On a day that should have been one of great celebration, friends, family, well wishers and loved ones said their goodbyes instead to Taylor Marie Behl.
They lined up outside the Money & King Funeral Home in the raw drizzle of an overcast October afternoon to say goodbye.
They saw a closed, reddish-brown casket containing the remains of Taylor Behl on what would have been her 18th birthday.
“A beautiful girl. Beautiful,” said Samantha Murat, one of many mourners drawn to yesterday’s visitation by sorrow and sympathy for a family tragedy that unfolded before a nation.
“I feel like she’s my own. I feel so bad for family,” Murat said in broken English. “She’s in the heaven now. What can you say to parents . . . no words.”
From The Washington Post: An Outpouring of Grief for Slain Student
Taylor Marie Behl would have turned 18 yesterday, a milestone the slain college student eagerly anticipated and wrote about in her online journal. Instead, dozens of relatives, friends and strangers filed into a funeral home in Vienna to bid farewell, one week after her remains were found in a ravine east of Richmond.
“I can’t stand it. How does this happen to a young girl like that?” said Samantha Murat, a longtime Vienna resident who attended the closed-casket viewing with her sister. “It’s just so very sad. I feel like she is one of my own. I watched her every night [on television]. I saw her parents inside. I told them I didn’t know her, but I feel like I know her. I told them she’s in heaven right now. What can you say to parents? [There are] no words.”