Funeral for Lea Guilbeault
Published Tuesday, July 21, 2009 6:48PM EDT
Family and friends remembered Lea Guilbeaut on Tuesday during an emotional ceremony.
Guilbeault, 33, died violently last Thursday while celebrating her birthday with her husband Hani Beitinjaneh. The pair, who were just shy of their second wedding anniversary, were eating in the atrium at Mikasa Sushi Bar when an 800-lbs slab of concrete peeled off the Marriott Residence Inn 18 stories above them.
The slab crashed through the atrium, killing Guilbeault and injuring Beitinjaneh's hands and feet.
He attended the funeral in a wheel chair, and was teary throughout the ceremony.
"Lea, I will always miss you. I feel grateful to have met you, even if it was such a short period. I am the luckiest man alive," he said during the ceremony, managing only a few more words before collapsing into sobs.
The incident has touched people beyond those who knew Guilbeault personally.
"Sincere condolences to Lea's family & husband. I did not know your daughter/wife, but her tragedy has affected me. I have made a donation to Alzheimer Quebec in the hope that Lea's memory lives on. I am so sorry for your loss," Helen Paparis wrote in the online guest book.
Still stunned by her death, her loved ones remembered Lea Guilbeault as bright and caring.
Mature beyond her years with big plans, her co-worker Shirley Benaroche says she had a clear vision of her future with her beloved husband.
"She wanted to have a baby. They were planning a beautiful vacation in October."
Investigations into the cause of the accident will take months to complete
Family friend Dalal Siage hopes her death is a wake up call to improve building safety.
"I want her soul to be a lesson to the government to really go and inspect everything, to take it all seriously. Really she died for nothing."
The family is asking for donations to the Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Society in lieu of flowers.
The Ville Marie borough is expected to come out with a report on Thursday detailing what it expects of building owners in terms of upkeep with building inspections.
Peel Street between Sherbrooke and De Maisonneuve Streets will remain closed until the city has been assured the building is safe for those walking by it.