A Little Boy's Grave Has A Window And The Story Behind It Will Restore Your Faith In People

    "Right before he died, he asked his father not to bury him in the ground so he wouldn't have to eternally rest in the dark."

    In December 1865, an 8-year-old boy named Merrit Beardsley died from a fever. His family lived next to a cemetery in Oxford, New York, where his father, William, worked as both a farmer and a stonemason.

    Like most little kids, Merrit was terribly afraid of the dark — so much so that before he died, he asked his father not to bury him in the ground so he wouldn't have to eternally rest in the dark.

    Granting his son's dying wish, William built Merrit a beautiful tomb that had a little window so he'd never have to be in the dark.

    While the devastated father's gesture was heartwarming, it wasn't sustainable for long. Over the decades, Little Merrit's window to the outside world was vandalized over and over again. At the end of it, Merrit's window was always left broken.

    It wasn't until 2013 that someone cared enough to try and restore it. Stefan Foster, a 16-year-old boy from nearby Norwich, came along and was immediately fascinated by Little Merrit's story.

    "My family first mentioned the story of Little Merrit’s Tomb when I was 8 or 9," Foster told BuzzFeed. "Growing up, my grandma would take me in the car with her on ‘mystery trips’ to old ancestral sites and cemeteries around the county. Since then, I’ve carried an interest in finding forgotten sites along lesser-taken drives."

    Foster said that it wasn't until years later when he saw the grave window in shambles that he felt the need to restore it. Immediately, he began fundraising: "I approached town hall and received financial support to have the missing glass window replaced with a stronger material. Early personal outreach resulted in donations that funded the initial cleaning of the tomb."

    After all this work, Foster said that the most fulfilling thing about restoring the grave has been the gifts people have left for Little Merrit: "Visitors have been leaving toys, flowers, and other small gifts. Rather than finding shattered glass and heaving stones, the cemetery now reflects an improved state, with more care and awareness surrounding it."

    Thanks to Stefan Foster and those who continue to volunteer, an entire town now rallies behind Little Merrit and his window to the light.

    To keep up with Stefan and his efforts with Little Merrit's Tomb, like and follow the page on Facebook!