Today, rapper Heavy D was laid to rest at the historic Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York. Although many of his friends have reached out to comfort the family, perhaps none are more important than the President of the United States.

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Unfortunately, President Obama could not attend today’s services, but sent a note via Rev. Al Sharpton to be read to Heavy D’s 11-year-old daughter, Xea Myers. According to NPR, the letter read, “We extend our heartfelt condolences at this difficult time. He will be remembered for his infectious optimism and many contributions to American music. Please know that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.”

Xea also found the courage to speak and told the church that her father “was still here, not in the flesh, but in the spirit.”

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Heavy D suddenly passed away last week at the age of 44 — his death is blamed on pneumonia.

His family released a statement earlier this week detailing how much they will miss their loved one — especially his “bear hugs.”