CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Saturday, friends, family and strangers gathered to remember the life of Tameka Claiborne. The Richmond mom was found stabbed to death in Charles City County last week, after her son was discovered alone in a Chesterfield apartment complex.
In a sea of Tameka Claiborne's two favorite colors, green and yellow, the loved ones left behind flooded the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church. Her son Malek, also dressed in green, cries. His tears are symbolic of a loss he can't yet comprehend.
300 to 400 mourners came to pay their respects. Among them, childhood friend Tara Mattox, who said a week and a half later she still can't believe the news.
"It's just sad," she told NBC12. "You never thought it would be someone in our circle and someone in our network."
The story has hit people far beyond that network.
Earlier in the week, family members asked the Richmond Police Department to invite the public to Tameka's funeral. They wanted them to be able to share in a remembrance of her life.
Strangers, who said they are touched by her story, grieved with the family. The image of a now motherless child clinging to his father hit home for many of them. Bishop Gerald Glenn issued a challenge as the three year old grows up.
"He'll look to daddy and not see mommy and you will need to rehearse in his mind from here on out who and what his mother stood for," he said.
Authorities maintain Claiborne's life was cut short because of boyfriend Michael Solomon. The Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney explained he'll ask a grand jury Tuesday to indict Solomon for murder.
Tara Mattox also came to the funeral to take a stand against domestic violence.
"We all be in situations in relationships and you never think things will go that far, to that extreme but you just never know," she said.
In a poem dedicated to Tameka, one cousin explained what this family now knows; life is uncertain.
"We'll think of you Meka as often as we can and we know you'll be here in spirit to hold our hand," said Liz Wells.
The alleged accomplice in this case, Alphonzo Richardson, could soon be out of jail. He's charged with getting rid of Claiborne's body. A judge has said he will grant bond Wednesday if the Commonwealth's Attorney cannot come up with a reason to keep Richardson behind bars.