Mother leaves Christmas tree on Neville-Lake children's grave
A small Christmas tree has been placed over the grave of three children who were killed in a car crash in Vaughan, Ont., in September.
The tree was placed at the head of the gravesite of 9-year-old Daniel, 5-year-old Harrison (Harry) and 2-year-old Milagros (Milly) Neville-Lake.
"We put up a Christmas tree there because we can't bear to have one at home right now," the children's mother, Jennifer Neville-Lake, said outside of a courthouse Thursday.
The family was attending a video remand for the man accused of impaired driving in the crash that killed her children. The crash also claimed the life of their 65-year-old grandfather Gary Neville on Sept. 27.
Marco Muzzo, 29, is facing several charges in connection with the fatal crash, including impaired driving causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
Muzzo made a video link appearance in court Wednesday, but spoke only to state his name. He is expected to appear in court again by video on Dec. 10.
The children's parents brought the small tree to the grave on Tuesday, complete with ornaments representing each family member. A Star Wars Stormtrooper was hung for Daniel, while Disney characters Rapunzel from "Tangled" and Ana from "Frozen" were hung for Harry and Milly.
A Superman ornament was hung to represent the children's grandfather. She placed a small plaque in the tree's pot, which reads: "All I want for Christmas is my kids and dad back."
"Why can't they have Christmas?" Neville-Lake said through tears.
She told reporters this week has been difficult for the family, because they were supposed to go on their first family vacation since Milly was born.
The weekend will also be emotionally challenging, as Sunday marks another difficult date, she said.
"Advent was huge in our household because at the end of Advent is Milly's birthday."
Neville-Lake told reporters she was drawing strength from the support of community members and strangers since the death of the children and her father.
"It's really, really very humbling and reassuring to know that our kids aren't forgotten," she said.