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An unbreakable bond
Overcome with the grief of losing her only child and a sister when their Moruga home was deliberately set on fire, Nicole Gopaul screamed for answers when the single casket bearing both their charred remains arrived at her father’s home yesterday.
“Why they do this to my child. I’m not ready to tell my child goodbye forever. Let me hug her up,” were some of the heart-wrenching cries of Nicole Gopaul, 32, while surrounded by other relatives around the casket bearing the remains of eight-year-old Alliyah Primus and Nolene Nesha Gopaul, 41.
Armed police stood watch during the entire funeral proceedings. Other relatives pounded the sealed casket in their moments of anguish. On top of the casket framed photos of Alliyah and Nolene collapsed with the commotion.
A faint scent of smoke from the ruins of the house where Gopaul shared much laughter with her daughter, Alliyah, Nolene, and other relatives were a reminder of last Friday’s tragedy.
One of Gopaul’s sisters has been given police protection as investigators try to find those responsible for the deadly fire. She attended the funeral and was closely guarded.
Eleven other family members, including four children, were forced to jump through the windows after someone set fire to the front and back doors of the house.
That house was located at the back of Gopaul’s father’s house at Fifth Company Village.
“If you called me I would ah come and help you. Why you did not call me? Ah would ah buss the window for you,” cried Nolene’s other sister Natalie who also fled from the burning house.
Sharing fond memories of her daughter during the service at the Open Bible Church at St Mary’s Village, Gopaul recalled how she begged God to spare her daughter’s life when at birth she had to be put on life support. Since then she had been very careful with her.
“I did not even want an ant to bite my child,” she said adding that she had gotten so many signs but did not know it meant she was going to lose her child. She said the night “the devil decided to take” Alliyah.
She said everyone thought that Alliyah would become a fashion designer because she had a passion for designing clothes.
“She will turn a vest into a skirt, a top into a head tie, she would cut plastic bags to make clothes,” said Gopaul.
The mother said she was also putting things in place for her daughter to visit Disney World, in December.
Since the incident, Gopaul said she has not been able to eat or sleep.
“I will live the correct life so one day I will see my daughter again,” the mother said.
Karlene Ali said Nolene will be remembered for her loudness, vibrance and loving nature.
The third of 11 children, Ali said Nolene’s 15-year-old daughter was her world. But, she also had unconditional love for Alliyah.
“They shared an unbreakable bond,” said Ali, who recalled that Nolene would help Alliyah with her homework and organise her for school. “Their love knew no bounds. She selflessly gave her life to protect the child she loved as her own,” she said.
Following the service officiated by Rev Valerie Samuel, their bodies were interred at Paynter Cemetery.