Family mourns loss of 11-week-old Lillian Caulk, niece of recent crash victim Jamie Caulk
Eleven-week-old Lillian Elizabeth Caulk was a bright light in the lives of members of the Caulk family during the past month.
Still mourning the loss of beloved Jamie Caulk after a car crash Oct. 14 near Nashville, the Ann Arbor family was devastated when baby Lillian, the daughter of Allyssa Caulk and Ryan McLean, died unexpectedly Saturday in her home.
Courtesy of Allyssa Caulk
"Losing a baby like that was the most heartbreaking thing," said Christa Caulk Stewart, Lillian's aunt.
Lillian — Lillie Bear, or just Bear, to friends and family — was starting to giggle and smile. She was starting to discover her voice, and she used it, Caulk Stewart said.
"She never whined, but she was very particular about her diapers," she said. "When you changed her, she'd start giggling."
Lillian was born with "the prettiest eyelashes, a button nose and a head full of dark hair. She looks just like her mother," Caulk Stewart said. Lillian always wanted to be around the family, and she always wanted to be held outward, so that she was facing the world, Caulk Stewart said.
"The hardest part of it is the death of our brother," she said. "(Lillian was) the one thing that was light in our lives. When you would look at her you would forget about the pain, because she brought so much joy."
Courtesy of Allyssa Caulk
The family refuses to let the tragedies they've suffered shake and rattle their faith in God, although, "it's so hard not to ask why," Caulk Stewart said. "We do know that God's not mean, not cruel. There's a divine plan." She said the families keep praying, asking for comfort in this difficult time.
Jamie Caulk, 27, died Oct. 22 following a massive trauma-induced stroke that affected his brain stem. He was a graduate of Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor and a student at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.
Lillian is survived by parents Allyssa Caulk and Ryan McLean; grandparents Elizabeth Amaru, Missy and Michael Caulk and Tim and Darlene McLean; aunts and uncles Andrew Caulk, Christa Caulk Stewart and Bob Stewart, Matthew Caulk, Brandon Konschuh, Alex McLean, and Sammy McLean.
Visitation for Lillian will be held at noon Friday at First United Methodist Church in Saline, with a celebration of life service to follow at 1 p.m.
Caulk Stewart said the family plans to bury Lillian in Saline with her uncle Jamie, as though he were holding her in his arms.
"She was just an angel," Caulk Stewart said. "She probably was from the beginning and we just didn't realize it."
Contact Julie Baker at email@example.com.