Orlando Shooting Victims Who Were Supposed To Wed Will Have Joint Funeral
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, and his boyfriend, Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, 32, had their lives tragically taken, along with 47 others, during what was the worst shooting in American history at Pulse nightclub this past Sunday.
Services are still being planned, but the mourning families agree that it is imperative that the two are buried next to each other in a joint funeral.
In a tearful interview with Time, Juan's father (who shares his same name) explains that he thinks this is what his son would have wanted. “I think my son wanted to do that. That's why I don't care what people think. I don't care," he said.
The couple is described by friends and family as being deeply in love.
Guerrero's sister, Aryam, elaborates on her father's sentiment:
“They were honestly so in love. They were soul mates. You can tell by how they looked at each other."
In fact, their love was so deep that she even manages to take solace in the fact that her brother did not have to brave this world without his one true love.
“It's a little comforting that they died together.”
The couple shared a home and had been together for nearly two years at the time of the shooting. Juan had just finished his first year at the University of Central Florida after completing junior college. He hoped to become a financial advisor. According to Aryam, the Guerrero family was "“really loving and accepting” of their son and brother when he came out to them three years ago.
The senior Juan Guerrero says of his son, “He was a beautiful kid, a hard worker, friendly, sweet person." In losing him, the 61-year-old man explains, "I lost part of my life."
Although Drew's mother declined to comment to Time reporters, the Guerrero family explained that the joint funeral was, in fact, her idea. Aryam explains the reasoning behind doing so in this heartbreaking sentiment, “If it's not a funeral, they were going to have a wedding together."