LIVING

Matthew Jackson Paid Stranger's Grocery Bill Day Before His Death

12/01/2015 01:08 EST | Updated 12/01/2015 01:59 EST

An Ontario woman is urging others to do good after being on the receiving end of a stranger's goodwill gesture — the day before he suddenly passed away.

Jamie-Lynne Knighten, an Ontario native who lives in Carlsbad, Calif, was at a grocery store Nov. 10 when a stranger stepped in to pay her $200 bill, according to Global News.

She told the L.A. Times that her trip to Trader Joe's was stressful — her five month old wouldn't calm down — but it got worse when she realized she had left her debit card at home, and her credit card was declined.

Then a stranger — later identified as 28-year-old Matthew Jackson — asked if he could pay. Knighten refused, but he insisted. When she realized that he really wanted to help, she agreed. He only asked that she pay it forward.

"It just felt like this huge hug, this great big bear hug," she told the newspaper.

"His boss explained to me how amazing this young man was in his every day life and that what he did for me was just who he was as a person."

Through tears, she found out he worked nearby at a gym.

About a week later, she called Jackson's boss to sing the employee's praises.

"I hear crying on the other end of the line and my heart sinks.. I just knew something was wrong," Knighten wrote on Facebook.

Paying it forward

According to Global, Jackson died in a car accident less than 24 hours after his gesture at the grocery store.

"He was a year younger than me and engaged to be married. His boss explained to me how amazing this young man was in his every day life and that what he did for me was just who he was as a person," Knighten wrote.

She is now encouraging others to pay it forward through a Facebook page and the hashtag #MatthewsLegacy.

“This is what the world needs to hear this is what I want my kids to see. I want my kids to recognize that there are still really really good people out there.”

However, Jackson's good deed is already coming full circle. According to the L.A. Times, Jackson's sister and brother-in-law stopped at a restaurant on the way to his memorial service, and when they went to pay the bill, they found out someone had already covered it.

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