'Goodbye, For Now'

Family and friends remember Shannon Lawrence during an emotional funeral at St. Michael the Archangel.

Hundreds of people flocked to  this afternoon to remember Shannon Lawrence, the 25-year-old Canton woman who died after .

The vestibule of the Woodstock church was filled with poster-size photos of Lawrence and numerous floral arrangements. As the service began, it also held friends who could no longer find a pew in the 700-seat church.

Mourners began to arrive an hour before mass. They greeted one another with hugs, tears and stories about Shannon.

Among those in attendance were members of the Marine Corps League and the Warriors' Watch Riders, there to support Karen Lawrence, Shannon's stepmother and a U.S. Marine. 

Father Larry Niese – Father Larry to his parishoners – was the celebrant.

"Today," he told the crowd, "we say goodbye, for now."

He reflected on Shannon’s life and helped mourners understand her tragic death.

"In all my years as a priest, I’ve never known anything as horrific as this," he said.  "No words can express our deep sadness for the tragic loss of Shannon."

Niese addressed the questions running through the minds of many:

"Why did God allow this to happen?

"Where was God when this happened?"

There are no simple answers, he said, but God was there.

Between sobs, Justin Lawrence, Shannon's brother, told the crowd about the "the kindest, gentlest soul I know.

"Her compassion is mystifyingly endless," he said. "Everything she did, she did for others."

No wonder she wanted to become a nurse. It was a perfect fit, he said, because she loved helping people.

"She lies here today because of hate," he said. "She lives in our hearts because of love. Embrace love because only love can heal the hurt we feel today."


Click here to donate to Lawrence's two children, Emma and Peter. .

Click  for Cecil Copeland's photo gallery of today's funeral and procession.

People are Crazy June 12, 2011 at 06:05 AM
Temporary Protective Orders are a piece of paper just like a speeding law is on paper. If someone is going to do something they will find a way to do it, whether or not it is illegal. Law enforcement can not protect every single individual every moment of the day. If you have a T.P.O. always remember it is ONLY a piece of paper that it makes it a crime for the defendant to come around and/or commit violence against you, etc. but it does not STOP him/her from coming around you or hurting you. You have to take care of yourself. This story breaks my heart but in reality this is not the first T.P.O. that has been violated that ended with tragic results nor will it be the last that ends with tragic results.
Get it right June 13, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Then something needs to change! Provide more than a piece of paper to protect us from predators. This young woman tried to protect herself against a man who committed domestic violence against her and her children, had a home full of firearms, stalked her repeatedly, harassed her in public and in private....and nothing more than a TPO was standing between a violent man and a young lady with two children? She wrote a very detailed, extensive letter describing exactly what he had been doing to her....what else could she have done?? Why wasn't someone paying attention to this woman, and to a man getting ready to explode?? To me that is what is so incredibly sad.....her letter was so explicit with horrifying details that I could just FEEL her fear! And nothing more was done..... she was murdered in cold blood right in front of her children. In my opinion, Shannon knew it was just a matter of time. ... I could feel the urgency in her letter. It's not the people who protect us that have failed Shannon...it's the system.


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