At the age of 12, he works to pay for the tombstone of his deceased best friend


Kaleb Klakulak and Kenneth “KJ” Gross were best friends until the latter died last May of congestive heart failure. Following the death, he raised 2,500 dollars (2,200 euros) to offer a tombstone to the mother of the deceased that she could not afford.

The two friends were inseparable and met very often in the hospital. Credit: Kristy Hall


“I wanted people to be able to find KJ’s grave when they want to go see him”

This 12-year-old who lives in the suburbs of Detroit, following his parents’ divorce, found himself in a brand new school without knowing a single person, until he met another child in his class, KJ Gross, with whom he will become inseparable.

Sadly, KJ has had health problems since he was little that weakened him and required him to stay in hospital often. Following a deterioration of his health, Kenneth Gross can no longer leave his hospital bed, which does not prevent Kaleb from coming to his bedside every day. Hospital staff even broke the visiting rules so the two children could see each other as much as possible.

The young boy raised 2,200 euros to pay for the tombstone of his best friends. Credit: Kristy Hall

Kenneth Gross died on May 1 of congestive heart failure at the age of 12. Devastated, her mother, LaSondra “San” Singleton cannot afford a tombstone. Faced with this constraint, the young boy promises to help him pay for one to honor his late best friend. “I love Ms. San and I was sad that she couldn’t afford it. I wanted people to be able to find KJ’s grave when they want to go see him ”, the young boy told the Detroit News.

2,200 euros raised for the tombstone of his best friend

With the help of her own mother, Kristy Hall, Kaleb took to the odd jobs, picking up leaves, recycling collected soda cans and asking for donations from nice strangers on social media.

The $ 2,500 he hoped to raise by Christmas so that he could give Singleton the gravestone as a holiday gift enabled KJ’s mother to choose a gravestone.

The gravestone bears the inscription “KJ Gross, beloved son, brother and friend”. Credit: Todd McInturf / Detroit News

The latter said that throughout her grief, she was overwhelmed by Kaleb’s actions and his love for her son, even after his death. “The boys were kindred spirits, they were like brothers […]. It says a lot about the kind of people they are, and the kind of people KJ was ”, the mother of the deceased child tells Detroit News.

The tombstone, which bears the inscription “KJ Gross, beloved son, brother and friend”, next to the drawing of an angel holding a heart, will be installed at KJ’s burial site in Detroit’s Elmwood Cemetery.

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