Family mourns loss of seven loved ones on AirAsia Flight QZ8501

Family lost seven on AirAsia Flight 8501
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Story highlights

  • Family mourns the loss of seven loved ones on AirAsia Flight QZ8501
  • Mother and daughter's bodies were retrieved; funeral to be held on Friday
  • Relatives are still waiting for the five other members who were on board the flight

Surabaya, Indonesia (CNN)It is impossible to measure a family's grief after a disaster like the crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501. And for one family, they're grappling with the loss of seven loved ones on the aircraft.

Two of their family members have been found so far. A total of 37 bodies have been recovered out of 162 passengers and crew members on board the AirAsia flight.
    We were invited to a Surabaya funeral home where the family held a visitation for The Meiji Thejakusuma and her daughter, Stevie Gunaman. Stevie had just turned 10, two weeks before the flight.
    The two were on their way to a New Year's trip in Singapore with five other members of their family, including Stevie's father, grandmother, brother, sister, and her sister's fiancee. The remaining five have not been found yet.
    "I am devastated," said Suyono Tedjakusuma, a relative of the victims. "And now, the waiting for the rest of the family is so difficult."
    While the funerals for The Meiji and her daughter will take place on Friday, friends and families gathered this week to pay their respects to the mother and her young child.
    Church members mourn the missing of AirAsia Flight 8501
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    Searchers battle storms, exhaustion in hunt for 8501
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    "My sister was a businesswoman," said her sister, Ie-wah Thejakusama. "She worked hard. She was kind to everybody."
    Stevie was described as a bright girl by her relatives. She was always full of cheer, they said.
    In a Buddhist ceremony, friends and family members lit candles on an altar and bowed in front of the two caskets. They also folded paper into what resembled money as part of a Buddhist tradition of burning "money" to symbolically provide for their loved ones in the afterlife.
    Earlier last week, they continued to hold out hope that some or all of their family members might have survived the crash. But with the discovery of mother and daughter's bodies, the hope for a miracle has all but disappeared.
    While they mourn and plan a funeral, they still have to monitor the news and wait for any word about their five other loved ones.
    "I cannot accept this. I cannot believe it. Where are my family's bodies? Where is my mother? My heart is breaking," said family member Suyono.
    They told me it's like a nightmare you can't wake up from.
    The Meiji was going to spend her 46th birthday in Singapore. Instead, her birthday was the day her body was found.​