Woman vows to ‘pay it forward’ after man who paid her grocery bill dies in car accident

A woman has taken to Facebook in a bid to honour the memory of a kind man who paid her grocery bill before dying in a car accident the following day.

In the emotional post, Jamie-Lynn Knighten explains that she was trying to pay for her $200 worth of groceries in Oceanside, California when her credit card was declined due to an anti-fraud lock.

Ms Knighten continues to write that the man standing behind her in the line, Matthew Jackson, offered to pay her grocery bill under the condition she promised to pay it forward to someone else.


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Touched by the kind gesture, Ms Knighten called Mr Jackson’s place of work to inform his boss of what a great employee he is, however was instead hit with the shocking news that he had passed away.

“I hear crying on the other end of the line and my heart sinks.. I just knew something was wrong.. His boss quietly informs me that this incredible human being was in a tragic car accident the very next night and passed away. Not even 24 hours after meeting him.. Gone. Just like that. How? Why? I don’t understand,” Ms Knighten wrote.

In a bid to fulfill her promise to Mr Jackson, Ms Knighten has created a Facebook page called Matthews Legacy, where people are encouraged to help others in need.

READ Ms Knight’s heart-breaking yet touching Facebook post:

Most nights I don’t sleep because I have a 5 month old and a 2 1/2 year old.. If one is sleeping, the other is usually up.. But last night my restlessness didn’t come from my mini-me’s.. The turmoil in my head and heart made it impossible to sleep a wink. I am trying to make sense of something that will never be fully understood.. Even with my strong faith I do have times of great weakness when these things happen.. Maybe it’s a combination of everything happening in the world as a whole or maybe it’s just because this hits so close to home..

Why are the good people of this world taken too soon? Why are the evil ones left to hurt the rest of us?

3 days after flying home to California to surprise Josh, I had had a heck of a time getting Gracie to sleep due to still being on East Coast time. I needed to get groceries and Josh was slammed with some work contract deadlines so I bundled up Wyatt and headed to Trader Joes around 8:30 pm. It was by far the most stressful shopping experience because he was also out of his routine and fighting sleep.

Fast forward to check out at approx 9:45.. I go to pay with Wyatt crying in my arms and realize that I had left my debit card on the kitchen counter. So I scramble and find my Canadian credit card. Swipe… Decline.. Swipe.. Decline.. Check my account on my phone even though I know it’s fine.. Realize that my bank put a anti-fraud hold on it because we were traveling and I forgot to notify them.. My phone then dies before I can attempt to call and have the hold removed.. I am about to ask the young girls at the cash if they can hold my purchase for me so I can go home and get my other card when the gentleman behind me quietly says “May I?”..

I’m overwhelmed and didn’t think I heard him correctly so he repeats “May I? May I take care of your groceries?”.. I stutter and say “Oh, thank you.. How sweet, but no thank you, you don’t have to do that..”. So he calmly repeats himself again.. This time I look at him and he says “I would be glad to take care of your groceries as long as you promise to do it for someone else..” and I came to realize how much it would mean to him if I humbly accepted. So I did. And this complete stranger paid over $200 for my groceries. Thanking him endlessly through my tears I ask his name and where he works before parting ways..

This past week has been a whirlwind with family so yesterday while the babies were asleep I finally had the chance to call his boss. I wanted to let him know how incredible of an employee he has and to find out if I could get his last name to send him a thank you card and small gift..

I hear crying on the other end of the line and my heart sinks.. I just knew something was wrong.. His boss quietly informs me that this incredible human being was in a tragic car accident the very next night and passed away. Not even 24 hours after meeting him.. Gone. Just like that. How? Why? I don’t understand.

He was a year younger than me and engaged to be married. His boss explained to me how amazing this young man was in his every day life and that what he did for me was just who he was as a person.

I still cannot believe it. I thought for sure I would get the chance to see him again, give him a hug and thank him at least once more in person. Now I won’t get that chance, but more importantly no one else will get the chance to meet him. And that breaks my heart.

May you rest in peace Matthew. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I truly hope they know how well they raised you and what impact you’ve had on this world.

So in short.. Live every day to it’s fullest. Do kind things for people. Love with every fiber of your being. Help whenever help is needed. Restore others faith in humanity during this very difficult time in the world.

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