A Young Life Lost

Family grieving the tragic death of 5-year-old girl
Morgan Hill – A family who lost their 5-year-old girl to a tragic accident last week is trying to come to terms with her death – especially her twin sister Trinity.

“It’s so hard, but I believe she does understand that Miranda is really gone,” said their mother, Julie Beatty. “She said, ‘Miranda is with God.'”

Trinity’s sister Miranda Mackenzie Faulhaber was killed Wednesday after being kicked by a horse when she wandered into the family’s pasture at their Morgan Hill home to visit her pony.

And though Trinity can no longer speak with her fraternal twin, there are many things she wanted to say. To cope with her grief, Trinity wrote Miranda a letter with the help of her mother.

“I copied down what she wanted to say, that she loves her, that she misses her and that she’s sorry she was killed,” Julie said. “We put the letter in one of those Happy Meal buckets, and we went to the store and got helium balloons, then we tied them to the bucket with the letter inside and let it all float away.”

The tragic accident continues to haunt her mother as well. Julie, who is an emergency psychiatric technician, was at work when the accident occurred.

“We always kept the ponies separate from the big horses, but they were all in the pasture that day,” Julie said. “We think she just thought, ‘Oh, I’ll get my pony,’ and slipped through the fence to find her pony.”

Not long after the accident, Miranda was flown by helicopter to Valley Medical Center where she died from her injuries.

Julie’s mother, Karen, was at home and became hysterical when Miranda was found.

“She was screaming, and two strangers stopped out of the blue to help her with Miranda,” Julie said. “My mother wants to thank them, but it was such an upsetting time, she didn’t get a name or anything from them.”

Sitting in a local coffee shop, Julie speaks of a young girl who was crazy about horses. Her room was filled with pictures of horses, and she would wake up in the morning talking about riding her pony.

“She loved those two ponies,” Julie said. “She would ride for two hours a day. And they were great ponies. She could climb on them, pull on their manes, they wouldn’t mind. She could go right out and get her pony, ride it around the ring.”

It’s Miranda’s love of the horses that makes her sudden death so tragic for the family.

“It just kills me that what she loved the most killed her,” she said. “She loved them so much.”

The family has since moved all their horses off the land, giving them to a Gilroy woman who will sell them.

“I just couldn’t have them here anymore,” she said.

Miranda’s death also has been difficult for Juile’s other children, a 13-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son she didn’t want to identify.

“But I think it will be the hardest for Trinny,” she said.

Trinity would ride if she wanted to be with Miranda, Julie said, but she wasn’t as enamored with horses as her sister. Even so, the girls were incredibly close.

“They did everything together, from the time they were infants,” she said. “They have always shared a room, bathed together, played together. When they started kindergarten in August, the school asked if I wanted them together or in separate rooms. I told them of course I wanted them together; it would make the transition so easy. And it did. They didn’t cry the first day when I left them, they had each other. They just waved good-bye.”

Miranda was an outgoing girl, maybe a bit shy when she first met people, but she made friends easily, her mother said.

“She loved playing on the T-ball team with the boys,” she said. “She was really a happy kid. She and her sister didn’t fight much. If they did, they had to give each other a kiss, a hug and say I’m sorry. But that didn’t happen much.

“She loved to draw and color and cut out pictures of horses from the horse magazines. She would literally gallop around the yard or the playground, whinnying like a horse. She loved to be barefoot, didn’t like it when we told her to put her shoes on, and she was enjoying school, coming home and telling me, ‘Mom, I have another friend; Mom, I like playing with my friends at school.'”

Services will be held for Miranda Thursday at 1pm at the West Hills Community Church, 16695 DeWitt Ave.

A memorial fund has been set up in Miranda’s name at Washington Mutual Bank.

“I work hard to earn money for us, we don’t need that for us, but what I would like to do is set up a trust fund for Trinity, so that when she is ready to go to college, or whatever she chooses, she will have the money to do that, like it’s from Miranda,” Julie said.

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