Two Kenyan women who died recently in different circumstances in the US were given warm send offs during two memorial services held simultaneously on Saturday.
Tears flowed freely as Kenyans in Georgia and Ohio eulogised Ms Wanja Mbatia who died shortly after delivering a baby in Atlanta, and Ms Victoria Nyambura Muchiri, who was crushed by a fast moving train in Columbus, Ohio.
A sombre mood engulfed West Cobb Funeral Home in Marietta where the service was held before the body of Ms Mbatia was laid to rest at the nearby Kennesaw Memorial Park.
Her parents, who arrived in the US on Thursday for the funeral, sat pensively as speakers paid tribute to the 34 year old woman who recently graduated with a Master of Computer Science degree from a nearby university.
“We are overwhelmed by the love and support accorded to our daughter by the Kenyan community in Atlanta even in her absence,” an emotional Mrs Mbatia told the mourners.
Rev George G Gitahi, who officiated the event, urged those present to continue supporting the family “and especially the two week old Riley Wanja who will grow up without a mother.”
The circumstances leading to Ms Mbatia’s death have left the family and friends in shock. Soon after the girl was born at Kennestone Hospital, the mother developed severe haemorrhage and was rushed to the emergency room where blood transfusion was administered before an emergency surgery was carried out.
She never made it out of the surgical room.
The family has hired a private pathologist to perform an independent post-mortem operation.
In Ohio, hundreds of mourners packed the First Community Church in Columbus to bid farewell to Victoria Nyambura Muchiri who was a Biology major at Ohio State University.
Her former High school teachers as well as college professors described the her as “a hard working student who was full of empathy.”
Several speakers fought back tears as they eulogised Ms Muchiri, who died instantly after being hit by a Norfolk Southern Company cargo train on Thursday last week.
Her parents, Bishop Douglas Muchiri and Pastor Faith Muchiri could not contain their emotions as speakers paid glowing tributes to their daughter.
“She had expressed her wish to go and help the less fortunate in Kenya after graduating from Medical School,” said Bishop Tonui, a friend to the family.
Ms Muchiri’s remains were cremated shortly after the service.