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Coudray’s daughter laid to rest
Michelle Coudray-Greaves’ daughters Shanelle and Danielle burst into tears as they were given the task of doing what no children their age should ever have to do—place holy water on the cremated remains of their mother, who was brutally murdered three weeks ago. Shanelle, the eldest, ran into the waiting arms of her father, Jamaican Shane Greaves, while Danielle found comfort in the arms of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who herself could not hold back the tears.
Joshua, the youngest of Coudray-Greaves’ children, who also joined his sisters in the final blessing of her remains, innocently went through the motions, oblivious of the sacredness and finality of the act he was performing. There were no empty pews in Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church yesterday afternoon, as mourners from all walks of life, including from the People’s National Movement and the People’s Partnership turned up to bid farewell to the elder daughter of Marlene Coudray, new Minister of Gender Affairs, Youth and Child Development.
Comforted by her companion Larry Achong, Coudray sat in the front pew, a tower of strength, as glowing tributes were paid to her departed daughter who was murdered and her body burnt in Jamaica, a place she loved and described as her second home. Everyone who spoke, including her uncle Noel Jones and an aunt, chose to remember her as she lived, bringing joy and love to those who knew her.
Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar also read a lesson from the book of Psalms in the inter-faith service conducted by Msgr Christian Pereira and Canon Dr Steve West. Msgr Pereira also prayed for the newly reconfigured Cabinet and for it to bring about justice in this jubilee year of our nation. A colleague from Cornwall College where Coudray-Greaves taught Spanish described her as an extraordinary person who touched their lives.
She said the school has sunk into despair since her untimely passing. Coudray-Greaves’ childhood friends Raeann and Nicole were emotional as they remembered their friend of three decades. Anglican priest Cannon West said when God created the world, it was good and it was His intention that it remain so. He said man’s disobedience to God, when brother shed brother’s blood, brought evil into the world, an evil that has enveloped society, causing chaos and disharmony.
“The brutal murder of Michelle is a total disrespect for the human body. It is a human tragedy of enormous proportions.” As the service ended, the Southernaires Choir paid special tribute to the departed soul, sending her out with a soulful rendition of Michelle, My Belle. Coudray-Greaves’ remains were later interred at the Paradise Cemetery, San Fernando.
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