Toddler Wears Dress Covered in Photos of Late Brother to His Funeral


If you have kids, you understand the feelings of pure joy and sacrifice that come when they are born. You see their tiny faces and instantly feel the world disappear around you because your purpose is suddenly so much bigger.

And when a child suddenly becomes a brand new older brother or older sister, the world is so much brighter as they realize they have become role models for an adorable, tiny human.

A perfect and heartwarming example of this was when 6-year-old Mikey Marotta held his baby brother Jake for the first time. Little baby Jake was considered a “rainbow baby,” a baby born after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Mikey cradles the baby against his chest with his eyes shut tight as he has a sweet, gentle and satisfied smile across his face. After waiting for so long, he finally got to experience that special big brother-little brother bond.

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It is quite evident why losing a baby is so devastating and heartbreaking for parents and their other children. Most often, it is an incredibly earth-shattering experience.

Blackpool, England, residents Jasmine McCaffrey and Kyle Barton were pregnant with their second child when they learned at their 20-week scan that their unborn son would be born with only half a heart. In other words, he would only have a 50 percent chance to live, according to Irish Daily Mirror.

At the time the young couple, along with their 18-month-old daughter named Hallie-Mae, decided to take that chance at survival for little Lucas-Jay.

When Lucas-Jay was born on Feb. 20, 2018, he endured a cardiac arrest at just one hour old. Although he still had a chance at life, he passed away at nine hours old.

This tragic experience was truly devastating for little Lucas-Jay’s parents, but they did have a rock during the entire process — little Hallie-Mae.

Hallie-Mae, although she was so young at the time of Lucas-Jay’s death, still remembers and understands the bond she had with her little brother. She was able to spend two hours with him before he passed away.

“It’s been the hardest year of our lives, without our daughter I don’t know how we would have gotten through it, she really has been our rock,” McCaffrey said.

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Hallie-Mae understands what happened to her brother but continues to be a ray of light and positivity to her grieving parents.

“She hasn’t been affected by it because we try to remain as positive as we can when we’re around her, even though we’re upset she hardly sees that she just sees the love we have for him and that’s really rubbed off on her too,” McCaffrey said.

“If we ask where Lucas is she’ll just instantly point to his shelf in our living room.”

She loves little Lucas-Jay so immensely that she even wore a frilly dress on the day of his funeral covered in pictures to remember her little brother, just like the blanket that she cuddles with all the time.

“She wore the dress with pride because she knew that it was her little baby brother,” McCaffrey said.

“She loved how frilly it was and she kept point to his photos saying ‘aw baby!’ And even went to give his photo a kiss.”

“They both have a bond like no other.”

It is incredibly uplifting to see the positivity that this little girl radiates in a time of grief.

Our prayers go out for Lucas-Jay’s parents and family as they mourn their loss.

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Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a major in English, minors in both Writing and Communication Studies, and a Technical Writing concentration. She is currently working on designing and writing a book of poetry to financially support a new homeless ministry of Grove City, PA called Beloved Mercy Ministry. In her spare time, she loves to sing, play piano, exercise, traverse cities, and find the cutest coffee shops. She also has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Philadelphia, PA
Scholarship of Academic Achievement and Moral Character
Grove City College
Grove City, PA
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
Visual Design, Document Design, Technical Communication, Literature, Computer Ethics