Hundreds packed the funeral of 15 year-old Hadiya Pendleton on Saturday.
Her death – just one week after performing at President Obama’s inauguration – catapulted her into the center of a raging national debate surrounding gun violence.
But attendees heard remarks from her loved ones that painted a heartfelt, deeply personal portrait of the young lady; a loving daughter, and best friend, a normal teenager.
They said she was a typical teen who wanted to borrow her friends’ clothes and who never left home without her lip gloss.
And to her mother, Pendleton was the daughter she tried to keep busy so she’d be beyond the reach of the seemingly endless gang violence in the nation’s third-largest city.
“You don’t know how hard this really is, and those of you who do know how hard this really is, I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” Cleopatra Pendleton told the packed South Side church. “No mother, no father should ever have to experience this.”
One said she felt Hadiya was “still here with us, whispering the answers in chemistry.” Another said Pendleton always told her to do her best in school so they could go to college together. The captain of the King College Prep majorettes presented Cleopatra Pendleton with the girl’s team jacket.
Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends of Hadiya Pendleton.
Rest in Peace, Hadiya