Gia Allemand: Friends and Family Say Goodbye at the Reality Star's Funeral
08/22/2013 AT 03:30 PM EDT
On a side street in the Chelsea neighborhood, a group of close friends and family began to gather in the rain outside the Trinity Grace Church, preparing to say goodbye to the beloved Bachelor contestant, who died in a suicide earlier this month.
Waiting photographers snapped pictures as a car pulled up to the curb outside, which was lined with floral bouquets. The sight of a large sign that read "Gia" in flowers prompted some mourners to break down in tears.
Allemand's boyfriend, basketball player Ryan Anderson, was one of the last to arrive. He entered the church with Allemand's family, remaining stony-faced as pallbearers carried the coffin inside. Once inside, he sat in the front row, as did Allemand's mother, Donna Micheletti.
The small service, which ran for less than hour, paid tribute to Allemand as mourners sang her favorite hymn, "Amazing Grace," and two close friends delivered short speeches remembering her kindness and generosity.
A tearful speaker said she had been Allemand's best friend "since we were three years old" and remembered how, growing up, it seemed like Allemand "had everything." The congregation listened as she spoke of how she soon realized "Gia didn't have everything. She gave everything," she said, adding, "It's hard to imagine someone with so much to give would want to take it all away."
As the coffin was carried from the church, Anderson walked behind it arm in arm with Allemand's mother, who carried a yellow rose. He wept as he said his final goodbyes. The late reality star's father, Eugene Allemand, sat in the back section of the church and cried quietly.
A female fan who attended the service told PEOPLE she came to love Allemand through her stints on The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad. "I followed her on all the shows," she said. "I felt like I knew her."
If you're struggling with mental health issues, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline can connect you to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, 24 hours a day. Just call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).Allemand