Pastor at funeral of slain Debe woman tells relatives to forgive others

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Marilyn Jagessar (third from left) grieves for her mother Sita Jagessar at her funeral on Wednesday at the JE Guide Funeral Home, San Fernando. – AYANNA KINSALE

A pastor at the funeral of slain Debe woman Sita Jagessar told mourners that “as hard as it may be,” they have to learn to forgive people for their wrongdoings.

“Forgive those who caused you pain. It is for your blessings, not for theirs, when you do that. It is for your self-worth,” pastor Suresh Harripersad said.

Harripersad, of Calvary Temple Worship Centre in Debe, officiated at the funeral at J. E Guide Funeral Home and Crematorium in San Fernando on Wednesday.

He said nowadays there are too many rifts in families. He recalled officiating at previous funerals in which families were so separated, they might have fought if there had not been a partition.

“I know that is not going to happen here,” Harripersad said.

“Our (people’s) lives consist not in the abundance of things we possess, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

On April 19, Jagessar’s granddaughter, 13, found her body with a head wound on the floor between the living room and the front door in the family’s home at Clarkia Drive in Debe.

Jagessar would have turned 63 last Sunday. She was a mother of five and grandmother of five.

Less than two hours before the service, Homicide Bureau Region III police got advice to charge her daughter Melissa Jagessar with murder.

Relatives of Sita Jagessar look at her coffin at the JE Guide Funeral Home in San Fernando on Wednesday. – AYANNA KINSALE

Melissa was not at the funeral as she was in police custody.

The pastor urged mourners to accept Jesus Christ as their saviour. In Jesus’ name, he said, there is power, healing, strength, and deliverance.

Pastor Sharon Boodoosingh of the Full Gospel Fellowship Church in Claxton Bay paid tribute to Jagessar, describing her a mighty woman, a hard-working, dedicated mother and wife, and an outspoken person.

Boodoosingh read scripts written by Jagessar’s daughter Marilyn, son-in-law Rishi and the girl who found the body.

Boodoosingh read the words of Marilyn who wept uncontrollably near the casket.

She said: “Mommy was my foundation. I had no care in the world because of her. All I had to do was cook and go to work. I did not know what the word responsibility was or what it actually meant, because she stood with us from childhood until womanhood. I lost my strength and, most of all, my mother.”

Reading the girl’s words, Boodoosingh said: “She was my friend, partner for sleeping and going for drives. She was not only my mama, but she was also my mother, my grandmother and my dancing partner.”

Rishi said Jagessar taught him right from wrong.

The body was cremated at the funeral home.

Apart from the pastors, no one else spoke.

An autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre on Monday found Jagessar died of suffocation and blunt force trauma.