Hearts are heavy and tears are flowing at Northwood Middle School after the death of 13-year-old Chloe Rae Comeau.
For nine months, Chloe fought to survive. But on Nov. 21, she died from complications of a brain tumor, according to a GoFundMe account her aunt Tamara Comeau set up.
Northwood is in unincorporated King County with a Renton address, 17007 SE 184th St., but part of the Kent School District.
“It is with great sorrow that I inform you of the beautiful soul we lost today,” Tiffany Comeau, her mother, posted. “She was the most loving, courageous and positive person. She is no longer suffering and is at peace; having a party up in heaven with her papa.
“Thank you for all of the love and support my family has received during the last nine months.”
A Celebration of Life for Chloe is at 11 a.m. on Saturday Dec. 9 at New Hope Presbyterian Church, 19800 108th Ave. SE, in Kent. All are welcome, according to the family.
“Chloe has been the light of our lives since we first saw her,” said Tamara Comeau, who started the GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs and to support Tiffany Comeau and her three other young children.
At Northwood, Chloe served as an Associated Student Body (ASB) officer and worked on the school yearbook team, according to a Nov. 29 email from Principal Scott Haines. She was in the eighth grade.
“Chloe was a kindhearted, positive, caring person,” Haines said in an email to the Kent Reporter. “She showed grit and determination like no other student I have seen.”
School leaders arranged for additional counseling support for students and staff.
“It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to share news of the passing of one of our dynamic 8th grade students,” Haines wrote in a Nov. 22 email to the Northwood community. “Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family and friends during this difficult time of grief and loss.”
After the Thanksgiving break, Northwood staff provided a card in the school Commons at lunch for students and staff to write messages of condolence to the family. Students were welcome to add a message or just sign the card to be shared with Chloe’s family.
“Losing a member of our Northwood Family is painful,” Haines said in his email to the school community. “I cannot imagine the grief that the Comeau family is experiencing. I know this is, and will be, a very difficult time for our community as we mourn the loss of one of our own.”
In a Nov. 23 Northwood email, Haines shared details to help students and staff cope with the loss of Chloe.
“Processing this type of loss is difficult,” he said. “When things like this happen, people have different kinds of reactions such as shock, sadness, fear, or anger. You might feel these emotions on and off today and in the days to come. Some of us may want quiet time alone and others may want time to talk with our friends.
“Some of you who didn’t know Chloe may be ready to return to learning sooner than others. We need to practice patience and understanding for each other during this time of grief and sadness.”
Counselors stepped up to help students.
“Losing a member of our Jaguar Family is painful,” Haines said. “Remember, support is available for anyone that needs it.”
Haines summed up in his email to the Kent Reporter what Chloe was like at Northwood.
“She was very involved in what was going on around campus, and always willing to help others, even though she was in pain herself a lot of the time,” he said. “To me, she is the epitome of what a student should be like.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated that Northwood is in unincorporated King County.