Clay County Panther. Clay High School Football’s Facebook page released this statement after word of Dylan’s passing, “ Our family is no longer a whole after the loss of #71 Dylan Grose. May God be with his family and friends. Dylan will be forever a Panther and be forever missed.”
So many memories by so many people will forever be cherished. Many friends have showed an outpouring of support on various social media sights and wishes the family comfort in this time of sorrow.