Grieving family grateful for community tribute

A death in a family, the death of a child, leaves a mark forever on the hearts of those who grieve their loss.

The unexpected death of our 7-year-old grandson Bryce on Sept. 21 has changed us in ways we could never have imagined.

The condolences of friends, neighbors, and relatives far and near, the strength of our faith community at St. Paul Lutheran Church, the focus on the children in the St. Paul school community where Bryce attended second grade, the generous provision of meals, the tending of daily tasks on our behalf, the thoughtful memorial tributes of the Peachtree City Lazer Soccer League (a moment of silence before each round of games, orange ribbons on every field and flowers), all reveal so much about the people in our and Bryce’s lives.

What was revealed to us unexpectedly on the day of Bryce’s funeral was the outpouring of respect from so many people of Fayette County that we don’t even know.

As the funeral procession left St. Paul in Peachtree City, Bryce’s immediate family in the front car passed the first Fayette County Sheriff’s officer respectfully standing in front of his car, blocking traffic, at attention with his hat held over his heart.

We turned the corner onto Ardenlee Parkway and saw a line of blue lights flashing – maybe six or seven vehicles led by a motorcycle – and we all agreed at once that Bryce would have loved it!

The motorcade proceeded down Ga. Highway 74 to Peachtree Parkway, down Ga. Highway 54 through Fayetteville, to Camp Memorial Park cemetery.

Countless cars passing in the opposite direction pulled off the road and stopped to pay respect. We saw a gentleman get off his motorcycle and stand at attention, helmet over his heart.

More than one golf cart stopped, not because they had to, and waited on the path for the procession to pass, and it was not a short one.

As each police vehicle, those of Peachtree City, Fayetteville, and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department left the line to block traffic, officers stood tall to pay their respect.

We don’t know any of you by name, but we thank you all, Fayette County, for your tribute to our grandson. You gladdened our hearts on a very difficult day.

Chuck and Linda Anderson

Peachtree City, Ga.