Family farewells brave toddler
DANCING in the church aisle followed Indianna Allen’s casket at the end of her funeral yesterday as the community gathered to farewell and celebrate the toddler who the family said was a “ray of sunshine,” right until the end.
Members of Indi’s family danced along to Beyonce’s Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it), a personal favourite of Indi’s, as it played while her casket was carried from the church.
Little Indy lost her fight for life last Saturday when she passed away at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, she was waiting for a life-saving liver transplant.
Yesterday’s ceremony at the Riverside Church, South Grafton was a mix of emotions for the over 150 people who attended; while there was grief for a young life cut tragically short there was also fond laughter and a celebration of Indy’s brave spirit and her ability to brighten the lives of those around her.
Among the tributes from family and friends at the ceremony were moving letters written by Indi’s parents, Peter and Angela, addressed to her in heaven.
“I’m writing this letter and thinking of you; I’m so proud to be your mum,” Mrs Allen said.
“You have so few words but you say so much through your smile and the touch of your hand.”
“If I had a liver for every time someone said you were gorgeous, I’d have enough to heal all the sick children in the world.”
Mrs Allen said she admired Indy’s strength, passion and drive and said she would spend the rest of her life continuing to learn lessons from the brave example Indi set.
“I will choose to feel the love that you have given me, to fill my life with happiness, smiles, hugs, cheekiness, dancing, singing and kisses”
“People always say there are two certain things in life; death and taxes but Indy, you gave me three, you could always make me smile.”
Indy’s father, Peter said he admired Indy’s calm, brave spirit in the face of her illness.
“You were so strong, you never once complained,” Mr Allen said.
“You touched so many people in such a small time; your fighting spirit will never die, I love you so much Indi,” Mr Allen said.
There was also a moving tribute from Indi’s Grandfather who fondly recalled the toddler’s particular love of the book Green Eggs and Ham by Doctor Seuss.
“Her favourite book was Green Eggs and Ham, not once but over and over she would want me to read it to her,” he said.
“She would bring the book to me and say ‘up – oo’ the reason she got the ‘oo’ was that every time I lifted her up, I went ‘oo.’”
“Indi will be in our hearts forever.”
A video of Indy dancing along to Single Ladies was also shown which was met with a mixture of fond laughter and tears as the toddler bounced and whirled around to the music in a manner defying her sickness; a testament to her brave passionate spirit.
Pastor Greg Holder of the Riverside Church and founder of the Indianna Allen Appeal said it had been an honour to accompany the Allen Family through Indy’s Journey; he also thanked the people who were in attendance for their support.
“It’s been a privilege to walk this journey with Indy and her family,” he said.
“Your presence here today shows real heart in the community, a fundamental desire to do good for others.”
At the conclusion of the service, a white dove was released outside the church in memory of Indy; the toddler who had touched the hearts and minds of so many in the community.
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