A live stream and a procession honored Rosa and Juniper Wilson on Wednesday
HOCKINSON — In the reality of a viral pandemic, adjustments must be made.
It’s why yellow flowers filled the pews inside the Apostolic Lutheran Church in Hockinson on Wednesday, as friends and family said goodbye to Rosa Wilson and her five-year-old daughter Juniper.
“Beautiful yellow flowers, for Rosa and Juniper, and for all of you,” said lead pastor Ron Holmgren during the funeral, which was broadcast live via YouTube. “People are with you.”
The outpouring of support for the young family was immediate and sustained since that tragic day on March 6 when a head-on crash killed 31-year-old Rosa and their 5-year-old daughter Juniper Kate; 3-year-old Iona and 7-year-old Elliott suffered serious injuries.
Holmgren says the list of people hoping to visit Brian and the couple’s children at the hospital was often exceedingly long.
“I thought this facility would not hold the numbers, and I wondered how that would go,” he said. “Well, I think it’s even fuller today than I expected.”
With an executive order from the governor in place, limiting crowd sizes to fewer than 50 people, the church had to come up with a new plan.
Thus, the flowers standing in for the community members who had hoped to pay their respects.
Instead, hundreds gathered outside, waiting in their cars and watching the live stream.
Then, as the funeral wound down, they emerged from their vehicles, walking up the road to stand along the driveway to the church, all the way down NE 164th Street to the main road through town.
Yellow was Rosa’s favorite color, and it seemed especially poignant that yellow flowers, including a patch of daffodils, lined the road from the church.
Unplanned, but appropriate.
Rosa was known for her love of sparkling drinks, especially kombucha, as well as a heart for those in need. She could often be found baking up goodies for people who had hit hard times.
Perhaps it was a way of giving back. Brian had suffered severe head injuries years before in a fall from a tree, and the community the extrovert had built up rushed to the family’s aid then.
They’ve done so again this time.
A construction company has offered to finish remodeling the couple’s home that they recently bought. A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $180,000, and another one raised almost $15,000 to help fly family out for the funeral. Anything extra is going to Brian and the children.
Arm around his sister Lana Wilson Aho, Brian Wilson reprised the duet they sang at his wedding to Rosa. It was called “Twice as good.”
“And it really was, you know?” he said, blinking back tears. “We sang that at the beginning of this chapter, and now … it’s not the end, but it’s the end of this chapter.”
In better news, 3-year-old Iona continues to improve after suffering severe head and neck injuries in the crash, as well as several broken bones. According to a family friend, she was moved out of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) this week, and will be spending the next several weeks in a pediatric rehab wing.
Seven-year-old Elliott was released from the hospital on Sat., March 14 and is now staying with his grandparents so Brian can continue to stay with Iona at the hospital.