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Grieving Mom Couldn’t Afford Son’s Headstone Until His Best Friend Makes Sweet Offer.

Some friendships truly feel like coming home. There are just some people with whom we click so quickly, it feels like destiny.

That’s how it was for Kaleb Klakulak and his best friend, K.H. Gross. The boys met in second grade after Kaleb’s parents got divorced and he moved with his mother to Warren, Michigan. Being the new kid is never easy, but the second Kaleb met K.J. they formed a tight bond that was never broken in all their years of friendship.


“They were like two of a kind,” said K.J.’s mom, LaSondra Singleton. Both boys are shy and quiet, so their personalities meshed perfectly. They’d sit and play video games for hours, just pleased to be in one another’s company.

Kaleb’s mother, Kristy Hall, echoed LaSondra’s sentiments. “K.J. coming into our life was amazing. He had all this excitement,” she explained. “I think they liked each other because they ‘got’ each other. They were both able to just be themselves and be together without having to impress the other one.”

“It was fun because he liked almost everything I liked,” Kaleb said simply.


Sadly, K.J. had been battling leukemia since he was just 11 months old. He was in and out of the hospital for most of his life, and often Kaleb would visit him and sit by his bedside for hours on end. When K.J.’s illness kept him from getting outside and enjoying himself as other kids his age would, Kaleb was content to stick by his side.

“When he couldn’t go out and play, Kaleb would come to our house and play,” LaSondra explained. “They were inseparable from the beginning to end of their relationship.”


One December day, Kaleb and his mother received a devastating call. Kaleb had taken a turn for the worse and was in the hospital with congestive heart failure. He was immediately put on the list for a heart transplant, but sadly he didn’t make it long enough to receive a new heart. Kaleb was able to say goodbye before his best friend passed away.

With K.J. gone, LaSondra was faced with the burial costs that the single mom simply couldn’t afford. She had given up her job years ago in order to care for her son full time. To add to her burden, her mother had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.


K.J. was buried in a family plot with no headstone. When Kaleb heard that LaSondra couldn’t afford a grave marker, he started asking his mother tough questions and brainstorming ways to raise the money himself.

“He slowly started saying things like, ‘Mom, how much does a headstone cost?'” Kristy recalled.

Kaleb began collecting soda bottles to cash them in for money. The family put a notice out to neighbors to save their bottles for Kaleb and he and his mother filled her car with bottles several times to get the recycling deposits at the grocery store. He began doing odd jobs to make money, too, and soon Kristy helped him set up a PayPal account to gather donations.


A few weeks later, Kaleb visited LaSondra and handed her $900. The PayPal account was also accumulating donations with a goal of $2,500. LaSondra was beside herself when she realized what her son’s friend had done.

“I cried because it was unexpected. I cried because I’m trying to figure out things from day to day,” she revealed. “I can see his final resting place. I have a place I can go and be with him. It’s a bittersweet thing because it’s finalizing everything for me. I’ve wanted to get his headstone, but at the same time it’s making everything final for me.”


Kaleb is still struggling to adjust to life without his best friend, but knowing that he has made a difference in K.J.’s mother’s life means the world to him. Sometimes just finding a way that we can be of service is the first step towards healing our heart’s deepest wounds.

Rest in peace, sweet K.J. Please share this story to spread this message of unity and enduring love.

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