Losing someone close to you can be an incredibly difficult thing to overcome. Doctors have identified five common stages people go through when grieving:
When 3-year-old Alidy Clark lost her father in an accident, she had a hard time finding a reason to smile. One of the ways she coped with her father’s death was by dressing up in princesses costumes.
Alidy’s love for princesses and dressing up as them gave her babysitter an idea that not only had the little girl beaming, but also warmed the hearts of the Internet.
Alidy’s father, Cassidy Haslam, passed away after a tragic head-on collision on a Florida freeway claimed his life. He left behind his wife Jenna and their 3-year-old daughter, who had a hard time comprehending the loss.
Before the accident, Cassidy would always refer to Alidy as his little princess. Since then, she’s been wearing a collection of princesses costumes daily.
“Her therapist calls it coping with costumes,’ Alidy’s mom, Jenna, told The Huffington Post. “Every day she puts one on and whispers, ‘Look, Daddy, I’m your princess.’”
Alidy’s favorite costume, which she dons most, is Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Alidy has a collection of mermaid dolls and has truly taken to her 15-year-old babysitter, Keegan Carnahan, who sports pink hair just like some of them.
To help out Jenna, Alidy’s babysitter has picked up some extra shifts during the family’s difficult time. One thing she noticed was Alidy’s mermaid costume, which reminded her of something she had in her possession.
“I had gone through a phase a couple years ago in which I bought a mermaid tail that I could swim around in my pool in,” Alidy’s babysitter, Keegan, told Huffington Post. “I had it in my closet for a couple years so [Alidy] had never seen it.”
When it was bath time, Keegan decided to surprise Alidy by donning her own set of fins. “It was a great way to lure her into the bathtub,” Keegan said.
Alidy was absolutely ecstatic when she saw a fellow mermaid to share bathtime with, a moment Keegan captured and shared on Twitter.
Keegan posted some of the pictures from the duo’s mermaid adventure to Twitter where it quickly went viral, receiving over 19,000 retweets and 33,000 likes.
“Alidy was smiling from ear to ear,” Keegan recalled. “She commented on how ‘beautiful’ my tail was. I was overjoyed. She has been having a really hard time comprehending her dad’s death, so I was so happy that she could spend 20 minutes being a worry-free little mermaid.”
Wrapping your head around the loss of a parent at such a young age is not easy, but Keegan’s efforts of going above and beyond as a babysitter truly gave her a reason to light up again.
“I’m elated that I’m able to be a part of her life,” Keegan told Huffington Post. “Because she really is a hilarious and kind-spirited kid!”