SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - For family of Monae Pace, the 10-year-old's unexpected death has sent relatives shocked and reeling - unable to decide how to feel.
For Trinity Paige, a cousin of Pace, she still breaks down when hearing others talk about her relative. For Joi Marie Auld, another relative of Pace, she says the emotional loss has translated to physical pain.
"I don’t know how to feel right now. This feels so unreal. It’s unbelievable. I just can’t believe and I won’t believe that she’s gone," Paige said. "I don’t know what I’m gonna do without her."
"My heart hurts, my chest hurts. I just keep thinking about it. I hope I have a dream about her because this is so unbelievable," said Auld.
The family member's heartbreak is wrapped up in confusion as no one is really sure what happened to Pace. A member of the Southfield Falcons Cheer squad, she was at practice last week when she collapsed.
Moments before then, she and Paige - who also does cheer for another team - had been together.
"We were finally about to branch off and I was like ‘have fun at practice. I love you’ and those were the last words I said to her," she said. "I’m trying to stay strong for everybody else, but it’s like I can’t do it. Every time I think or hear somebody talking about her, I just want to break down."
Pace's direct family declined to speak to FOX 2, but said they were still waiting on an autopsy report for answers about what happened to their daughter.
Meanwhile, Pace is being honored at a vigil Tuesday night at the Thompson K-12 International Academy in Southfield.
A gofundme has also been set up to help the family afford funeral expenses. You can find a link here.
As family contends with the death, they are pushing through a larger sentiment: appreciate the people you have while they're around.
"Tomorrow's not promised. Please love and hug on your people that you're really close with because you never know what might happen," Paige said.