The innocence of a child not allowed to be contaminated by mundane matters, seemed frozen forever in the body of one-month-old Kaiden Dacosta Greenidge who was laid to rest today.
The purity of the dead baby was reflected in the way he was dressed – in an all white suit – for his final earthly journey, and it was amplified by the fact that he was given an all white velvet casket.
As Kaiden lay peacefully in the casket as though he were fast asleep, family members dressed in blue and white, with shirts proudly displaying photographs of the infant, huddled at the front of the Ebenezer Seventh Day Adventist Church in Eden Lodge, St Michael for just one more lasting moment with the child.
They joined the wider congregation in singing children’s hymns such as There’s A Friend For Little Children, Jesus Wants Me To Be A Sunbeam and When He Cometh, among others.
It was an intimate funeral service for a baby, whose mysterious death on September 13 mere hours after he was left with carers at the Divine Day Nursery, had mortified his parents Petra Rouse and Silverson Greenidge.
Both parents, so disturbed after their son’s death that they had difficulty maintaining their cool, were composed today throughout the 45-minute service.
Those who arrived late were not deprived of the opportunity to take one last look at Kaiden, as the parents agreed to have the casket opened a second time for viewing by the latecomers.
While there was no eulogy, Pastor Winston Cook, in delivering a brief message, advised those gathered to try to be more “childlike”, emphasizing the level of forgiveness and trust associated with the innocence of children.
“Be childlike and not childish. We must be maturing in our behaviour. Children are forgiving, trusting and dependent and He [God] wants us to be like that. We must forgive, trust in God and depend on him and we will be safe in his kingdom,” Cook told the congregation.
Seeking to comfort the grieving family, Cook reminded them that God was a very present help in times of trouble and that, “weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning”.
Following the service, the boy’s dad lifted the tiny casket and carried it out of the church, before placing it into the boot of a waiting vehicle for the journey to the gravesite.
There, they released blue and white balloons and four white doves as heavy showers came pouring down.
Once the showers stopped, the small grave was covered in flowers, including one bearing his name, and the family took pictures to keep as part of their memories.
Kaiden was taken to the nursery at St Stephen’s Hill, Black Rock, St Michael on the morning of Wednesday September 13.
Six-and-a-half hours later his parents received a call from the day care informing them that the infant appeared to be ill. Soon after, he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
His death triggered a police investigation as the parents demanded to know what went wrong.
Police this afternoon told Barbados TODAY that a preliminary autopsy report concluded that the boy died of natural causes. However, Public Relations Officer Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler said lawmen were awaiting the final results of the autopsy to determine which direction their investigation would take.
Therefore, he said no one could be held criminally responsible at this stage.
Meantime, Child Care Board Director Joan Crawford, who has repeatedly refused to comment because of the police investigation, explained that private day care facilities were required to admit children no younger than six weeks old, accompanied by with a medical certificate, and with the parents’ approval.
Government nurseries, she said, accepted infants from the age of three months.
Crawford’s announcement appeared to support a suggestion by Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett that the baby might have been too young to be accepted at such a facility.
However, Blackett told Barbados TODAY at the time he would first familiarize himself with the stipulation regarding the age at which a child is allowed to enter such facilities before arriving at a final conclusion.
He also said then that Government would take a closer look at the requirements for the admission of children to day care facilities here, with a view to ensuring that proper protocols were followed.