Just hours before 4-year-old Adalynn Sooter died from a brain tumor on June 3 at an Arkansas hospital, her big brother was at her bedside stroking her hair in the girl’s final moments.
“A little boy should not have to say goodbye to his partner in crime, his playmate, his best friend, his little sister,” the children’s father, Matt Sooter, wrote in a Facebook post alongside the moving photoearlier this month. “This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. But this is the broken world we live in.”
In the shot, 6-year-old Jackson rested his right hand on Adalynn’s head as the ailing girl held his left arm.
“It was a sweet moment, but not unexpected,” Matt tells PEOPLE of the siblings’ special goodbye. “Jackson has always been great with her and took very good care of her. He’s still a happy little boy, but he misses her.”
At 1:04a.m. Our sweet little girl received the miraculous healing that we’ve all been praying for for so long and ran into the arms of Jesus. She passed from this life to the next just as she had lived: stubbornly but also peacefully, and surrounded by family. She wasn’t in any pain at the end. For those who were wishing to say goodbye I’m so sorry. This all happened so much faster than we expected, but that in itself is a blessing because she suffered so little at the end. We will let you all know once services are scheduled. Thank you for being a part of our little girl’s miracle. While this is only goodbye for now we miss our baby girl terribly.
Always remember: God is in this situation, He’s up to something, and He’s up to something GOOD.