THERE was barely a dry eye in sight as mourners bade farewell to an eight-year-old boy from Gosport at his funeral.
Leo Burton tragically died last month after bumping his head while playing outside, shocking family and friends in the community.
Today, hundreds gathered at St John’s Church in Forton Road, Gosport, to pay their final respects to a boy who brought smiles and laughter everywhere he went.
The vicar at the service, Mother Carrie Thompson, spoke of Leo as a happy and loving boy who hated to see other people in pain or distress.
She said: ‘Leo was somebody who really did live life to the full every day.
‘He had times of sadness or frustration, as we all do, but within two minutes he would be smiling and laughing again.
‘Lots of people said that Leo sort of lived in his own little world in his head, and I think the world of Leo is somewhere we’d all like to live, because there isn’t any malice or hatred there, there’s just love and laughter, and peace and friendship, and music and dancing, and mice and lions, and giant white robots giving fist bumps, and pizza and ice cream and sweets and stickers, and lots and lots of smiling.
‘We’re all going to be crying and hurting for a long time, and that’s right and it’s natural, because we love him. But we shouldn’t feel guilty about laughing and smiling and having fun too, because that’s how Leo lived his life, and I think that’s how he would want us to live ours.’
Marie Hind, 36, said: ‘My daughter was in the same year group as Leo at school.
‘The funeral service was everything the family would have wanted – the service was bright and colourful and that was just Leo through and through.
‘It is a very sad day but also a good celebration of his life.
‘I think the community has really pulled together during this heartbreaking time.’
Trudy Jackson, 34, said: ‘It went as well as it could have.
‘It was a nice service and was something that Leo would have really liked – it was all right up his street.’
Lisa Wooton said: ‘Everything Mother Carrie Thompson said was spot on, and music and singing was absolutely fantastic.
‘Leo might have gone and will be missed, but he will never be forgotten.’