Family and friends of Jeffrey Bush gathered Friday for a vigil at the site of the sinkhole in Seffner that swallowed and killed the 37-year-old one year ago.
Bush's loved ones shared hugs and tears as they laid flowers and candles at the base of a tombstone bearing his name; it sits on the edge of an empty field where three homes used to stand.
"It's still hard to deal with," said Jeremy Bush, the victim's brother. "It's hard to explain. Unless you go through it, it's hard to explain how you're feeling, what's really going on, but it's tearing us all apart."
Jeremy Bush was also in the home on Faithway Drive last year when the sinkhole opened up underneath Jeffrey's bedroom. Jeremy tried desperately to save his brother, but the rubble eventually buried him.
Jeffrey's body was never recovered and his brother said that's the hardest part.
"We will never have any closure," he said. "My brother, [he's] behind a fence. It's as close as we can get to him. He didn't haven a proper burial or nothing for him and it really hurts."
Hillsborough County Deputy Douglas Duvall joined those paying their respects; he was among the first responders to the scene after the crater opened.
"If you can imagine the Earth growling like a beast," he said, describing the sound of the hole expanding. "I drive by this property just about every night that I come to work. It's just one of those things that we do. It's kind of surreal."
A plan is in the works for the future of the property. The county would like to take it over, reinforce the ground and turn it into a green space with a memorial dedicated to Jeffrey Bush.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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