It was a tragic, horrific accident that stunned the nation. On Sunday, 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was enjoying a day at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City when he was decapitated on the newly-opened Verruckt water slide. It was the stuff of nightmares for anyone who read about it... but most especially his parents. And while thoughtful, caring people are looking for ways to mourn the tragedy, it's important to remember that Caleb Schwab's funeral deserves privacy. Because his family must be struggling to come to terms with the loss of their son, and it would be hard enough to do without the added stress of public scrutiny.
The ride that took Caleb Schwab's life, the Verruckt water slide (named after the German word for "insane"), markets itself as the "tallest water slide in the world" at 168-feet-tall. Caleb, who is the son of Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab and wife Michele, was on the ride with two unrelated adult females who only suffered minor injuries. Witnesses who were at the park that day reported that Caleb was hurled out of his raft and into the safety netting surrounding the slide after his seat belt came undone; he died of his catastrophic injuries. The accident is still under investigation.
A growing memorial for Caleb Schwab started last night at the entrance to Schlitterbahn. pic.twitter.com/gB3UhLuzog— Brian Abel (@BrianAbelTV) August 10, 2016
Since his death, hundreds of people have taken to social media to show their support for Caleb's parents. A GoFundMe account was set up by family friend and Caleb's Bible School teacher Michael Persaud to help offset the funeral costs for the Schwab family, and their goal of $15,000 was surpassed in just over a day. Donations have now closed at just over $34,000.
GoFundMe set up for Caleb Schwab's funeral expenses has raised double its goal in just 1 day: https://t.co/cXSBcRzMIJ— Lisa D'Souza (@Lisa__DSouza) August 9, 2016
Caleb's father Scott Schwab wrote a message on the GoFundMe page, thanking supporters and talking about his son.
The Schwab family are active members of the Life Mission Church, and lead pastor Clint Sprague spoke to The Kansas City Star about the Caleb Schwab he remembers.
The memorial service for Caleb will be held Friday at Life Mission Church. And while the Schwab family mourns their son, hopefully they will take comfort in the people who have rallied around them for support.
And hopefully, they will be able to put their son to rest in private as they deserve.