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The grief is so thick, Theresa Chappory can hardly get the words out.

It has been two weeks since her daughter, Jennifer Sacaridis, was stabbed to death in the middle of the night at their Town of Tonawanda home. The heartbreak is just settling in.

So are the questions: How can she comfort her grandson, 10-year-old Skylar Sacaridis, who was left without a mother nine days before Christmas? Where will they live? What now?

The family of three – Chappory, Sacaridis and Skylar – were just barely hanging on when cruel fate struck.

Sacaridis, 34, a single mother, had recently earned an associate degree from Erie Community College. She hoped to get a higher degree that could open up doors to a better life for her son.

“She tried so hard to be a great mother,” Chappory said. “She took every effort to get the kid the right kind of direction.”

Then, Dec. 16, Sacaridis was stabbed. Police have accused a neighbor, 22-year-old Edmund Serwinowski, with the death. His lawyer, John R. Nuchereno, confirmed what friends told reporters – that Serwinowski had tried to get help at two mental health facilities. They turned him away.

Chappory is still struggling to understand.

“I just have one word for him, and that's 'Why?' ” Chappory said. “Why?”

She may never know. We read about the victims. The defendants. The charges and court appearances. There is never a good enough answer.

What we don't often hear about is the struggle of families to recover after such devastating loss. It is not just about soothing the pain and grief. There are more practical struggles, too.

There is no money for a security deposit on a new apartment. Chappory doesn't know how much of their stuff they can recover from their home. She does not want to return to the apartment where her daughter died.

There has been help. Town police helped Skylar buy a new Xbox after his video games were ruined in the crime. A mechanic, Joe Sanucci, gave them a place to stay for a few days and helped cover some expenses.

“Joe is an everyday angel,” Chappory said. “Without him, I don't know what I would have done.”

Sanucci, co-owner of Alternative Transmissions on Maryvale Drive in Cheektowaga, met Sacaridis and her mother years ago when they needed help fixing an old Honda. He stayed in their lives, bringing a Christmas tree over shortly before Sacaridis' death.

He worries now what will happen to Skylar. He wanted others to know their story in case they could help.

Chappory and Skylar are staying with relatives in New York. They will return after New Year's Day to pack up their belongings. And then, she is uncertain. “I have no family in Buffalo,” Chappory said. “I have nobody there.”

A life gone. A 10-year-old boy changed forever. A grandmother struggling to stay afloat.

All that is left is this: Why?



email: djgee@buffnews.com