“It was a real nice service, but it has been hard,” Lewis Stiles said about his nephew’s funeral.
Officer Charleston Hartfield’s family was already struggling with his death in the deadly attack, but days later they are grieving again after his mother, Sheryl Stiles, died just two days after his funeral.
“To die out here at the same time she’s come to her own son’s funeral is devastating,” Cecil Ralston said.
Stiles’ family says they believe she had a heart attack while on an escalator at her hotel over the weekend.
The family says she suffered brain damage in the fall and died Sunday.
They are still waiting for an autopsy to be completed.
Many of the family members say it was clear she died of a broken heart, describing her as very solemn during Officer Hartfield’s funeral service.
“She just kind of froze. She was standing there looking at me,” Stiles said.
Now as they work to make funeral arrangements for a second family member, the family is learning Hartfield’s mother told a chaplain just days earlier that she was ready to be reunited with her son.
“She told him that she wanted to be with her son, this was at the funeral,” Ralston said.
While the family was originally struggling to find the money to cover the funeral expenses, they say groups have stepped up to cover the costs as word spread of the death.