Jefrey Scott Cameron EAST BARRE — Jefrey Scott Cameron, 29, peacefully lost his battle with addiction on June 5, 2020. Born on Feb. 12, 1991, to Tara Reil and Bill Cameron and his second dad, Terry Reil, Jefrey came into this world a free spirit and that trait would remain with him and define him throughout his entire life. He lived his life to the fullest. Jef’s soul was beautiful, a heart big enough to love all, as it was pure and open. He filled our hearts with love. Drugs may have ended Jefrey’s life, but not his story. We do not want Jefrey to be remembered or defined by his addiction or his death. He would have wanted us to share his story in the hopes it would help someone struggling with addiction. As his parents, we can only hope it offers something to those struggling to support an addicted loved one. We pray his story will save lives and spare families from the same loss we are enduring. Jefrey started down the road to addiction after breaking his kneecap at the end of his senior year of high school. He learned how to get the quickest high from the pain meds he had been prescribed. We first learned of his addiction to heroin in the fall of 2013. With support from his family, he courageously quit heroin on his own and was able to maintain his sobriety for some time. Jef’s addiction to heroin returned with a vengeance. The heroin showed no mercy to him. Even two overdoses with near-death experiences were not enough to break the stranglehold heroin had on him. Late in 2016, in the middle of a grocery store, he confided in Mom that he was ready for rehab and treatment. He successfully completed the treatment program at Phoenix House in Keene, New Hampshire. He really wanted to return home but knew it would be nearly impossible to maintain sobriety there. Jef made the difficult decision to move to Brattleboro and live in the Phoenix Sober Living House. The Brattleboro community embraced him and within the first week, he landed a job at The Works Cafe. He made two great friends during his time in Brattleboro, who embraced our son and welcomed him into their home. Jef continued to miss his family, as we missed him, and he made the difficult decision to move home. Although he was happy to be back, the struggle of being in a community where heroin was easily accessible was an everyday challenge for him. He knew a Suboxone treatment program would be helpful to maintain sobriety. The Suboxone offered a security net to Jef and his family. In the fall of 2019, he felt as though he had his addiction under control and made the decision to no longer take Suboxone. He believed he was a “smart user” and could detect if it was fentanyl-laced heroin, “Mom, I know how to use safely.” From that decision on, his use waxed and waned. The week Jef passed, there were signs he was using regularly. I knew we would need to sit down as a family and encourage him to again seek help to conquer his addiction. Unfortunately, he passed before we were able to have that talk. Though he did well and won many battles, his addiction won the war. Our two biggest fears had come to be: our son was taken from us by his addiction, and it would be his grandmother who would find him. Jefrey was always willing to talk to us about his struggle with drugs. He was honest about every aspect and would always say “I love the drug; I hate the addiction.” It was difficult for him to tell us he was using but when confronted, he would always own his use. He hated worrying his family. He was a pleaser so to know how much we worried, made him feel he was a burden on us. Jef was never a burden: he was our son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend. Although addictions can tear families apart, we stood united with Jefrey, providing support and love at every level. Jef knew he could rely on each one of us to help fight this battle and that we would all go to the ends of earth to protect, love and support him - he would do the same for all of us. We held no judgement or shame. We never asked Jef to choose the drug or his family. We knew he never chose the drug over family; he would always choose family first. The drug chose him and was not willing to let go. He told us that heroin made him feel whole, it filled every void that he felt. This all speaks to who Jefrey was. He loved us and respected us and absolutely knew we all loved him. He hated feeling that he disappointed us, and he hated being an addict. We are not defined by our darkest moments. We are defined by the mark we leave on this world. Jefrey, known to his family and friends as Jefrey, Jef, Jefé, Jef..fa..fa or Jiffy, was larger than life, a true people-person. To know him was to love him and be loved by him. He was a loyal friend - no matter if you knew him for five minutes or a lifetime. If he thought you were sad, mad or hurt, he would do anything to make your day better and put a smile on your face. It was easy for him to do. He had the most infectious smile and the brightest green eyes; both would just turn you to mush. He genuinely cared for everyone. His brother described this to be one of his best qualities. Jef also would never accept anyone being mad at him and would always find the quickest path to resolve the issue. The