Little Jamie Campbell (4) looked through tear-stained eyes as his mother's coffin passed out of the church gates.
Friends and family of Ciara Campbell (22), who was found stabbed to death in her own home, gathered for her funeral Mass in Myshall, Co Carlow, yesterday.
Fr Brendan Howard described mother-of-one Ciara as a "kind, gentle and noble Irish soul".
"For those who knew Ciara, this occasion has an air of unreality -- we cannot believe what has happened.
"This tragedy has stunned the whole parish and surrounding areas including Carlow, Athy, Belfast and further a field," said Fr Howard, Myshall parish curate.
Ciara, whose family originally come from Belfast, had moved to Carlow in the last year having spent some time in Athy, Co Kildare and before that, in Tallaght, Co Dublin.
Her funeral Mass was celebrated in both Irish and English yesterday.
Hymns were sung by children from Gaelscoil Osrai in Kilkenny, where her father Micheal O Cuinneagain had taught.
"The suddenness of Ciara's passing leaves us stunned by grief," said Fr Howard.
"We are gripped in a heartbreak that is bleakest and most vacant of all.
"For Ciara's parents and family this event is a nightmare from which they can only hope to awake.
"We know that however hard we try none of us can really enter into the desolate world of a father and mother and family and share their pain of loss.
"This kind of bereavement is stark and private and exclusive," Fr Howard told mourners.
The young mum had been taking part in a "moving on" course for single young mothers at St Catherine's Community Centre in Carlow at the time of her death.
She had been living with her son Jamie at the house on Ardmore Gardens in the Brownshill area of Carlow where her body was discovered in an upstairs bathroom last Monday.
Fr Howard accepted offertory gifts including a framed photograph, a CD and works of art at the altar from friends and relatives during yesterday's Mass.
"Ciara, thank you for what you have meant to all of us.
"For all those who you have touched and for your kind, noble, gentle, Irish soul," Fr Howard said.
Ms Campbell was laid to rest at Lismaconly Cemetery at lunchtime yesterday following her requiem Mass at the Church of the Holy Cross, Myshall, Co Carlow.
A 23-year-old man is due before a court today charged with Ciara's murder.
Gordon Molloy, of Ballinakill, Ballickmoyler, Co Laois, was charged with Ms Campbell's murder last Friday and is due is before Cloverhill District Court this morning.