In The Loving Memory of Gracie King
$73,403 of $60,000 goal
It's with the heaviest heart that I am setting up this GoFundMe on behalf of my friend, children's lit author A.S. King.
On Saturday, December 1st, the Kings experienced the unexpected loss of their beautiful daughter Gracie. At this time, the family needs the support of their community at large for medical bills, funeral services, and other relevant expenses. All money raised here will go directly to the King family.
Please share this request widely, and give what you can. On behalf of Amy, Topher and their daughter Livy, thank you for your support and allowing time for the family to privately grieve.
I have been trying to write an update for this page for weeks and I still can’t find the words to adequately express what it’s like to live in our house without Gracie. It’s quiet—too quiet. It’s difficult. I also can’t find words to adequately express our gratitude.
The outpouring of support from friends and family and strangers and community members has overwhelmed our family in a way that is hard to describe. We are grateful and moved that so many people would care so much about our heartbreak and our wellbeing. Thank you. Every one of you who sent a good word, financial help, time, thought, a prayer, a text, a hug, a quiche—the list goes on and on and we don’t know how to thank you. Except to say: Thank you. Thank you so much for caring about our beautiful daughter and our family. In many ways we’ve led an isolated life and yet, we now know that we are not alone.
We are beyond grateful that E started this campaign for our family and that she kept you all informed as we moved through these impossible and wordless weeks. E is right about Gracie’s service on the 8th. It was beautiful and we were floored by the intensity of family, friend, and community support.
We are closing this fundraiser now, and wanted to leave you all with something tangible to take with you. Gracie was music. She read music since she was 5 years old, but lately learned most of her favorite songs by ear. This one, David Bowie’s “Oh! You Pretty Things,” was a go-to when she sat down at her piano, and is one of our family's favorite songs of all time. This video was taken by her friend Sam at an open-mic event at school last year. I recommend earbuds and probably tissues for a listen.
There are lyrics in this song that we want you to hear. Second verse.
“Look out at your children.
See their faces in golden rays.
Don’t kid yourself, they belong to you.
They’re the start of the coming race.”
Gracie battled mental illness. This was no secret. In our grief-tidying these last three weeks we have found on our desks so many notes about how to help more, learn more, understand more, and nurture Gracie in new ways—how to keep her safe. While it’s no concession, we can look at those lyrics (and all those notes) and know that we saw her face in golden rays. And once her battle began, we didn’t kid ourselves about whose responsibility it was to take care of her mind and spirit. We want to remind you that teen mental health is incredibly important and teens who suffer are at a greater risk simply because they are young and few in our society take them seriously because they are teenagers.
While it may seem off-topic, it’s important to us that you take this idea into the world with you. That you take teenagers seriously. That you take their pain seriously. Some of you may not know that this is the primary message of our lives and careers. Some of you know all too well and I imagine your hearts are even heavier for it. Ours are.
While donations here are closed, if you’ve arrived at this update now and would like to help, we urge you to consider donating to The Trevor Project or The Jason Foundation in Gracie’s name. Both links can be found in Gracie’s obituary which E posted in her second update.
Thank you again for the love and compassion you’ve shown our family. We will never be able to thank you as much as we feel we should, but we hope that this message conveys how much we appreciate all you’ve done.
Amy & Topher
Hundreds of people attended one of the two visitation hours. Therapy dogs were there to greet and comfort people. The playlist pumped eclectic music through the intercom, and some of Gracie's favorite books were on display.
The family spoke at the beginning of the service. Then they opened the space to teachers and friends to speak. Soon story after story of Gracie's love and compassion as well as her Gracie specific humor emerged. Some of her classmates and friends stood over an hour in line waiting and wanting to share. It was a truly beautiful thing.
The Warwick High School Band performed at the close of the service, leaving a chair open for Gracie and her sax.
I'd be lying to say that December 8th wasn't a hard day. That the days that have followed haven't been hard. While the family continues to insulate themselves as they grieve, please know they are incredibly thankful for your condolences, cards and offers to help them in any way they need. I know they will reach out when they can.
Amy and the family would like to extend their appreciation for those who, in lieu of flowers for the service, made donations in Gracie’s memory to The Jason Foundation or The Trevor Project. They picked these groups because of their dedication to helping young people like Gracie stay with us.
Again, thank you for holding this family up. Thank you for reaching out.
The next part of this update is so incredibly hard for me. Below is the link to beautiful Gracie's obituary. All information about visiting hours and the service are there.
For those of you who cannot attend but would like to send cards to the family, please message me for an address.
Again, thank you for your love and compassion for the King family.