By Greg Argos

PENNSVILLE, N.J. (CBS) — More than 100 people gathered Thursday night to remember 17-year-old Madison Sparrow, who Delaware State Police say was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

“Tonight’s gathering is a journey,” said Madison’s grandfather, Tom Mason.

That journey is one that not a single person wishes they were on, remembering 17-year-old Madison.

“This is a 17-year-old girl who is absolutely beautiful and you’re thinking about the shortness of life,” Mason said.

Delaware State Police say 19-year-old Noah Sharp, Madison’s ex-boyfriend, killed her late last week in New Castle County, Delaware.

Now, across the river in Pennsville, New Jersey, where Madison’s grandfather lives and teaches, hundreds gathered to pay their respects and pray for the family.

“It’s hard for a parent to lose a child, but outliving your grandchild, it’s even worse,” Evelyn Borden said.

“Even though it was one of the most terrible traumas that’s ever happened, just to see everybody comes together, warms my heart,” Navell Lee said.

Many of the folks who gathered here tonight did not know Madison personally. They knew her grandfather, who they say is a pillar in this community and someone who of course, misses his granddaughter oh so dearly.

“I will miss her energy and her smile. Her brightness of her,” Mason said.

But knowing she’s no longer in pain and watching from above, Mason says, brings him immense comfort.

“My granddaughter was a bright light. She is now with our Lord in heaven,” Mason said.