Family and friends of murder victim Tanya Brooks believe the former Millbrook resident would have been touched by the community's love as they gathered to say goodbye to her Saturday.
About 150 people, mostly women, walked up Church Road following the hearse that carried the body of 36-year-old Brooks to Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Millbrook Saturday morning.
Many clutched flowers, dabbed tears from their eyes and clung to each other in their grief. Most wore a purple ribbon, a symbol of their stand against violence against Aboriginal women.
"We have to find meaning in this senseless tragedy ... we won't accept violence against (native) women," Catherine Martin told a crowd of about 300 people. The church overflowed with people and was standing room only.
"Tanya was an outgoing, spirited woman who loved life and was an advocate for women's rights," Martin said. "We look beyond all her demons, not unlike many struggles we all have, to what she was deep down ... a blunt, bubbly, beautiful person."
After the service, family and friends shared what memories they will forever hold dear about Tanya.
"When she walked into a room she made it bright. She was always happy and filled our hearts," said first cousin Perry Rolin Gloade of Millbrook.
"Who did this to her and why?" he asked, tears streaming down his face.
Tanya's sister, Margaret Brooks, said Tanya lives on in each family member and friend.
"Your body may not be here but your heart and strength will be carried with me all the days of my life," she said. "We'll let her children remember what an amazing women she was."
Tanya was working towards getting her high school diploma at the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth. Her body was found near Halifax's St. Patrick’s-Alexandra School on May 11.