RICHARDSON, Texas (CelebrityAccess) Wanda Delle, mother of Jeremy Delle, is speaking out for the first time about her son’s death nearly 30 years ago.
Jeremy is the inspiration for one of Pearl Jam’s most iconic songs of the same name. When Delle was 15 years old, he walked into his English class at Richardson High School in Texas on Jan. 8, 1991, and shot himself in front of a room full of other students.
“That day that he died did not define his life,” Wanda, Jeremy’s mother, recently told ABC affiliate WFAA. “He was a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, a grandson. He was a friend. He was talented.
“I was in my office at work,” Wanda said of the moment she heard of her son’s death. “I didn’t believe it. I was in shock. Not my son. I was going to pick him up that afternoon at school.”
Brittany King, who was in the class at the time, also spoke to WFAA.
“Should I look?” she said. “I remember thinking that. ‘Should I look?’ And I did, I looked. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I looked. And I’ll never forget. I will never forget it.”
The news caught the attention of Pearl Jam. Jeremy had a knack for drawing, winning an award for an art piece he made at age 7. The song “Jeremy” references “At home drawing pictures
Of mountain tops / With him on top.”
“He won first prize at the Texas State Fair,” Wanda said of his talent as an artist. “He won best of shows, and this was all before he was 12 years old.”
“I was angry at them for writing that song,” King said. “I thought, you don’t know. You weren’t there. That story isn’t accurate.”
Wanda began a grief support group at her church a dozen years ago.
If you or anyone you know feels helpless, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).