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Grieving family farewell their ‘fun-loving’, ‘old-soul’ Elle

The family of Elle Emily Underhill at her funeral at St Mary's Church, Casino. Elle died in a car accident in December.Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
The family of Elle Emily Underhill at her funeral at St Mary's Church, Casino. Elle died in a car accident in December.Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

"GRIEF in the loss of a child is the hardest thing to bear."

Those were the words of Michelle Underhill to a crowd of more than 500 people who had come to farewell her four-year-old daughter Elle Emily Underhill whose funeral was held at Mary's Church in Casino yesterday morning.

The daughter of a local school teacher and police officer, Elle's life was cut tragically short as a result of a car crash on the Bruxner Hwy, east of Casino, on December 18.

In delivering her eulogy, Elle's parents Michelle and Steve Underhill said they had repeatedly questioned why their eldest daughter's life was taken so soon.

"When an older person dies, we may grieve, but we can accept more readily a life that had been lived and drawn to its inevitable close," Mrs Underhill said.

Mrs Underhill described her daughter as a good, honest and sweet girl who "loved everything from frogs to rainbows, shopping to red meat at the deli, and butterflies".

She said by the age of three, Elle had learnt how to write her own name, ride a bike, colour-in better than her dad and had already written a bucket-list.

A bucket-list which included riding on a bus, jumping out of an aeroplane, growing her hair to the floor like a princess and becoming an ambulance officer or vet.

Mr Underhill described his daughter as an "old-soul who was wise beyond her years".

"Everyday Elle taught me something new about life and about how to be a better person," he said.

Elle's grandfather Derek Montague described the "immense anger, deep hurt and previously unfathomed grief" that came with loosing a family member so young.

"We can celebrate that we have known Elle, though she is no longer with us," he said.

"Elle was a fun-loving, full-of-life, adventurous child."

Elle's grandmother Sharyn Underhill spoke about her granddaughter's love of animals, large and small.

She said any time Elle was upset, she would take her into the garden to watch the birds and butterflies which would always lift her granddaughter's spirits.

Topics:  casino crash grief



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