It is beyond a nightmare to have your child die. And for one mom, Anat Levitan Kaplan, the grief must be beyond anything anyone could understand. Her 9-year-old daughter, Lielle, was shot by her soon-to-be ex-husband.
Lielle’s dad, a 42-year-old Israeli named Yariv Kaplan, shot Lielle, then shot himself. Both of them were found with fatal gunshot wounds in their Travis County home in Texas Monday, during a routine welfare home visit, according to JTA. Apparently, Lielle’s mom and dad were in a custody battle, and their next court hearing had been scheduled for January.
Now, Anat has started a GoFundMe to raise money to return Lielle’s body to Israel for burial. On the site, she wrote that Lielle was an inspiration — a girl whose passion, creativity, and kindness were larger than life:
She was a curious, happy, active baby and that carried through her entire life. Lielle loved to explore everything, especially nature. She spent most of her days outside rescuing lost animals; collecting rocks, leaves, and shells; and discovering the special stories behind every object.
Lielle was also exceptionally creative. She crafted with paint, yarn, and clay, and her favorite school subject was art. She radiated music — singing in the shower, playing piano and ukelele, and swapping favorite songs with her mom, Anat wrote:
Most of all, Lielle was a kind friend, daughter, granddaughter, niece, neighbor, and student. She was always laughing, always cared about others and wanted to help.
Anat is Israeli, plans to move back to Israel, and wants her daughter buried there. The money raised will be used for funeral services, Jewish burial expenses, and transporting Lielle’s body to Israel. If there are excess funds, the money will be donated to Lielle’s school, Austin Waldorf School.
It’s all devastating beyond words.