Speakers at Miriam Carey's funeral Tuesday tried to give more insight into the person widely known as the young woman killed by police in Washington after she tried to ram her car through a White House barrier.
The 34-year-old single mother was a generous, loving sister — one of five — who was a passionate, fun-loving cook making meals for an extended family in Brooklyn that she considered the most important part of her life, Amy Carey-Jones, one of her sisters, told mourners.
She also was ambitious, sharing with her sisters a plan to get a master's degree in a health field, Amy Carey said.
Miriam Carey, who had worked as a dental hygienist, was praised by her colleagues for her "delightful bedside manner," said the program for the service, held at Brooklyn chapel and attended by about 90 mourners.
Carey was dressed in white, and lay in a white casket. Prayers were offered as the lid was slowly closed; a woman sobbed loudly as the casket was wheeled to a waiting hearse for a police-escorted trip to a Long Island cemetery.
She had been living in Stamford, Conn., and is survived by her 1-year-old daughter, who was in the vehicle during the Oct. 3 car chase through the streets of Washington.
Carey had been diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis. Authorities say she believed President Barack Obama was monitoring her electronically.
Police found no weapons in her car, and family members have said officers never should have fired at Carey's vehicle.
"We're still very confused as a family why she's not still alive," Carey-Jones said on Oct. 5 after traveling to Washington to identify Miriam Carey's body. Another sister, retired New York City police officer Valarie Carey, said there was "no need for a gun to be used when there was no gunfire coming from the vehicle."
A lawyer for the family, Eric Sanders, has blamed Carey's death on fear of terrorism leading to a "siege mentality" in the U.S.
On Tuesday, police guarded entrances to Grace Funeral Chapels, one of which hosted the more than two-hour private Christian service that was billed a "celebration of life."
Carey-Jones told mourners that she had always been afraid of speaking in public, "but when this happened, it gave me a voice."
Photos of a beaming Miriam Carey filled the chapel. Valarie Carey created a celebratory video tribute shown during the service, with a slideshow of a mostly smiling Miriam Carey from her childhood through graduation from Brooklyn College.
No one mentioned the violent end she met in Washington, or what might have led to it.
Three days after her death, "on Sunday, Oct. 6, I texted her, and I said, 'Where are you?'" her best friend, Moniqua Wilson, told those gathered, sobbing as she stood next to the open casket, her friend's unscathed face visible to all.
Wilson said she knew full well that Carey had died, but texted because she wanted to somehow signal they were "friends forever," she said.
And she hoped that one day, Carey would text back, "if you have a little time in heaven."
In Washington, a prayer vigil was held for her Monday on Capitol Hill.