The outpouring of love for nine-year-old Azaria Pinky Worrell was evident at the Garden Church of God, Reid’s Gap, St James, which was bursting at the seams today.
Students and teachers of the St Alban’s Primary School, Azaria’s friends and relatives, packed the church, leaving scores to stand at the doors and on the outside when they gathered to say farewell to the little girl who loved school, church, food, going to the beach, and the colour pink.
Even before the 2 p.m. start of the moving service, people were pouring in to get a glimpse of Azaria who was appropriately clad in her favorite colours in pink dress and headband. Many in attendance also wore pink and celebrated her short life in the church also decorated in the same color.
Azaria’s schoolmates and Sunday school class also rendered tributes in song while her best friends Hannah Payne and Jakela Beckles, delivered the scripture reading.
The large gathering was reminded of the brave fight Azaria put up during her seven-month battle with cancer, which ended on December 6 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
They heard about how her only wish was to be able to return to school, because she was dedicated to striving for excellence in her schoolwork.
She was a no nonsense individual, whose bubbly personality would light up any room.
“You had to know Azaria was there. She was always out-front and made her presence felt,” St Alban’s principal Wendine Prince said.
Mary Worrell, who read her beloved granddaughter’s eulogy, said though the child only spent a short while on earth, she touched many lives, especially the several thousands who read the story about her brave fight with cancer in Barbados TODAY.
“Azaria was the kind of child that once you met her, there was an instant connection with her. From the store owners in town to people on Instagram who only knew her by seeing or hearing the story of her illness, they all became attached to the little angel,” the grandmother said.
During the sermon, Pastor Ricardo Roberts reminded the congregation, that death is not the end, but the beginning of a new life in Jesus Christ. He reminded the congregation that Azaria has been freed from her suffering, and had gone to be with the Lord.
He also urged the gathering to take an example from Azaria’s life, especially her belief in the Lord, and the way she expressed it, at such a young age.
“Brothers and sisters, we may have lost Azaria, but God regained his angel. She is no longer with us, but she will forever remain in our hearts. Nine years on earth may be small in number, but God has counted and remembered all of them,” Pastor Roberts said.
Just after 4:30 p.m., as Pinky’s body was lowered into the grave, at the St James Cemetery, many at the graveside burst into tears, especially her school friends and close relatives.
Azaria’s twin sister Lazaria and older brother Kaegan looked away as the white casket disappeared.
Their mother, 30-year-old Alicia Worrell kept her gaze on the casket until it disappeared and the hole was filled.
The pain was etched on the mother’s face, as the voices that sang Jesus Loves Me This I Know drowned her loud cry.
As the sun set, scores of pink balloons were released. (AH)