Goodbye to Toby

TEN-year-old Toby Button is to be buried today after a funeral ceremony, which will celebrate his short life. Toby's family and friends will honour his memory with poetry and music at the funeral at the Old Cemetery Chapel at 1pm.

TEN-year-old Toby Button is to be buried today after a funeral ceremony, which will celebrate his short life.

Toby's family and friends will honour his memory with poetry and music at the funeral at the Old Cemetery Chapel at 1pm.

Toby fought Batten disease, a debilitating condition that attacks the brain and nervous system, for most of his life. He died at the East Anglian Children's Hospice on January 4.

The funeral will include a number of personal tributes including a poem written and recited by step-mum Sally Hagger and eulogies by father Carl Button and grandfather Michael Button.

Carl Button said: "It is going to be a celebration of Toby's life even though it was so short. It seems he affected a lot of people.

"Even though he was unable to see or express himself he made an awful lot of friends."

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Toby was the eldest of Carl Button's and Janine Mowles' children. He lived with his father and step-mum at their home in Cedarcroft Road, with his sisters and step-brothers.

His family and Heathside Special School were determined to help Toby keep active for as long as possible. Toby loved horse riding, swimming and the sensory room at the school.

Mr Button said: "We will play his favourite song at the end of the service. It is 'Who let the dog's out?' by the Baha Men.

"This was his particular favourite it always made him laugh even when the disability had taken hold of him."

Toby's step-brother Christopher Bailey, 12, has written a poem in honour of Toby.

Mr Button said: "It is Chris' way of getting his feelings across, he is going to read it at the funeral."

The poem is entitled Toby.

Toby

A very upsetting day has passed striking its mighty blow,

tearing apart a thousand hearts taking one boy's life.

The life was cherished and of love,

his spirit how it soared,

lighting up every heart it touched,

and making a list of friends.

But the reaper found a weak point, his heart.

Open to the world sharing the warmth that it held,

the reaper did not hesitate to shatter his family's happy lives.

Now all that is left is a hollow shell, that once contained such beauty.

The song of a hummingbird could not compare to the boy inside the shell,

but now the child we all loved is gone.

People who did not know him are touched by his story, and enemies united.

Friendships were built and his soul remains forever in our hearts.

n The funeral will take place at 1pm today at the Old Cemetery Chapel followed by a burial at the Millennium Cemetery. All are welcome. Family flowers only but people are invited to make donations to the East Anglian Children's Hospice c/o Michael Smy Funeral Directors, 145 Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP3 8EB.