LEWISTON — One by one, friends came to the front of the room, stood by the casket and shared a story about Taylor McQueeney, 9, who died Monday in an apartment fire.

During memorial services Friday, Leona Curran remembered how her son and Taylor shared the same birthday. One year, Taylor didn’t have a present for her son. “Taylor went to get her favorite toy to give to my son,” Curran said. “I don’t know many children whose heart is that big and pure.”

Others remembered the spunky girl always playing and smiling.

At the Pinette and Lynch Funeral Home, Taylor’s guitar was in front of the white casket. On top were colorful markers. Friends and relatives used the markers to write notes to Taylor, which covered the casket.

“Taylor I am so sad you are gone. I will miss you very much. You will always be in my heart. Love, your cousin Ryan Cote.”

“We will miss seeing you on our bus. David.”

“Taylor I wish you a safe journey in a whole new world filled with flowers and butterflies. Love Uncle Chuck.”

At the back of the room were pictures of Taylor as a baby, as an older child in a Halloween costume, at the beach, wearing sunglasses with other children, striking a daring pose standing on her bicycle, fishing with her grandfather.

The fishing picture was taken July 4 in New Hampshire, said grandfather Robert McQueeney. “She liked to do everything. There wasn’t anything she didn’t want to try.”

During the service, Elizabeth Lowe, chaplain at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, described Taylor as an angel, a blessing to all who knew her.

Lowe said scripture teaches that to enter heaven we need to become like children. That doesn’t mean not working and supporting your family. It means “becoming like this little girl’s heart: kind, loving, playful … to be excited about something the way Taylor was, get turned on by life the way Taylor was.”

Lowe asked God to grant comfort and strength to Taylor’s family. “They are in pain but must continue dedicating their life to the care of others.”

Taylor’s mother, father, brothers and other relatives each held a red rose and frequently hugged one another.

In recent days there have been opinions “that maybe aren’t helpful right now,” Lowe said. Sorrow and grief can do all kinds of things to people, Lowe said, “but you came together in peace. You’re here in the way Taylor would want you here, hugging, sitting with each other, hugging each other, for her.”

After the chaplain’s words, Taylor’s relatives stood near the casket as Taylor’s friend, Takota Pelletier, 10, came up and presented a check for $1,912. Takota started a lemonade stand to raise money to help the family of her friend. Sales were brisk as people came in droves with cash, cards and blessings. The money will help pay for the funeral, said family friend Sam Hill.

These days are difficult for the family, Hill said. “We wanted to say we do appreciate all the support we’ve received from the community, and thank Takota Pelletier.”

At the end of the service, the Rev. Steve Crowson of Trinity Episcopal Church said committal prayers. The song “I Hope You Dance” was played. Lowe called the song a gift from Taylor: “She hopes you dance.” As the song played, there were few dry eyes.

“We know we can always talk to Taylor,” Lowe said. “She’s in a place where she can help all of us be better people.”

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