Out of the mouths of babes can come remarkable truths and 7 year old Kaitlyn Maher proves the point with a stirring eulogy at her own grandfather’s funeral. What happens next is hard to believe when she raises her voice to the heavens in song. Such poise and grace in such a young child is – well – a little creepy. While most adults in the same situation would be struggling to keep it together this little girl absolutely owns the stage. What follows is a tribute to her “pops” who she describes as “being up in heaven with god right now and having a big party”.
It’s not all polish and poise as she starts out a little tense and hesitant, glancing uneasily at the paper she is holding in her tiny hand. But watch what happens at 2:43 when the paper slips to the floor. Her mood changes, she turns to the audience and speaks to them like there was only one person in the room and she has a message for them. It’s a message from her grandfather and his presence is almost palpable as she delivers a message of hope to the auditorium packed with hundreds of her grandfather’s friends and family.
It’s all a little too much to believe until you realize this isn’t any 7 year old singer. At age 4 Kaitlyn won the judges hearts on America’s Got Talent and advanced to the final 10, the youngest contestant to ever reach that level. She wowed the judges with her 1000 watt smile and the genuine joy she got from performing. “Standing on that big stage” she said, “makes me feel like a really big princess”.
For her grandfather’s funeral she covered Jeremy Camp’s There Will Come a Day and does it with feeling. After she finishes the church pastor rushes up to make sure she doesn’t leave the stage before she leads the congregation in a prayer. Here response is priceless: “I’m not going anywhere. I’m giving god the whole day and nobody’s going to stop me.”
Since America’s Got Talent she’s sung for the president in 2008 at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree and released an album titled You Were Meant to Be. Since her pops was killed in a truck accident Kaitlyn has gone on to appear on Disney Channel and done voice work on several direct to video Disney animated movies. Pops would doubtlessly be proud of his little girl and maybe even a little awed by the millions that have watched the video of his granddaughter standing over his flag draped coffin and singing about the better life that he now knows all about. Party on pops!