[WATCH] Grieving family and friends pay their respects to 17-year-old traffic accident victim

Tara Malou Licari was laid to rest this morning, surrounded by family and friends

Grieving family and friends pay their respects to 17-year-old traffic accident victim

Tara Malou Licari was laid to rest this morning at St Therese’s church in Birkirkara, where grieving family and friends gathered together to pay their respects.

She was laid to rest in a white coffin, carried in to the harmonious and solemn piano and vocals.

Everything from the colour of the clothing of those at the funeral – white with a splash of colour as suggested by her immediate family – to the songs selected and the sermon were poignant reminders of Malou’s youth and happy life.

“Our existence becomes an adventure, knowing that the same fate awaits us all,” the priest said, adding that the only thing that is clear about death is its uncertainty.

“Because of death, we often think that either life is banal and empty or it is made more meaningful and full.”

The priest described Tara as one of those people who knew that life was full of meaning: “Her life was brimful of love and of principle.”

Praising her dedication to her faith, he added that faith was an important way for us to feel like we are not abandoned in the universe but that we are desired and loved creatures in God’s plans.

Discussing the family’s pain, the priest said Tara had been described as “the brightest star of the family.” He went on to explain that Tara had managed to come across as a woman of faith and joy who never settled for mediocrity or complacency.

“Getting closer to Tara will mean getting closer to God,” the priest said, encouraging relatives and friends to celebrate the young girl in the living community and to renew their faiths to feel closer to her.

Relatives, who were visibly overcome by emotion throughout the service, presented a number of personal items including a camera and a soft toy as offerings.

Those at the funeral were given a memorial card carrying a poem written by Tara herself.

The teenager, 17, passed away in a tragic traffic accident in the early hours of Tuesday morning when the car she was riding in crashed in Kappara. She lived in Denmark and was in Malta for a holiday. An 18-year-old man, from Denmark, was hospitalised in intensive care. The car was being driven by Tara's 23-year-old brother.

In a touching message on Facebook, Tara’s mother, Lucianne Licari said: “We can never thank you enough for all the support that you have been giving us through these very difficult hours.”

Reflecting on the girl’s “loving character and joyful life”, attendants to the funeral were asked not to wear all black, ideally white with a splash of colour.

“Please continue praying for us and also pray that she may continue her happy existence with her loving God as one of his angels,” Tara’s mother said yesterday.

Tara’s family urged attendees to give donations to the The Lisa Maria Foundation – set up by the Zahra family following the tragic death of teenager Lisa Maria – and a Gozo NGO called JESS: Justice to Ensure Safer Streets.

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