When someone we love dies, we experience all kinds of emotions. Grief, anger, sadness, and helplessness are just some of the feelings that spring up as we begin to navigate life without that person.
That’s one reason we hold funerals — to deal with these emotions while we celebrate the life that was. So imagine not being able to afford such a send-off, like the family in this story.
A Boy and His Uncle
Ten-year-old Daniel Crase and his Uncle Brian were really close. Not only did they share a bond, but they were best friends. Uncle Brian was also a father figure to the child, who was raised by his grandmother, Brenda Crase.
So when Uncle Brian died suddenly of a heart attack, Daniel wanted to do what he could to give the man a proper funeral. Because as it turned out, Brian didn’t have insurance, and the family didn’t have a lot of extra money to go around.
“They were basketball players, they were game players, they were everything,” Brenda recalled to ABC 5 News. “He said, ‘Nana, I want to raise money for my Uncle Brian.’ I said, ‘Baby, I don’t know how to do that.’ He said, ‘I do.’”
A Mission to Raise Funds
Daniel’s first plan to raise money involved hosting a yard sale and selling his toys. So he set it all up in front of his grandmother’s home in Muldrow, Oklahoma. Unfortunately, not many people came.
“It didn’t work, so he said, ‘Take me to the Quick Way because I’m going to raise money for my Uncle Brian because that’s what I need to do Nana,’” Brenda added.
At the gas station, Daniel sat outside with a photo of his uncle and tried to sell his toys for three days. By the time the news outlet reported on the story, he had raised $700 of his $5,000 goal.
“It made my heart feel good because I know that I raised my baby the right way,” Brenda said.
A Community Rises to the Occasion
Following the news report, local residents and even others around the country stepped in to help. They made donations directly to the funeral home and to a bank account that was specifically set up for the burial. One person even donated a headstone.
In about a week, the Crase family had enough money to give their beloved uncle the funeral he deserved. It was a tough day, but the family felt good about having the opportunity to finally celebrate the life that had meant so much to them.
“It’s unexplainable. I can’t explain it, how I feel. Because it’s a miracle,” Brenda said in a follow-up story on ABC 5 News.
“I want to thank and praise everyone from the bottom of my heart,” added Daniel.
Coming Together to Face Grief
Losing someone is never easy. In fact, it’s probably one of the hardest things any of us have to deal with as humans. It’s why we try to make the most of the time we do have together and to appreciate what we have while we have it.
But this story reminds us that when you are grieving, having a community rally around you is a powerful thing. It can make you feel supported and less alone, giving you the strength to get through a difficult time.
Be there for the ones you love, and support others when you see they need your support. Donate on behalf of someone’s memory, help a family in need if they’re trying to raise funeral costs, or offer support in any other way that you see fit.
Grief is a lonely but universal experience, and it’s what we would want others to do for us in our time of need, too.
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