This 8-year-old islander only lived a short time, but the joy he spread is immeasurable

On a somber day in March on the beaches of O’ahu, Hawaii, Taylor Pierce and her family gathered with hundreds of others in preparation for a memorial paddle out for her departed 8-year-old son, Grif Pierce.

Grif’s family and friends held each other as they shared memories and listened as Jack Johnson performed his song “Home” for his friend Grif.

“This would be Grif’s favorite day if he were here,” family friend Richie Norton said to the crowd in tears. “So many good people. Thank you so much.”

An estimated 350 people showed up for the paddle out for 8-year-old Grif Pierce.
An estimated 350 people showed up for the paddle out for 8-year-old Grif Pierce. Credit: Courtesy of Taylor Pierce

Earlier that month, Grif was enjoying a normal day, playing at the beach with his family.

“He was running around and happy and had the best time ever and driving home, he kept on saying, ‘I love you, Momma. I love you, Dadda,’” said Grif’s mother, Taylor Pierce. “And then within 15 minutes of us getting home, he went unconscious. And he didn’t ever wake up from that.”

Despite the overwhelming grief the Pierce family are experiencing, Taylor said the greatest miracle has been finding joy in their sorrow.

“It is through [Christ’s] Atonement that I can say that … nothing is final. No feeling is final. Life is not final.” 

LDS Living tells his full story.