On February 28th a brave little soul left this world. You don’t have to have met two-year-old Axel to know he was full of life and joy. Every picture his mom Jen, of velomom.com and fellow outdoor blogger, posts shows a little boy embracing life to its fullest. Big smiles. Bright eyes. Busy legs. Axel had the great fortune of being born into a biker family who took full advantage of adventure. In fact, the Charrette’s were on one of these adventures when life crashed in around them. You can read the morbid details here, but I would encourage you not to. There is nothing to be gained by reading of the horrible things that can happen. Instead, take a moment—perhaps two—to hug your kids and tell them you love them. Embrace life for every beautiful moment however brief. Maybe go on a bike ride in Axel’s memory.
I’ve been to more than my share of baby funerals. (I work in a maternity center) The pain of losing a child is so real, so tangible–it reaches down to parts of you, you didn’t even know could ache. It doesn’t get easier, you just get better at getting by. My heart breaks for the Charrette’s.
A wise four-year-old put it best following the death of a toddler friend. She looked out the window, pointing toward a blazing sunset and exclaimed, “Look, Owen is painting in heaven!” Sunsets have special meaning to me now. I’ll be looking west in the evenings now to see what Axel has to offer to the canvas.
A memorial service is being held today (March 12, 2013) in Ridgway, Colorado. The Charrettes have also set up a fund in Axel’s name that will be used to get more kids active and on bikes. With the support of Strider Bikes, they hope to share Axel’s passion for riding with other kids that might otherwise not have had the opportunity. If you would like to donate, you can send a check made out to the Axel Charrette Fund, c/o Alpine Bank, 119 Liddell Drive, Ridgway, CO 81432, or call 970-626-4100 and reference the Axel Charrette Fund.
More tributes from the Outdoor Family Bloggers group: