A memorial service was held for singer Christina Grimmie on Friday. The 22-year-old, who rose to fame on NBC’s “The Voice,” was gunned down after a performance one week ago in Orlando, Florida.
Grimmie was laid to rest in her native New Jersey during a private burial Thursday night, according to a spokesperson for her family. On Friday, a public memorial service was held at the Fellowship Alliance Chapel in Medford, New Jersey.
“One of the most important things I’ve learned as a pastor for 35 years now, doing many, many funerals, is that being together, sharing together, crying together and laughing together, can really help the grieving process,” said Grimmie’s long time pastor, Marty Berglund, outside the church.
Several hundred family members, friends and supporters attended the memorial. Photos of the young singer were displayed inside the chapel while recordings of her music played for the crowd.
After other members of her family spoke, Grimmie’s parents, Tina and Albert Grimmie, addressed the packed church as they wept.
“I want to share what I’ve shared with several people here,” Grimmie’s dad said. “And that’s – there’s this gigantic hole in my heart that I know is never going to go away.”
A childhood friend recalled Grimmie’s dedication to her family and said,”She was a woman who sought truth with all her heart. She cared deeply and she loved wholeheartedly.” A cousin called Grimmie’s joy in life “contagious.”
Grimmie was shot while signing autographs after her concert at The Plaza Live Theater. The singer’s brother, Marcus Grimmie, tackled the shooter before the gunmen killed himself. Orlando police have identified the killer but have not offered a possible motive.
Grimmie was a finalist on Adam Levine’s team on “The Voice” in 2014. The Maroon 5 frontman paid for the funeral expenses, according to her family.
Levine, Blake Shelton and other music industry stars expressed their shock and sadness when news of Grimmie’s death broke.
Just hours later, another gunman would commit the nation’s deadliest mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and wounding more than 50.