The bodies of 2 sisters, who were pulled from the rubble of the collapsed Florida condo building, were placed in the same casket and buried with their parents on Tuesday.
Distraught family member Digna Rodriguez reminisced about the happy times, recalling that Lucia Guara, "Lulu bear," loved watching Jeopardy! with her dad, dancing, and spending time with her mother. Her younger sister, Emma, was described as the princess of the family and a natural artist.
The funeral took place at the family's Catholic parish, St. Joseph, just yards away from where the Champlain Towers South building collapsed, killing the young sisters along with their parents, Marcus and Anaely Guara, and thirty-two others. More than 100 are still missing as rescuers continue to dig through piles of concrete and steel in Florida's Surfside.
People on social media have shared their thoughts and prayers with the family...
One Facebook user commented: "The ONLY saving grace here is that the entire family left this physical life together. God Bless their family and grant them peace & understanding in the days, months, and years to come."
While another wrote: "It's so sad and heartbreaking. May they rest in peace. Condolences to all the families victims. May God give you comfort during this difficult time."
"I got choked up reading this. Little sisters in the same coffin. So touching and so sad," a third commented.
According to the Associated Press, Reverend Juan J. Sosa asked for continued prayers for the family. "We still have about fifteen of our other parishioners missing," he said before reminding those that God's strength would help them get through this difficult time.
Family members and friends could be seen in comforting embraces throughout the service, singing an emotional rendition on "Amazing Grace" as the caskets left the church towards the end of the ceremony.
"May we all connect with family as Lucia would. May we all move with grace as Emma would. May we all be as devoted and loyal as Marcus and Anaely was," Rodriguez said.
Marcus Guara's cousin, Peter Milián, encouraged those in attendance to live life like the family had done, and embrace every moment together: "This cooler than cool guy melted all over his daughters. He loved being a father."
Rodriguez described Marcus, fifty-two, as a competitive athlete and successful salesman who enjoyed life's small pleasures. Anaely was a protective mother who embraced Emma's creativity and was Lucia's role model.
Just a few months ago, Lucia's father posted on Facebook that she stuffed all of her birthday and tooth fairy money into an envelope and asked her dad to send it to St. Jude Children's Hospital, saying, "They need it more than I do."
Milián said it was a blessing the family died together.
"I truly believe God watched over them by not making them suffer without Lucia and Emma," he said.
Rest in Peace to all of those who tragically lost their lives in this terrible accident.