Anna Leask

Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Christchurch earthquake: Funeral for Baby Baxtor

Baxtor Warwick Gowland
Baxtor Warwick Gowland

Baby Baxtor Gowland will be farewelled on Monday in one of the first funerals for Christchurch quake victims.

As messages of support flooded in on a tribute page set up for the five-month-old on Facebook, his family were planning a celebration of his short life.

Baxtor was born in September, just 13 days after the first quake Christchurch.

His mother Breanna Gowland described him as "awesome" on her Facebook page and said she was a "proud mama".

"Am luvin him... lil Bax is awesome I've been very lucky," she wrote.

She did not want to speak about his death yesterday or the circumstance of how he died.

"We're just going through the motions, we don't have anything to say at the moment," said a family member.

"We have been thru hell and back," wrote another on Facebook.

Dozens of people left messages of support on Miss Gowland's page, and the tribute page for Baxtor.

"I could not imagine the depth of emotion that you will be experiencing, I just hope you find some peace somehow," wrote one friend.

The Herald has also been overwhelmed with messages for Baxtor.

"While it is sad to hear of all the deaths that this earthquake has bought on us all, it is gut wrenching to hear of a baby dying in this terrible tragedy, and can not imagine the pain felt to lose a child so young," said one reader.

Carly wrote: To mum who brought Baxtor into this world and cared for his every need, no one can take that away from you. Though I've never meet you, (Baxtor's) picture has left me in tears. There is no way I could ever understand the pain you feel right now, but I pray that your heart will heal one day."

"You are now in a better place little guy. Some of these posts bring tears to my eyes, no-one can make any sense of such a beautiful young life so senselessly taken away from his family," wrote another Herald reader.

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