The mother of tragic schoolboy Brooklyn Colbert paid a heartbreaking tribute to her beloved “brown-eyed boy” at his funeral Mass in Limerick today.
The letter, read out at St Saviours Church, on behalf of Brooklyn’s devastated mother Sonia Aylmer, described how he had been blessed with the “softest little protective soul”.
Brooklyn’s body was found with multiple injuries at a house, located off the Shanabooley Road, Ballynanty, Limerick, last Sunday.
As Brooklyn’s family made preparations to shoulder his white coffin into the church, a man was appearing in court nearby and charged with his murder. St Saviours fell silent as Ms Aylmer’s words echoed around the packed church.
“My beautiful brown-eyed boy, from the minute you were born you made my life complete. The happiest little child, from the minute you opened your eyes in the morning, you would smile...You were a little fighter.”
Ms Aylmer revealed how Brooklyn had battled back from the brink when he was just a baby: “When God tried to take you when you were nine months old, you pulled through. You were my, and your father’s, little miracle.”
“You were my best friend, my mini-husband, we did everything together. You looked after me just as I looked after you.”
Brooklyn “loved life and nature and animals” and treated his pet dog Buddy like “a little brother”, she added.
“You hadn’t a bad bone in your body, you were an angel living on earth.”
Ms Aylmer thanked Brooklyn’s local soccer and boxing club for “always (encouraging) him and bringing out his fun nature”, and she praised his teachers, and friends at the Bedford Row Family Project where he was affectionately known as “little Harry Potter”.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get through life without you, Brooklyn.
“I will let you rest now, sleep tight my love. I love you with all my heart. I will see you soon and I will hold you in my arms forever,” the letter concluded to a burst of applause.
Fr John Walsh drew a moment of laughter from mourners when he said Brooklyn had made “one big mistake” in his short life.
“I’m a life-long Chelsea supporter, and I can’t understand how he is following Liverpool, but I worry that he might have the last word this year,” Fr John Walsh joked.
Brooklyn’s heartbroken father, Wayne Colbert, told mourners his son had been “stolen” from him.
“You were your mam’s pride and joy, the apple of her eye. You were such a polite and well spoken, caring and loving child,” he said.
The talented soccer player who had played with Limerick FC, broke down several times, whispering: “This is hard, this is hard”.
“Brook, I loved everyday we spent together. You weren't just my son, you were my best mate, you were my training partner, my pride and joy. You made me the proudest father,” Mr Colbert said.
“My heart is broken into pieces. You were my everything. We were besties, real mates, real real mates.
Mr Colbert prayed to local champion boxer Kevin Sheehy, who was killed in a hit and run last July, to look after Brooklyn.
“He was a king, a real king, that’s what Kevin Sheehy was, and that’s a man that will hold my boy and mind him,” he added.
A letter penned by the boy’s grandmother Terry Colbert, read: “Grandad and I are heartbroken to have lost such a special boy, and your beautiful face and radiant smile that would light up a room. We love you to the moon and back, and, until we meet again, Brook, you will always be my angel.”
Mourners wept alongside the boy’s family as his coffin was shouldered out of the church to a live operatic version of Liverpool FC soccer anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone.