Tjerd’s neighbor is In rags She jumped for Perry and Renate, both of whom receive social assistance. He talks about the grief that befell his downstairs neighbors and the misery they subsequently faced due to funeral costs. “I have a good relationship with them. They are people whose hearts are in the right place.” On November 16, Tjerd received a horrific phone call from his neighbor Renate: Kylie was dead.
The girl was sick. Chicken pox. She was groggy and had a fever. In the evening, the parents put her to bed, says Tjerd. “At three-thirty in the morning, they heard a strange noise and immediately grabbed her. At that moment, she took her last breath.” Father Perry revived her, but to no avail. The trauma helicopter and all emergency services were no longer able to do anything for the girl.
The doctor believed that chickenpox combined with a serious infection, pneumonia and possibly meningitis would have been fatal to her. “An extraordinary combination of circumstances and stupid bad luck,” says Tjerd.
After the phone call in which he heard the news, he immediately went to his neighbors. He found deep sadness. Kylie, who is usually full of energy, lies quietly on the sofa. “She was completely pale and cold. What can you say? Nothing at all. I was hugging her father and mother.”
Now, more than a month later, Tjerd can still be found with them almost every day. “They are a wreck. Their two older sons are also having a hard time with it. The whole house is full of cuddly toys, and in one corner they have a memorial place with pictures.”
After the girl died, a funeral had to be arranged. Kylie’s parents live on welfare, Tjerd says. “Fortunately, the school wanted to help. This is very special. It was also a huge hit. The teachers said she was always cheerful. Whenever they had a day off, Kylie would make them happy again.”
Thanks to the school’s help, it was a private funeral that lasted more than three hours, Tjerd says. “She was lying in a beautiful pink coffin, and there was a lot of music and beautiful speeches.”
Kylie ended up in a humble baby’s grave, because her parents didn’t have the money for extras. “Her father comes from the camp. They love the splendor and grandeur there, and that’s just their culture. They only feel a little peace when the grave becomes really beautiful.”
This requires money, 15,000 euros to be exact. “Then it could become a beautiful tomb with a big marble stone and a marble angel on it,” says Tjerd. He didn’t think twice and decided to collect money for his neighbors. “You only do it when you see the sadness of these people.”
They advised him to create crowdfunding, so he did. The purpose of the event It’s still a long way off, but Tjerd hopes he can cheer up the parents a little before Christmas. “It won’t bring Kylie back, but it could give them a lot of relief.”
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), a funeral costs on average €7,500. If there is no funeral insurance, surviving relatives must pay funeral costs.
Deceased adults who have no money are given a “technical cremation,” says funeral director Diana Griffix. “This is very austere and no one is allowed to be there.” She would never do that to children. “Then I would pass my hand over my heart a little sooner. It is not right for parents to bury their children. The least you can do is give them a dignified funeral.”
She finds that friends or acquaintances often help when there is not enough money. It sometimes happens that a crowdfunding campaign is created when someone dies, as in Kylie’s case. If there are any special wishes for the grave, you must also pay for them yourself.
“Travel enthusiast. Alcohol lover. Friendly entrepreneur. Coffeeaholic. Award-winning writer.”