“Michael, why did you do that?”
This was the cry of Sandra Maynard, mother of Michael Maynard as family friends and loved ones paid their final respects.
Maynard committed suicide by hanging on Sunday last, after his daughter Mukeisha died after a beating.
As the Shalom Funeral Chapel hearse rolled up to the Maynard family home on Margaret Cipriani Street, Kelly Village Caroni, relatives wailed and cried.
His siblings took the coffin out the hearse and rested it on a stand at the front of the house. There weeping and wailing relatives relatives gathered around the coffin.
Sandra had to be consoled as she wept and cried out to her dead son, the eldest of her eight children.
“Oh God! Michael! Why did you do me that,” she cried. “I didn’t have to Bury a child!”
Other relatives could be heard crying out “why did you do this?” amid their weeping.
During his eulogy, relatives rubbished reports which painted him as a monster.
“He is not a monster. He is a father, a brother, a friend, a son. He is a man who made bad decisions and did something that none of us could explain,” said his niece Celine Millington.
“We are left to ask why you did what you did, why we didn’t do more and so many other whys.”
Officiator and Bishop at St Francis Spiritual Baptist Church Eric Mohammed said he met Maynard and encouraged him to go to his church.
Mohammed said after a few weeks he began to see a change in Maynard who was quiet and mostly kept to himself. He said he began practising and beating drums at the church and even had a favourite gospel song.
“He would sing ‘in the middle of the night, when my back is against the wall, my Jesus taught me how to pray.’ He would sing that every time he came to the front of the church to say something.”
But the bishop said after about a year he began going to church less.
“He said he was frustrated. He said ‘God not doing anything for me.’ He was not working so we gave him jobs at the church. I had to talk him down from suicide twice. You see, it is who is in the kitchen does feel the heat (sic). No one knows what was going on with him.”
“But we tried our best with him and he was beginning to do well,” the bishop said.
Mohammed encouraged the congregation to check in on friends and neighbours and ask how they are doing.
Sitting on the left of the grieving mother was 10-year-old Mukesey (spelling corrected from funeral programme), the boy who was in the house when both Mukeisha and Maynard died.
The boy sat quietly as the funeral procession went on. He was dressed in a black pants a pair of black shoes and a white short-sleeved shirt with a collage of pictures of Maynard on its back.
Relatives told Newsday he had not received counselling since the incident, and were waiting until things calmed down to have him speak to someone, but for now he was coping well.
Newsday was told that Mukeisha’s autopsy reports remains incomplete, pending a toxicology report.
She was not told when the report would be available.
Speaking to the mother of Mukeisha and Mukasey, Maysonia Thomas, Newsday was told the young boy would also be brought to the funeral of the 8-year-old girl.
Her funeral is on Tuesday, at the Simpsons Funeral Home on Eastern Main Road.