The late Esther Kinyanjui, the Kenyan mother of two who was killed by her ex-boyfriend, was finally laid to rest on Thursday, October 31, 2007 at the Pine Grove cemetery in the densely populated city of Lynn, Massachusetts.
Hundreds of grief stricken Kenyans filled the Washington Street Baptist Church for a memorial service prior to proceeding to the burial site for the final rites.
Kenyan pastors from different churches in Massachusetts conducted the service. The pastors have recently demonstrated tremendous unity among themselves and are serving as a symbol of unity and comfort to Kenyans.
Family members and friends stared with grim faces at the casket carrying the remains of the departed compatriot as it lay at the front of the church. It seemed they were trying to comprehend why such a promising life was wasted at such a prime age. Esther leaves behind two young daughters whose future will forever be affected by her sudden and tragic death.
Friends prepare to place a friendship flower on Esther's final resting place at the funeral held at the Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, Mass. pic by H.Maina/ajabuafrica.com
Speaking during the service, Dr. Rev. Karimi Mumbui, who led the prayers, asked Kenyans to be tolerant of each other. He prayed for God’s grace to be bestowed on the family of the late Esther and especially her surviving children. “If you live by God’s word and if you believe you are someone important in this world, you will never have the urge to revenge when someone wrongs you”, Dr. Karimi preached.
Rev. Peter Gachathi reiterated the need for Kenyan churches to start professional counseling services to tackle marital problems precipitated by stressful lifestyles in America that affect many immigrant families.
Mourners paid their final respects by laying flowers at the graveside. As they left, they created a long convoy of cars that caused a massive traffic gridlock along Washington Street and the adjoining streets in Lynn for about two miles. Most of the mourners were rushing to work to clock in for the 3pm to 11pm shift.
“This kind of thing should never happen to anybody. Even when people have disagreed to the maximum”, a mourner was overheard by EaUnited as she whispered to her companion as they left the site.
Story by EaUnited Staffer
November 13, 2007
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