Tears continue to flow for slain senior counsel Dana Seetahal with no one being able to hold back their grief, including her friend and colleague, Israel Khan, SC, who wept at her wake.
Khan and Seetahal were working together on the State’s prosecuting team in the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder case.
Speaking briefly at Seetahal’s wake at her family home in El Dorado on Monday night, Khan was emotional as he recounted words he used in his opening address at the start of the trial into Naipaul Coolman’s murder.
“There is no pain like this body; there is no eternal happiness higher than peaceful rest,” extrapolated from the book, No Pain Like This Body, by deceased Trinidadian Harold Sonny Ladoo.
Choking on emotion, Khan said little did he know he would be saying the same for his friend.
Many friends and family members attended Seetahal’s wake, where hymns were sung and words delivered by Rev Daniel Teelucksingh, who was also an Independent Senator.
Seetahal had served as an independent senator from 2002 to 2010.
Her former colleagues, Mary King and Parvatee Anmolsingh Mahabir, were also in attendance to lend support to her family.
King was also grief-stricken and could not say much except that she met Seetahal in 2002 in the Senate and she was a bit like herself—fearless.
King extended condolences to the family and Seetahal’s colleagues.
Seetahal’s close friend, Merlin Boyce, former president of the Assembly of Southern Lawyers, also shed tears for the slain attorney, whom she knew since 1974.
“She was my hero,” said Boyce, adding it was Seetahal and Joan Eversley-Gill who supported her and encouraged her to complete her law studies when she got pregnant and felt like dropping out.
“Excuse my language, Reverend, but I always said that Dana had more testicular fortitude than a lot of men,” said Boyce.
She said Seetahal touched many lives and her loss was felt by the whole country.
Boyce said further a friend from abroad had told her “what happened to Dana is tantamount in other countries to the assassination of a president or a prime minister because the whole country has been plunged into mourning”.
A friend of Seetahal’s brother, Kerwin, also expressed his sympathies to the family, saying he was shocked when he learnt of the murder.
He said he did not believe a person’s life span is fixed and when you die “that is it”.
“The man said he believes God has given each person a time to live a comfortable life and when he is ready for you, he takes you away,” he said.
Teelucksingh spoke on the sacredness of life, noting that in biblical script it speaks of living till 70 and with the use of science medicine people can now live as long as age 90.
“I say in Trinidad, 80 years if you are lucky,” said Teelucksingh.