Sharing Her Love

AMY AND JAMIE LARSEN show where their late daughter Brooklyn got her trademark smile from as they hold a framed photo of her in their family home. RIGHT: Purple (Brooklyn’s favorite color) bracelets are worn in memory of her. They also hold her favorite saying. BELOW: A word cloud created by the students at Milroy Public School after she passed away at the young age of 11. Photos / Tara Brandl

Almost five years after the sudden death of their daughter shook their world,
Jamie and Amy Larsen continue carrying on her legacy through a memorial fund.

By Per Peterson

“I love you more. Don’t say anything!”

Jamie Larsen shared a video of his 11-year-old daughter Brooklyn saying her phrase with her trademark smile. She always had to get the last “I love you” in. At the same time, across the dining room table, mom Amy was playing the same video. The love they have for their daughter emanates in every corner of their house, in every word they spoke, in every tear shed. Unfortunately, that love now has to be expressed differently than how most parents express their love to their child.

Brooklyn passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 11, 2017, at the age of 11 years, 3 months and 17 days, just a week into her sixth-grade year at Milroy Public School. As her dad says, they got 4,127 days with their youngest child. To this day, Jamie and Amy have no answers to the question of how they lost their daughter on that September day. She simply did not wake up that Monday morning.

While losing their child is devastating, the Larsen family has captured the love that radiated from Brooklyn through the Brooklyn Larsen Memorial Fund, a scholarship given annually to a student who has attended Milroy school. The fund also gives money to help families that have lost a child.

“To be able to share her love,” Amy said when talking about giving out the scholarship. “Because we have so much love that we can’t give her anymore. We can, but we can’t, so to be able to give that to someone and say ‘thank you’ for being what she was and ‘thank you’ for sharing your love because she can’t anymore. She’s not here, but we want to thank them for sharing love that we have. What do you do with all that? With all those emotions. You want your child to be remembered. You want to help others because it’s like a salve on your heart.”

But the Brooklyn Larsen Memorial Fund is more than another scholarship based on grades or athletic ability. The scholarship strives to capture the caring heart Brooklyn had and the kindness she showed to those around her. She was known and is remembered for standing up to bullies and treating everyone with kindness. After her passing, many shared with the family stories of her kindness toward others.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.