By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Former first lady Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva was cremated on Saturday after doctors declared her dead on February 3rd since she no longer showed brain activity. Ex-president Lula’s wife was admitted into the hospital on January 24th, after suffering a stroke.
Politicians and left-wing supporters attended the wake, to pay their last respect to the former first lady.
Among politicians and a large crowd of well wishers, former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva said goodbye to his wife. “I will continue to thank Marisa until the day I can no longer thank her, the day I die.”
“I hope to meet her, in that same dress I chose to put on her, red, to show that we were not afraid of red when she was alive, and she was not afraid of red when she died,” said a teary ex-President Lula during the speech at his wife’s wake, noting that the color red is the symbol of the PT (Workers’) party.
During the forty minute speech the former leader also said that his wife died a sad women because of the ‘fabricated’ lies told about the couple and their involvement in kickbacks supposedly received from large construction companies in exchange for benefits, while Lula was still President.
“I’m 71, I do not know when God will take me, I think I’m going to live a lot [longer], because I want to prove that the fascists who raised false accusations against Marisa (were wrong and) will have one day, the humility, to apologize to her,” he said.
On Lula’s official Facebook page the former president thanks in the name of his entire family ‘all the messages of condolences and public manifestations of affection, memory and feelings for Marisa Letícia Lula da Silva’.
“The heavens have now gained the star who illuminated my life,” Lula wrote on his social media page.
Among those who paid their respects during the days leading up to the funeral were Brazilian President Michel Temer, former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and former leader and personal friend Dilma Rousseff.
Both allies and political foes, like Foreign Relations’ minister, Jose Serra and former Finance Minister Ciro Gomes, came personally to give their condolences.