Zach Sobiech's funeral was held on Thursday, May 23, and hundreds gathered to celebrate his life. After battling osteosarcoma from the age of 14, Sobiech passed away on May 20 at the age of 18. His memory, and mission to help find a cure for childhood cancer, lives on through his inspirational song, "Clouds."
According to the Minnesota newspaper Pioneer Press, 1,200 people attended Sobiech's funeral at the Church of St. Michael in Stillwater, Minn. Outside, the church was decorated with balloons that had Sobiech's "up, up, up" lyrics written on the front.
"Clouds" became an instant YouTube success since its December release, and has since reached No. 1 on iTunes. Speaking at his funeral, Rev. Mike Miller said Sobiech "accomplished more in his very short life than many of us ever do, and he became known around the world for the way he took on this illness."
"We're here today to honor a kid who went down fighting and who didn't lose," he said. "Zach was someone who wanted everyone to know, 'You don't have to find out you're dying to start living.'"
Sobiech's good friend and songwriting partner, Samantha "Sammy" Brown," also spoke at his funeral. "He has taught me to see beauty and joy in everything, and although today is very sad, it is also very beautiful," she said. "Because what's more beautiful than a congregation of lovely people celebrating the life of a beautiful young man? Life gave my friend Zach a lot -- but life gave us Zach, and we can always be thankful for that."
Sobiech also left behind an inspirational 22-minute documentary, My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech. In the Justin Baldoni-directed video, he said, "My closure is being able to get my feelings into these songs so they can have something to remember me by or lean on when I'm gone."