Lane Graves: Funeral Held Today For Toddler Killed By Alligator At Disney Resort

The funeral for Lane Graves, the 2-year-old from Nebraska who was killed by an alligator at Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, was held today St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Attendance of the funeral was limited to family and friends of the family. It was just last week that Matthew and Melissa Graves’ world shattered when their 2-year-old, Lane Graves, was pulled into the water and drowned by an alligator. PEOPLE Magazine reports frantic attempts were made by the father to save Lane from the alligator.

“Melissa and I continue to deal with the loss of our beloved boy, Lane, and are overwhelmed with the support and love we have received from family and friends in our community as well as from around the country. We understand the public’s interest, but as we move forward this weekend, we ask for and appreciate the privacy we need to lay our son to rest. Neither Melissa, myself or anyone from our family will be speaking publicly; we simply cannot at this time.”

On the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church website the parents of Lane asked the world for space and privacy as they continued to mourn the loss of their son and prepare for his funeral. While they appreciated the support, they were beginning to feel overwhelmed. Truthfully, the parents of Lane Graves wanted to grieve the loss of their 2-year-old son and prepare for the funeral without having to answer any more questions by reporters.

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Prior to the funeral for Lane Graves, Graves’ parents made the decision to set up a memorial fund in their son’s name.

“After the tragic loss of our beloved 2-year-old son, Lane Thomas, we have created the Lane Thomas Foundation to honor his memory. Losing Lane has broken our hearts in the worst possible way. While there is no way to mend our hearts, we can do good work in his honor.”

The parents of Lane Graves may never be able to completely mend the hole in their hearts from losing their beautiful son to the alligator. They have, however, decided to use the overwhelming support they’ve been receiving to honor their son in the best possible way – raising money to give to various charities.

“If you would like to honor Lane, donations are being accepted on behalf of the Lane Thomas Foundation at the Omaha Community Foundation. We will use these funds to make direct donations to various charitable organizations. One hundred percent of all donations will be received by the charitable cause. We thank you for helping us create a lasting legacy for our son.”

According to the Associated Press, Lane was playing in roughly a foot of water close to the lagoon at Floridian Resort & Spa on Tuesday when he was attacked by an alligator. According to witnesses, the father of Lane made an attempt to fight the alligator off of his son and suffered several lacerations on his hands as a result. Unfortunately, Lane’s father was not able to save him from the alligator.

The body of Lane Graves was discovered by the Orange County Sheriff dive team the following Wednesday. The parents of Lane Graves and their 4-year-old daughter Ella returned to their home in Elkhorn on Thursday. The neighbors of Lane Graves and his family decorated the family’s home with blue and white balloons. They also tied ribbons around the mailbox.

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PEOPLE Magazine also reported The Omaha Community Foundation was accepting donations on behalf of the family of Lane during their time of mourning. More than $25,000 had been raised for the family of Lane Graves prior to his funeral.

The beach at the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is across a lake from the Magic Kingdom. While there are “no swimming” signs, there are not any signs to warn the guests of alligators. The company has said they plan on adding signs to warn about alligators.

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While the funeral for Lane Graves was intended to be for family and friends only, most of the world mourns the tragic loss of this child.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]