When a youngster lost her dad, her world was turned upside down. It wasn’t until later that her mother told her what had happened. That conversation inspired the little girl to draw strength from her pain and do something helpful.
Losing a loved one is never easy. No matter how much time passes, some wounds might never heal, leaving behind scars that constantly remind us of what we’ve lost. Grief and trauma can change people most unexpectedly.
Regardless, some people can ride out the storm and repurpose their sorrow, encouraging others to see the silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud. Today’s story is about an exceptionally courageous child, and we hope it will help serve as a beacon of hope and light for people who are going through challenging times.
A CHEERFUL YOUNGSTER
Kyleigh Brunette, 8, lives in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and is not your average youngster. She loves playing sports and spending time with her siblings and family. The little girl comes off as a lively person and a total sweetheart.
Her conversation with her mother encouraged little Kyleigh to do something special for her dad’s birthday on July 9.
However, many people might not know that behind her warm smile is the pain she’s been hiding since late 2019.
Kyleigh was incredibly close to her dad, Jordon Wakefield, who was her partner in disc golf and video games. The daddy-daughter duo loved spending time together and taking long walks to the park. About her father, Kyleigh expressed:
“He was funny and loving and caring for me and he would never, ever yell at me.”
A HEART-RENDING LOSS
In November 2019, Kyleigh’s world came to a halt when her beloved dad died by suicide. But because she was very young then, her mother, Brittany Brunette-Thimmesch, didn’t share the details of what happened. She thought it best to wait for the right time. Brittany shared:
“We didn’t want her to start having those feelings of guilt. So we waited, but we didn’t want to wait too long because we didn’t want her to hear it from someone else.”
SHE WANTED CLOSURE
Brittany, 30, and a sub-secretary for the Sheboygan Area School District, explained that her little girl’s therapist also suggested she talk to Kyleigh and tell her everything before she heard it from someone else.
She was only six years old when she lost her dad, and the heart-wrenching tragedy turned her life upside down. Finally, in 2022, Kyleigh told her mom she wished to know how her father died, and Brittany said she could see how badly her daughter needed closure.
A WONDERFUL INITIATIVE
Eventually, the Wisconsin-based resident sat down with her daughter and shared the details of her father’s death. Her conversation with her mother encouraged little Kyleigh to do something special for her dad’s birthday on July 9.
To honor her beloved dad, the youngster set up a lemonade stand, selling lemonades on July 1 and 8. Brittany revealed that her girl raised $800 for mental health awareness. When asked why she came up with such an initiative, Kyleigh responded:
“We wanted to raise the money in honor of my dad so that no other kid would have to go through losing a parent.”
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
But that wasn’t all. Kyleigh decided to donate all the proceedings to a noble cause and drove to Mental Health America in Sheboygan with the donation money. The youngster shared that she loved helping people and being kind to them; her generous act proved it.
Meanwhile, Brittany was overcome with a myriad of emotions and said she was incredibly proud of her daughter for using her painful experience to be a ray of sunshine for others.
A LITTLE GIRL WITH A BIG HEART
Undoubtedly, it must have taken sheer strength and courage for little Kyleigh to see beyond her pain and support others going through the same circumstances. The Sheboygan girl said she missed her father every day and couldn’t wait to see him again.
Brittany explained that her daughter’s kind gesture was meant to help people who couldn’t afford to seek professional help so that nobody had to go through an unlikely experience. Also, the little girl didn’t want any other child to have to reel from losing a loving parent.
Kyleigh was delighted by the overwhelming response her lemonade stand received and said she planned on doing it annually. What a brave, kind-hearted, and generous little girl she is!
What are your thoughts on this story? Do you think it’s essential to engage in good deeds and reach out to our friends, family, and even strangers in times of need? Please share your comments on Facebook.