Tears streaming down their faces, Khrystyna Maksymova’s parents and younger sister knelt beside her open casket to embrace her and say goodbye for the last time.
Friends and family of the 14-year-old gathered Wednesday at Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to lay her to rest.
Maksymova died Sunday, one day after she was pulled from a drainage pond in north Edmonton while trying to rescue a dog she was walking.
During the funeral, hymns were led by a priest and a cantor who prayed for Maksymova to have a safe transition to heaven. Everyone had an opportunity to come up and say goodbye to the girl, and pay their respects to the family.
The service was led by Father Cornell Zubritsky, who said a young person’s funeral is always tragic.
He said many gathered in the cathedral were likely wondering why they were attending a funeral for someone so young.
“Did she deserve a death like hers,” he asked. “No. She died because of the compassion and love she felt for one of God’s creatures.”
He said a tragedy like this one should remind people to appreciate and care for one another.
Family friend Kateryna Usova said Maksymova was a girl full of love who always wanted to do her best for her parents.
“This girl was supposed to be a mom, she was supposed to be a bride, she was supposed to be the best wife,” said Usova. “But this is [what] God decided, and Khrystyna will always live in our hearts.”
Usova said Maksymova was like a second mother to her sister, Anastasiia, who was with her at the drainage pond on Saturday.
“They were always together,” said Usova.
The funeral was held the day before Anastasiia’s 12th birthday.
The family is from Ukraine and have no extended family here, but the Ukrainian and Russian communities in Edmonton have come together to support…