Americo (Eric) Michael Meredith

Americo (Eric) Michael Meredith

His life mattered

Physically, Eric was a big guy with a booming voice who could lift the heaviest of weights. He was also gentle, loving and kind; a “Big Teddy Bear” who instantly melted around babies, puppies and kittens. A good listener, Eric made friends easily, was in tune with people’s needs and had a kind word for everyone, unless it was hard facts they needed to hear, which he could also deliver lovingly.

As a child, Eric excelled at sports, especially baseball, basketball and hockey. He loved all genres of music and wrote lyrics both alone and with friends. His lyrics were often about addiction and love; his poetry was deep and honest.

In high school, the family took a trip to the Bahamas. They had a riotous time with water slides, pools, and jet skis. They also vacationed every summer at Eric’s grandparents’ beach house in Ocean City, Maryland with family and friends.

Working out and eating well was important to Eric. He searched out articles about nutrition and diet and information on supplements that would help his body. His biggest goal was to compete in a bodybuilding competition and eventually become a certified personal trainer. In addition to working with his dad, John, at his HVAC company, Eric worked at the Vitamin Shoppe, which provided the opportunity to learn more about supplements and nutrition.

Eric loved the challenge of a good workout, but his favorite pass time by far was sharing time with family and friends. He was close to his sister, Nicole. They listened to music together and had great conversations. Though there was a significant age gap, his friends and hers all hung out together with Nicole and Eric. The love of Eric’s life was his daughter Gianna, now six. He adored her and loved being a daddy. He spent significant time holding her and bragging about her beauty, but sadly, he passed away when Gianna was only 4 ½ months old.

When Eric was in active addiction, he slowly changed. He lost confidence in himself, and carried a lot of guilt because of things he did while in addiction. Manipulation became a survival skill for him. His family saw him change from the most amazing human to a shell of his former self. “Losing Eric turned the world upside down for me and his father,” his mother, Doriane stated. “You slowly start putting the shattered pieces back together, but you can’t because one piece of the puzzle is gone forever. Nothing is the same.”

“I don’t think anyone understands the “TRUTHS” about addiction until you have lived them,” Doriane said. “It has definitely changed me and pushed me to be an advocate, I want to educate people on the disease of addiction. The sick and suffering need to know they are loved and they matter. They are not their disease.”

Eric was the biggest hugger ever, being enveloped in his embrace made others feel safe and heard. That, along with his laughter, conversations, phone calls and texts are what is missed most by his mom. She said, “There will forever be a hole where Eric should be.”

Americo’s mother, Doriane Renzi, provided the information for this narrative.

January 22, 1992-March 31, 2017

Portrait Artist: Theresa Clower

Narrative Writer: Barbara Francois

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