restaurant business truly was Jefrey's passion and life’s calling. He loved talking with the customers and dreamed of opening his own restaurant one day. We know he would have been successful. He enjoyed cooking, creating new recipes, and doing everything he could to persuade the owner to put it on the menu. He loved to feed his family and friends. Jefrey worked at Basil's Pizzeria and bragged about perfecting his pizza making skills. It was not uncommon for friends and loved ones to have a message written inside the pizza box cover when ordering from Basil's. We will miss those messages Jefrey sent us. Basil’s was Jef’s second family and he felt at home with all who worked there. The owner gave Jef a second chance, when many others would not have, and he was most grateful for that second chance. Jefrey was too big for this world, he could not be contained. From day one, Jef lived a life that was his. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. He had a curiosity for life and wanted to experience all that it had to offer. We will always remember him as a loving, caring, funny, smart person. Jef truly was a beacon of light that would shine brightly, especially to those he loved. He prided himself on helping family, friends and strangers. It was important to him to make others feel good. Helping and loving all people was a part of who he was. Jef enjoyed spending time with his family, he loved nature and the outdoors, hiking around the quarries, Camels Hump and the Hellbrook trail on Mount Mansfield. He especially loved and was at peace when vacationing at the ocean. At the beach, he loved spotting marine life, and would spend hours combing the beach for treasure, shells and shark teeth. He was like a child on Christmas day when he showed all that he had found. The beach always brought out Jef’s inner child. He embraced that inner child and it was one of our most favorite qualities that Jefrey shared with us. His brother loved that he could do anything, he was a jack of all trades. His sister loved that he especially enjoyed anything that involved spending time together. Jef loved nature and animals. He always found the injured animals and would care for them until they could safely return back to the wild. It seemed as if wildlife sought him out, be it raccoons, birds, turtles, snakes or the chicken that followed him to his work. It was his gentle soul that attracted all creatures. Jef also enjoyed hunting and fishing with his family and was always at ease and a natural in the woods. Other than family and friends, Jef had three treasures that meant everything to him: Lucy his snake, his worn-out work boots, and his Subaru. His Subaru was his true pride and joy. Jefrey had many friends and he cared for each one of them. The amount of people who are affected by his death is a true testament to who he really was. It was Jef’s large personality, his gentle soul, the love he gave and the love he received, that defined him. He will always be remembered for his big smile, the way his eyes lit up, the great hugs and his killer smirk. We will miss his positivity as he always found the best in people and always tried to find the positive in any situation. We lost a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend far too soon. We will miss him every day for the rest of our lives. The pain of his death is heartbreaking and intolerable. The generous amount of love he gave to all of us, in time, will mend our broken hearts. The 29 years of memories we hold near to our hearts will help fill the giant void his death has left in our lives. We will always hear the whisper of his voice offering us words of kindness, encouragement and love. Earth was not large enough to contain his larger than life personality. His loyalty, friendship, love and memories will live on forever. “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” Jefrey is survived by his parents, Tara and Terry Reil and Bill and Kris Cameron; his sister, Addison Reil; his brothers, Tyler Cameron, Brockton Cameron and wife Niketha, Tanner Cameron, Hayden Reil, Zayden Cameron, Conrad Wells and Donovan Wells; his grandparents, Becky Jones (Gram), Dove Cogen and John Reil; his Aunt Becki and Uncle Dave, cousins Connor and Carson; Uncle Joe and Aunt Jeanine, cousins Bryce and Wyatt; Uncle Rod and Aunt Jennie, cousins Philip and Theo; as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins from his blended families. He was predeceased by his great-grandparents, Howard and Elizabeth Munn; his grandparents, Enoch and Elizabeth Cameron, Arthur Jones and David Cogen; and his cousin, Carter Lew. Please join us as we celebrate Jefrey's life on Saturday, July 18, 2020, at 11 a.m., in the St. Sylvester Cemetery in Barre Town. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to https://jennaspromise.org. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please be assured there are resources that can help and people who care. It’s not too late to ask for help. Please don’t keep silent for fear of risking a friendship - you may end up losing a friend: https://vthelplink.org. Arrangements by Hooker Whitcomb Funeral Home, 7 Academy St., Barre. For a memorial guestbook, visit www.hookerwhitcomb.com.