Funeral for 14-year-old Elliott Arizaga-Hernandez, brother explains how the family is coping with loss

Friends, family gather to remember storm victim

FULTONDALE, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: Tuesday, family and friends gathered to say goodbye to 14-year-old Elliott Arizaga-Hernandez who was killed in the Fultondale tornado on January 25, 2021.

Elliott’s funeral and graveside service was held Tuesday, February 9 at 1:30 p.m., at Oakwood Cemetery at 2100 Moncrief Road, Gardendale, AL 35071. The public was invited to attend.

Balloons were released in Elliott’s honor at the end of the service.

Funeral service for 14-year-old Elliott Hernandez

ORIGINAL: A memorial was held Friday afternoon in honor of 14-year-old Elliott Arizaga-Hernandez, the Fultondale High School student who died in Monday night’s tornado.

Family, friends, classmates, teachers, and a host of others who loved Elliott gathered at the Fultondale Target on Friday to express their condolences and impart words of compassion and encouragement to the Arizaga-Hernandez Family.

Elliott’s older brother, Christopher, said he’s trying to keep busy and stay strong for his family.

A small gathering in Target’s parking lot brings comfort to a family mourning the loss of Elliott.

“It’s been hard to just remember what happened, but at the same time it’s been heartwarming cause a lot of people have reached out to us...and you feel…like in a situation like this…like you feel very…it feels very comforting because you really don’t want to face this alone,” Christopher said.

Christopher said he and his older brother, Oscar, are standing strong for the family, taking care of their younger brothers, watching over their grief-stricken mother and their father who is still recovering in the hospital from injuries he sustained in Monday night’s storm.

“We have faith in God and of course, that’s what’s helping us. My mom has been telling me, ‘Chris, this is not my strength anymore. It’s God’s strength…this is God’s strength. I can’t do this anymore, I’m done, I’m defeated and if I’m moving, if I’m still here, it’s because God has given me the power,’” Christopher said.

Christopher said his heart is full from the outpouring of love and support they’ve received during this difficult time, but words just can’t describe the loss he feels.

“I feel like I’m just…I feel like I’m just there honestly… sometimes I just don’t want nothing really. I just want my brother and that’s something that I can’t…stop thinking about…I feel… like I want to cry but sometimes I just can’t. I just have to keep moving. I have to stay busy, so I won’t have that …so that feeling I guess that’s my feeling of sadness won’t take over me,” Christopher explained.

Elliott’s father had surgery on his broken arm Friday morning.

The family is taking it day by day and thanks the community for helping them get through this difficult time.

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