The chapel located in the bottom of our schools building started off nearly empty, only three others students, a few other members of the Madrid community and myself sat in the rows close to the front. The students and I didn't know if we were allowed to sit in the first few rows, but we determined it was OK since we grew so close to her. The minutes passed and the chapel began to fill. Students who studied abroad in previous semesters who now worked in Spain arrived, her three brothers sat across the aisle, opposite us, their emotions and tears clearly showing how much Femy meant to them. Faculty, that we have grown to know, attended and even some of our señoras came to pay their respects.
The ceremony began and the priest spoke about the kind, loving person Femy was and how, just like all of Gods children, we live, die and return to our place next to him. The language was no longer a barrier, we all shared the same loss, the same grief and the same question: Why Femy? The priest answered this question by saying it is never the right time for any of us to loose someone we love and care for, but that God has a plan regardless of what is seemingly convenient for us. I am not an extremely religious person but this hit home for me as well as many of us who attended the ceremony. It was not a convenient time to loose Femy, it never would have been, but the idea that she could be looking out for us somewhere in this world, even above us in Heaven, makes loosing her easier because no matter where she is I can guarantee you she is smiling and laughing that hearty laugh she had.
After a beautiful ceremony there was a homage in one of the classrooms. Photos of Femy when she was a baby, a tomboy and then a college student. There were photos of Femy alone but not many, she was always with someone in a photo and I think that shows just how much of a people person and caregiver she was. There were plenty of photos of her with students, a sign of how she depended on us and we depended on her, and of her with friends laughing. Kind words were said by her coworkers and her youngest brother at the end that truly embodied the spirit Femy had. No one was ever able to stop her from achieving greatness and she wouldn't stop anyone from going after their dreams. Everyone was touched by Femy and Thursday's ceremony embodied her spirit and the tears that were shed were of sadness but also happiness that we were able to be part of her life in some way. We wish you everlasting peace, Femy. See you on the other side.