Thursday 27 April 2017

Frozen-themed farewell as tragic Alexandra (5) laid to rest

Family members carry the coffin of Alexandra Costa-Burke at her funeral at Kilmallock Church in Limerick
Family members carry the coffin of Alexandra Costa-Burke at her funeral at Kilmallock Church in Limerick
Funeral in Kilmallock Church of Alexandra Costa-Burke, 5, who died of rare cancer.
Alexandra Costa-Burke

A little girl who died from a rare form of cancer was buried in a Frozen-themed coffin this week.

Hundreds of people turned out to say a final farewell to "sweet princess" Alexandra Costa-Burke, who was obsessed with the Disney animated film Frozen.

Alexandra (5) idolised Elsa, the magical snow queen from the fantasy film.

"She must have watched it around a thousand times. She had the song Let it Go off to a tee," said her mum Tracy.

She was laid to rest in Effin Cemetery in Co Limerick wearing her Elsa dress, surrounded by her Elsa and Anna dolls, her music box, and all her teddies with her rosary beads in her hands.

Even her small white coffin was decorated with her favourite characters from the film.

Custom-made in Dublin, the blue and white coffin was tastefully adorned with the friendly faces of Frozen's Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Hans.

At the start of Monday's funeral Mass at St Peter and St Paul's Church in Kilmallock, Alexandra's younger sister Vanessa (4) walked up the aisle holding Alexandra's Elsa doll before presenting it to the awaiting clergy.

"Vanessa knows she had a pain and it couldn't go away," Tracy explained.

Alexandra was diagnosed as a baby with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that forms in the soft tissues and can attack all parts of the body. She passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family at the Children's Ark and Sunshine Ward at University Hospital Limerick.

"The sense of relief that she is out of pain is unbelievable. She went through too much," said her mum.

As her coffin was lowered into the soil of Effin Cemetery children released Frozen balloons into the clouds.

"Look, my balloon went higher than everyone else's," said young Vanessa.

Her big sister had taken her seat in the sky.

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