Sacred Heart Cathedral was filled with mourners. There was barely an empty seat to be had, as hundreds of people gathered to remember and celebrate the too-short but extremely rich life of Chrystal Rivet.
Clean winter light streamed in through the stained glass windows, painting the walls in warm yellow hues and creating a sense of sacred space in the arching building.
Chrystal’s immediate and extended family was surrounded by hundreds of friends, co-workers and acquaintances all throughout the two-hour service.
Loved ones came from thousands of kilometres to honour Chrystal. Some came from as far as New York, U.S.A and Sweden while several came from Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.
Jeremy Jordison, a cherished friend of Chrystal, gave the eulogy. Jordison was asked by the family to do her eulogy so that they could hear more about the impact she had on people outside of the family, so that they could know more about the gifts she gave to others, explained her father, Claude Rivet, on Monday.
Jordison spoke not only of his knowledge of Chrystal as a dear friend but also as a competent and compassionate co-worker with children and in the arts.
He recalled her sense of humour, her passion, her zest for smoothies and living healthy, her determination and her love of a good, hard run across the city. He spoke of his excitement when she told him she was pregnant and how he knew she would be a wonderful mother. He spoke of her love for her family and friends as well as for her companion, Shane Pastershank.
“You put a sparkle in her eye,” Jordison said.
Jordison said he can still hear her voice and he said that she will remain with him and with all of her loved ones.
He also mentioned that her 2013 New Year’s resolution stated that all things happen for a reason, even though that reason may be difficult to see.
The Sacred Heart Cathedral was Chrystal’s favourite church, Claude said, on Monday. It was the church she always went to with her family at Christmas and it was the church she dreamed of someday getting married in.
For that reason he knew it was the place to celebrate her. He had approached the cathedral and requested everything he knew she loved for her ceremony: The Cathedral, Father Maurice Fiolleau as her officiating celebrant and Barry Mihilewicz as her soloist.
The Rivet family imparted the honour of carrying Chrystal’s urn, to Const. Troy Dumont, the very man who -- just a week past -- knocked on the door of Claude and Mona Rivet’s home, bearing the news of their daughter.
Dumont took up the honour and led the family through the aisle, bringing the Rivet’s daughter home.
The ceremony included readings from the Bible, prayer, music and a slideshow of photos that showed a life filled with smiles, family friends, children, laughter, dancing and great joy.
Many believe Chrystal lived more in 30 years than most do in a century.