A Newtown family have told Anderson Cooper on CNN how they drew their daughter’s favorite things on her coffin in an effort to come to terms with their pain.
The brave parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School victim Grace McDonnell opened their hearts to CNN on their tragic loss.
Little Grace was one of 20 pupils and six others killed when Adam Lanza opened fire in Connecticut last Friday.
Explaining to CNN host Anderson Cooper how their daughter loved to paint, they outlined the sad funeral home gesture.
“You felt like the floor was falling beneath you,” Lynn McDonnell said when explaining her first look at the little white coffin in the undertaker’s.
The Daily Mail website reports how the coffin became a canvas when Lynn, husband Chris, and their surviving son Jack took out the Sharpie markers they had brought with them and began drawing all of Grace’s favorite things.
Lynn added: “By the time we were done, it was so covered by all the things she loved – including ice cream cones, lighthouses, and seagulls.
“We had peace when we left with the coffin full of colorful drawings and notes from those who knew and loved her best.”
Lynn told CNN how her last memory of daughter Grace was of the beaming child waving and blowing kisses to her from the bus, on her way to Sandy Hook Elementary School.
She added: “I take comfort that she’s with friends, and she’s up there with her wonderful principal.
“Each one of those children were so beautiful. We have so many angels and so many bright stars shining over us.”
The McDonnells shared a private moment with President Barak Obama when he visited Newtown and presented him with a painting drawn by Lynn.
“When President Obama walked into the room, he was just a dad,” explained Lynn.
“We spoke of Grace’s love of art and we gave him one of Grace’s favorite pictures - a cerulean and lime-green painted owl.”
The President told them that he’d treasure the painting forever.
The report says that in a touching moment, Lynn also explained how Grace loved peace and how she would always draw peace signs in the bathroom window after it fogged up from the shower.
The site adds that the day after the shooting, Lynn McDonnell was in the bathroom and saw her daughter’s etchings of a peace sign, and the words ‘Grace loves Mommy.’
Lynn later added: “I feel fearless. I’m going to take on the world for my Gracie girl - I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”