I have not known what to say to all the support we have received on behalf of Kiera and her family. Kiera's father delivered the following words at the funeral and they capture the family's gratitude and feelings for their daughter.
A good friend told me that, “Everybody tells you that when you have a child your whole world changes. And that you think you know what they mean, but you don’t.”
I was pretty sure I knew what he meant. … I didn’t. Kiera’s birth didn’t just change my world, it created an entirely new world. This world - now had an Angel, and her bedtime was 8:30. This world became brighter and more fascinating. I became a hero, conquering a drain to save a tiny toy Zebra, hugs and kisses were the only reward for such a valiant feat. This world gained magic, where a mommy could be turned into a kitty, rhino, or a dinosaur. And whether we liked it or not – there were going to be unicorns all over the world.
Kiera has a warming spirit, like a campfire at night she would draw anyone close, ensnaring their eyes and attention and preventing anyone from leaving – because the further away you were – the darker the world was.
Kiera drew unmet friends to us. People would strike up conversations with us to spend a few moments with her to increase their joy for that day. Her captivating qualities are many. The most striking to me are her eyes, her love of animals, and the importance of sharing love. She has the most beautiful blue eyes with tiny flecks of gold. I get to see those eyes everyday as they are her mother’s as well. Through Kiera’s love of animals I have learned the difference between leopard and jaguar spots – that peregrine falcons are the fastest creatures, and that a winged unicorn is different than a Pegasus – they are in fact alicorns. The Most captivating and precious of her traits to me is how every parting demands a hug and a kiss, if not a full attack of hugs and kisses. With Kiera, forgetting to show love is never an option.
Many people have mentioned that she is such an enchanting girl and how grateful they were to spend time with her. As her father, I am blessed to have spent most every day with her. I have had the honor or raising this Angel. In Kiera’s short time hear, she has spread more than an entire lifetime of joy. Though Kiera’s passing has shattered the world her birth created for me, the joy of raising her was worth it. My wife and I are going to rebuild this shattered world together. And there will be unicorns - all over this world.
My Faith has taught me that the central goal of this life, and all that we experience, is to have joy and happiness. That there is a plan for happiness. My faith also teaches that families are a very important part of this plan, and that our family bonds can carry through this life and continue. I have learned for myself through some very intimate experiences that this is true. Because of this I do not fear, but look forward to the day when I see Kiera again.
Some things are inherently difficult, if not impossible to say. I do not know how to express the gratitude and thankfulness that my family has at this time. Our world has been turned upside down twice in a matter of days. Once by tragedy, but then by the literal thousands who have joined together in support of Kiera and us, her family.
Old and new friends alike have placed their lives on hold in order to be available if needed. Members of the community have interjected service when they knew that our pride would keep us silent. Acquaintances have given of their talents to help us morn, co-workers have given their time and energy, good Samaritans have given of their resources, old grudges have been set aside, and complete strangers have mourned with us when we stood in need of comforting. Moreover, angels have born us up to endure our burdens. Even the one most precious to me. She has comforted me as I once comforted her.
Many have stated that they “don’t know what to say” or that “words fail them”. What many may not have understood is that their actions to comfort carried more love and concern than words ever could. I won’t mislead anyone and say the agony was not the most crushing. Every parent has imagined the horror of losing a child, and it was more bitter intense than I ever imagined. But you were there to pick us up. You carried us. You comforted us. Words fail me now as I try to express our gratitude to you.
I know I will never be able to convey my heart and thank everyone who has been there for us in this darkest hour and brought us back into the light. But please let the understanding of our community’s collective heart convey the meaning these next words cannot.
We Thank You
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