Mourners gather for Hudson family funeral

November 3, 2008 2:59:46 PM PST
Friends and family filed into a South Side church Monday to say goodbye to three members of the Hudson family. Services were held for the mother, brother and nephew of singer Jennifer Hudson. While the funeral was invitation only, fans showed up hoping to offer their condolences to Hudson.

The service ended as it began, as a celebration of the lives of the slain mother, brother and nephew of award winning actress Jennifer Hudson.

"It gave us some form of closure, but we're going keep praying, and God's going to take care of everything," said Sam Simpson, Jennifer Hudson's half brother.

"We celebrated our family's life. It was great. Very private. Uplifting. Wonderful ceremony," said Tanisha Broadwater, Hudson cousin.

People inside the service say they spotted Oprah and Queen Latifah along with other local dignitaries and close friends of the Hudsons. They gathered for more than two hours listening to eulogies and scriptures as well as an emotional musical offering by fellow American Idol alum fantasia.

"Fantasia's performance was one to remember. It was very moving. It was heartfelt. Came from the heart. It reached everybody's heart. It was amazing," said Kevin Winfield, Hudson family friend.

Hundreds lined up around the Apostolic Church of God for the invitation only service. Once inside, mourners saw a composed Jennifer Hudson walk into the sanctuary arm and arm with her sister Julia before approaching the open white caskets of her loved ones.

"She stood there for a while. She went to her mom and, of course, it's her mother, spent some time with her. She went to her brother and spent some time there. I'm quite sure she's feeling a deep hurt," said Glover Lewis, funeral attendee.

Some from the Hudson family's Englewood neighborhood and fans of the singer stood watch outside the church hoping to show some sign of their support.

"We had to come pay our respects, get as close as we can, because it has to be really heartfelt for them to be going through this," said Elana Rily, Hudson fan.

Those leaving Monday's funeral services said they were leaving with a sense of peace but not any closure. The reason being: whoever is responsible for the slayings has not yet been charged with the crime.


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