LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — The family of a 4-year-old boy killed in a tragic tree accident is honoring him by sharing who he was and asking everyone to show kindness to each other in his memory.

The incident happened near Jay Way and Weaver Drive Friday morning. A Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said that several kids were playing on a slackline or zipline when one of the trees it was tied to gave way and toppled over, killing Maximillion Robert Wilder Wood.

Maximillion was a vivacious child with an “old soul,” according to his family. In a statement, the Wood family describes him as a child with a big heart who made friends with everyone he encountered.

The boy and his family were visiting Colorado from Indianola, Iowa when the tragedy occurred. As the family has been dealing with the loss, they said the communities of both Littleton and Indianola have shown great support for them through this difficult time.

“Although we are over one thousand miles away from home, a community has rallied behind our family. A GoFundMe keeps growing, meals are being planned, teachers are finding ways to show and spread love such as wearing Maximillion’s favorite colors–red and orange–at school,” the statement said.

The family said the community has been coming together to bring meals, send flowers, and help with house chores to aid them through their grieving period.

“Our family asks that everyone shows Maximillion the love he showed others. Smile at strangers, make a friend, get to know your neighbors, accept everyone, laugh at the silly, and eat ice cream. Love life. It is so fragile and fleeting,” the family said.

In his four years of life, Maximillion’s “ageless, genuine, loving soul” made quite an impact and his family wants everyone to know that.

Read the full letter below:

Hi! I’m Maximillion Robert Wilder Wood! What’s your name?

Our family has been a member of the Indianola community for 10 years.

As we introduce our little boy to you, please know that he would want you to be introduced to him, because Maximillion did not know a stranger. This little boy had a larger than life heart, and an old soul. Everyone he met was his friend and this could be neighbors and schoolmates, but it was equally UPS drivers, Amazon drivers, hotel guests in elevators, docents at museums, spectators on the bleachers, and countless other places he went. Everyone was his friend.

Maximillion had an infectious spirit with an imagination to match. Although only age four, he already had the important parts of life figured out: make up adventures; have fun; family is everything; love everyone, and of course, eat ice cream all the time (especially strawberry with gummy bears and sprinkles). He also knew the significance of education. When he started pre-school at age four, his mom asked him if he was excited and his response was “I need to go, it’s important.” He also knew that friendships are sacred and as he made friends often, he knew the importance of keeping them.

Our family, our friends and our communities–in Littleton, Colorado and in Indianola, Iowa–are honoring Maximillion’s spirit with what he knew, which is that love is what life is about.

Although we are over one thousand miles away from home, a community has rallied behind our family. A GoFundMe keeps growing, meals are being planned, teachers are finding ways to show and spread love such as wearing Maximillion’s favorite colors–red and orange–at school. 

The outpouring of community support pays tribute to who Maximillion was and the legacy he leaves. Neighbors are visiting, sharing meals and food, sending flowers and kindness with messages and love. Friends are housekeeping, landscaping and grocery shopping. Our children are comforted with hugs all around and young children are finding ways to laugh with their pain. In true Maximillion spirit, the new people we have met are now our friends. 

Maximillion’s death is a tragedy but his life is a blessing. Amidst the sadness and grief, it is only support, friendship and love that has been presented to every member of our family. This is a true testament to how many lives Maximillion touched in his 4 short years, and to his ageless, genuine, loving soul.

Our family asks that everyone shows Maximillion the love he showed others. Smile at strangers, make a friend, get to know your neighbors, accept everyone, laugh at the silly, and eat ice cream. Love life. It is so fragile and fleeting. 

The Wood Family