A FATHER has paid tribute to his “charismatic and fun-loving” teenage son this week after his death, aged 17.
Jake Cox took his own life at the Hills and Hollows in July. His death came as a complete shock to his family and friends.
Dad Paul, of London Road, Grantham, said: “He was a free spirit who lived life to the full - a shooting star who burnt out fast.
“He loved to party, was charismatic, vibrant and loved to help others - dedicated to his many friends.
“He was the only person who could turn a sad day into an amazing memory. He radiated joy and happiness and was the life and soul of the party. It was impossible not to have fun when in his company.”
As well as dad, Paul, Jake left behind his brothers Mark, 19, and Luke, 15, and mum Sarah.
The family said they would like to thank Jake’s friends for their “incredible support” over the past weeks.
Paul said: “When everyone found out we had a constant stream of young lads, all in tears, coming to the house.
“For the first three weeks to a month we had a full house but it really helped us a lot - me and Sarah. It felt to us like the whole town was in mourning.
“We’ve always got an open door here and if any one of his friends wants to come round still they are more than welcome.”
Paul visited the Hills and Hollows after his son’s death and was amazed at what he found.
He said: “I plucked up the courage to go and there were 17 bunches of flowers and everyone had left little mementoes. It was like a shrine.
“It was really nice to see to be honest. You could see he must have been giving people little keepsakes for a while.”
Paul remembers Jake having some troubles with bullying, but says he seemed much happier this year.
Recalling the night of Jake’s death, Paul said: “He had a bath, got spruced up and said ‘I’ll see you later, dad’ and that was it.”
He left behind a note saying he “loved everyone on the planet and knew everyone loved him but there was nothing anyone could do”.
Jake loved music, clothes and animals and wanted to work in a zoo one day. He was studying animal care at Brooksby Melton College.
A tree planting is planned for the third week in November at Jake’s grave, along with the installation of a memorial plaque.
Mum and dad also plan a party next year to celebrate Jake’s life.