'Coco' Helped This Boy Process His Little Sister's Passing And Honor Her In A Special Way

"It’s family, faith, and love. We can get through anything.”

Movies can inspire us or help us find meaning in life and, for this kid, Coco did just that. Alexander Vazquez, a 4-year-old boy from San Antonio, Texas, took note of the themes of life and death — highlighted through music — in the new Disney/Pixar film and paid tribute to his little sister, Ava Lynn Deais, who had passed away last May at just 4 months old.

In what has become a viral video (posted originally on December 30), Alexander is seen playing a guitar and singing "Remember Me" from the culture-embracing animated flick in honor of Ava on what would have been her first birthday. Alexander's dad, Samir, shared the clip which has gone on to garner more than 143,000 likes and more than 55,000 retweets — something that has taken him and wife Stephanie by surprise since it was originally intended for friends and family. 

Heck, it even caught the attention of Coco's director, Lee Unkrich.

"The attention isn't what means something to us. It's the birthday wishes we love seeing, the praise to Alex showing how much he loves his little sister, and showing the world just a piece of what we see daily shining from this little boy," Samir told A Plus. "We also love how many people have opened up to us. Like you wouldn't believe. The internet can be a place where it's dark, ugly, rude, and hurtful — but this has been the complete opposite. It's just been positive for us and those families grieving as well."

To those families, Samir had some advice: allow yourselves a grieving period. After all, it is something Samir and Stephanie are still grappling with today — and especially on the day this video was posted, since it was to be Ava's special day.

"There is no day where you wake up and feel over it," Samir said. "It's OK to allow yourself to have bad days — but don't allow it to make every day bad. Reach out and take your time. Whatever feelings or emotion you get is just. You can feel whatever you feel and you shouldn't feel guilty for it."

"It was hard, to put it simply. It still is hard," Samir continued. It's a decision my wife and I make daily to make today better than yesterday. To stay strong for Alex but allow ourselves at the same time to be weak with each other because we are always there for support. It's family, faith, and love. We can get through anything."

Before seeing Coco, Alexander was interested in instruments like any other child but Samir notes that his interest was heightened and they ended up getting him the guitar from the movie. The soundtrack has also become a staple in their household.

"Coco was able to make Alex start to build the idea in his mind and start to picture everything that he's been told and trying to understand," Samir explained. "It definitely made him start asking questions, but his questions were almost rhetorical. Like he was just confirming what he just realized. Things like, 'Is that Heaven? Is that where Ava is? Ava can see us but we can't see her, right?' "

With Alexander honoring Ava with this musical number, he is clearly a lovely big brother — something that he'll become again very soon as Stephanie is pregnant with another baby, a girl they intend to name Stella Grace Deais.

Coco may have just been another animated movie to some but, to others, it just shows the magic of film and how much works like it can affect viewers of all ages.

(H/T: Twitter)

Cover image via Disney/Pixar


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