Less than one week ago, 2-year-old Lane Graves died at a Walt Disney World resort after being attacked by an alligator. (Lane was wading in ankle-deep water at the Seven Seas Lagoon when the gator grabbed hold and dragged the young boy beneath the surface). And I've got to be honest with y'all: when I heard about the attack — and, later, the discovery of his body — my heart broke because I too am a mother: the mother of a 2-year-old child. I cannot imagine what his family is going through. I cannot imagine the grief they are feeling. But when I read Lane Graves' obituary, my heart sank yet again. Because while it is brief and to the point, the dates speak volumes.
The gravity of how short this young boys life was becomes apparent, according to Tributes.com:
Lane was born on September 3, 2013 and passed away on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.
Let me restate that: born 2013. Died 2016. Just a few months before his third birthday — the birthday his parents were probably already thinking about (and, perhaps, planning). And that thought is gut-wrenching.
The obituary went on to share vigil information and mass times, and it also included information about where and when Lane would be buried, but those dates detailing his life and death are haunting. They are a painful reminder of a life cut short all too soon.
On Saturday, Lane’s father — Matt Graves — released a statement, according to Omaha.com:
Melissa and I continue to deal with the loss of our beloved boy, Lane, and are overwhelmed with the support and love we have received from family and friends in our community as well as from around the country. We understand the public’s interest, but as we move forward this weekend, we ask for and appreciate the privacy we need to lay our son to rest.
Matt also said that neither him nor Melissa, his wife — and Lane's mother — would be speaking publicly:
We simply cannot at this time.
Lane is survived by his father, Matt; his mother, Melissa; his sister, Ella; his grandparents, Thomas and Candace Graves, and Kathleen Karm and Ronald Karm; his great-grandparents Bonnie German and Basil and Marie Karm; and numerous other relatives.
The family is requesting that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the St. Patrick Catholic Church in Elkhorn, Nebraska. And, according to People, the Omaha Community Foundation is accepting donations on behalf of the Graves family.