Went to a funeral today for the daughter of some friends. She was only 8-years-old and passed after a three year battle with an unexpected genetic disorder. She was a totally normal adorable little girl heading into kindergarten in the fall of 2007. School started and she just didn’t seem like herself with some behavior and then coordination issues. Her parents thought school was too overwhelming for her and that was the root of the problems. Doctors told them otherwise with their diagnosis. A long-shot invasive medical procedure didn’t work and the parents opted to not try it again and just enjoy the time they had left. Many of her abilities left her in the past 3 years, but she continued to smile every day. Her little brother and sister enjoyed her quiet presence and would constantly play in her room.
We all knew the end could be any time, but when it did happen this last weekend, it was still painful. Little one will be perfect again in her new place, but there is an empty place now in her home and her family’s routines.
My kids came to the funeral with me and my wife. We had all been friends before, during, and now after the illness. My children knew this day would come, but we wondered how they would feel about it. We lost another little friend last year unexpectedly, so have been through this before. My son is 8 and has seen two of his friends leave too soon. Photos from previous play dates and events have two smiling faces we won’t get to see anymore. My guy will be OK, but I can’t imagine all that goes through his mind.
Watching little one’s dad at the end of the funeral was very emotional for me. Amazing Grace was the musical finale playing, and seeing him cry while comforting his other two kids was remarkable. He’s a great dad and husband and I hope and pray for healing and peace for them all.