Newtown, CT, USA
Student, Sandy Hook Elementary School
12/14/2012, Newtown, CT, USA
It was the Reverend Walter Pitman’s chance for some redemption when he performed the funeral for Allison Wyatt Thursday morning. Pitman had rushed to the Sandy Hook Elementary School as soon as he heard of the slaughter and counseled a couple whose 6-year-old daughter had died. But he didn’t feel he had been able to give them his full attention as a pastor.
“I felt I missed an opportunity to help them,” Pitman said. “That night I prayed to God to give me another opportunity to reach out to them. I didn’t even know their name.”
On Thursday, he received that opportunity. Ben and Cheyenne Wyatt were the parents he counseled, and he was able to eulogize Allison at the United Church of Christ in Southbury. Two Connecticut state troopers led the family into the church while Pallbearers carried the small, white casket to the front. Soloist Rachel Ulreich sang “Hallelujah.”
The Reverend Joseph T. Donnelly of Sacred Heart Church in Southbury thanked the parish for welcoming the Wyatts.
“We are in the middle of an overwhelming experience for this family, this town and our nation,” Donnelly said. “It’s good that we’re here together. Our connecting with one another can be a great source of support.”
Pitman remembered Allison as a teacher to her sister, Lauren, who helped her learn how to ride the school bus. He also told the mourners that Allison was a young artist who turned her room into a studio. Now, she is going to have “a much bigger studio” in heaven.
“Although she was only with us for a very short time, we are better people for having her with us,” he said.