Tears as family and friends say goodbye to superhero Gavin
Pride, love and grief infused powerful words spoken by the father of 'Super Gavin' at the little boy's funeral yesterday.
John Glynn told a crowded church his four-year-old son Gavin, who loved Superman, had "immense superpowers" of strength and courage in fighting cancer.
Hundreds of red, blue and yellow balloons bobbed and danced in the breeze at the entrance of Saint Patrick's Church in Greystones, Co Wicklow, where his white coffin was bedecked in Superman colours and the word 'SUPERGAVIN.'
Yellow ribbons were worn by hundreds of mourners showing solidarity with cancer patients.
The little boy died at home on Tuesday after a three-year fight against a rare form of the disease. Gavin captured the hearts of the nation as his family and legions of supporters raised €350,000 for advanced surgery in the US in July. But he became ill again last month.
The overflowing congregation heard the grieving father speak of how the community and the nation helped give his little boy "the best chance to beat this horrible disease."
He said little Gavin was "an absolute inspiration" whose courage and strength in battling his illness were "out of this world."
"He just battled every single day for three years but he smiled and laughed ….and gave us joy," he said.
Gavin gave his family and others his power and his strength "and we realise it was all about love," he added.
He said he intends to continue Gavin's legacy of love, happiness and help to the sick.
"That's my job now, that's Gavin's legacy," he declared.
He praised his children Conor and Lucy who "stood by Gavin's bedside every single time he needed them."
Gavin's mother Jayne read aloud a heart-rending poem which began: "If before you were born, I could have gone to heaven and saw all the beautiful souls, I still would have chosen you."
Rector of Greystones Rev David Mungavin said Gavin's rollercoaster life "inspired so many across the country and beyond, bringing community and family together."
Stirring musical notes of the 'Superman' theme were sounded by five members of the Garda Band as the coffin was brought into the church.
A Garda cap rested on his coffin. And as Gavin was carried from the church to his last resting place at Redford cemetery outside the town, hundreds of balloons floated into the sky.