GREER McDONALD - The Dominion Post | Saturday, 22 November 2008
Words made famous by Christopher Robin in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories resonated with a crowd of hundreds that gathered to celebrate the life of tiny battler Kyah Milne.
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember - you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you."
Kyah died peacefully at home on Wednesday, aged "almost three", after a 16-month fight against neuroblastoma, a rare cancer of the adrenal glands.
Friends and family who gathered at Lychgate Chapel in Johnsonville yesterday listened to a recording of Kyah's 12-year-old brother Kaleb, who recited passages from books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Hairy Maclary.
Kyah's small white coffin, covered in sparkly stickers, was carried into the chapel by family members to the sound of Scottish pipes.
Celebrant Karen Simpson, who took the marriage service of Kyah's parents Shanell Christian and Jason Milne, spoke of Kyah's short but memorable life - "Defying the odds at every turn, hand-in-hand with her trusty companion 'Raffe [Giraffe].
"We remember Kyah for her indomitable spirit, her determination and for the things that she has taught us to value - love, laughter and life."
Kaleb read a poem he had written for his baby sister, and Child Cancer Foundation staff presented the family with bright pink sparkly scarves.
Members of Kyah's playgroup sang her favourite song "Ka Kite [Farewell]" while a slideshow of photos was shown.