Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
It was a sombre and sorrowful mood at the St Richard's Roman Catholic Church in St Andrew on Saturday as family members, relatives and friends paid their last respects to Tandy Lewis.
Lewis, a former employee of The Gleaner Company, was, at the time of her death, the public relations officer at the Post and Telecommunications Department.
Her charred remains were found in bushes along the Port Royal road on October 17.
Lewis was described by many as one who was outspoken and possessed great courage. Her sister, Nadia Lewis, told The Gleaner that although it will be hard, the family is trying to recover.
"I don't know if it will ever get easy to deal with. It's hard right now what the family is going through, but I know Tandy wouldn't have wanted us to be so sorrowful, so we are trying to be strong," she said.
Lewis' former colleague Tamara Bowen McKnight, an employee at the Post and Telecommunications Department, recalled how hard it was when she got the news.
"I remember being so mad at her when I heard that she was missing because I was saying, 'Why would she leave and not even call and inform me that she was going away?' … I was just of the opinion that she was just taking a break, not knowing that she was really gone."
In the meantime, Monsignor Michael Lewis, who delivered the sermon, encouraged members not to become comfortable with a culture of crime.
"As people of God, we cannot be comfortable with a culture where dying brutally has become the norm. Why have we become comfortable with a culture which says 'informa fi dead'?" he asked.
"We have to take these moments to improve our own lives and ensure that our lives are right with God. We all have our struggles but let us ensure that at the end of the day we will hear, 'Well done'," he charged.
Lewis was reported missing from her St Andrew home on October 16.
A day later, the body of a female was found along the Port Royal road, in an area that was apparently set on fire.
The East Kingston Police, who discovered the body, revealed days later that a preliminary post mortem indicated that the victim was 18 to 20 years old and four months pregnant.