‘Lit up the room’: Family's tribute to murdered couple
The brother of Veton Musai has posted a touching tribute to his murdered sister-in-law Lindita, saying she was loved as the sister they never had.
With photos showing how close Lindita was with the Musai family, Drilon Musai paid tribute to his brother and "best friend" Veton and to the "fairy tale couple" he made with Lindita.
Drilon posted the lengthy eulogy to his slain younger brother and Lindita on Facebook after his family laid the couple to rest in Melbourne.
Their funeral, at the Albanian Australian Islamic Society mosque in Carlton, drew 1000 mourners just four days after the pair were gunned down at their home on New Year's Eve.
Lindita, 25, died at the scene after opening the door of their Yarraville home in eastern Melbourne around 10.20am on December 31 and being shot.
Veton, who was shot after his wife, succumbed to his wounds the following day in Melbourne's Alfred Hospital.
The couple had just returned home after celebrating their first wedding anniversary with a hotel stay in Melbourne's CBD.
On Saturday, Drilon, his brother Lindor, their father Alil and uncle Aslan carried Veton's white coffin from the mosque as female relatives had to be helped out.
Among the pallbearers of Lindita's matching coffin was her brother, Beni, who carried his sister to a waiting hearse before the couple was driven to Fawkner in northern Melbourne for burial.
Drilon remembered his brother as the "brightest star in our family" that "is broken without you" and who had introduced Lindita in their lives "who brought out the best in … all of us".
"Lindita, my sister, they say that the love between a brother and sister cannot be matched," Drilon wrote.
"I was lucky enough to have 2 amazing brothers, but never a sister until you entered our lives.
"And for a time, I too felt the love a brother has for his sister.
"You had grace and poise that models and actors would envy.
"Your smile would knock down the strongest of barriers and your humour constantly had me buckled over with tears of laughter."
As a couple, Drilon said, Lindita and Veton were "the envy of all".
"People would take notice as soon as you entered a room because of the love you both had for one another," he wrote.
"You set the benchmark for what a fairy tale couple is, and I don't ever think that will be matched.
"Perfect in every way, both in and out.
"I lost a sister, my parents lost a daughter, and the world lost an angel."
Drilon then wrote a tender acknowledgment of what his 29-year-old brother had brought to his life.
"Veton, my brother, my best friend … I am 30 years old, yet I still got excited when you came home from work because it was never quiet with you around," he penned.
"I can honestly say that you made me burst out laughing every single day we spent together for these 29 years.
"You where my younger brother, but many times I looked up to you like you where the oldest, I knew that I could rely on you no matter the request.
"Your passion for life, family and friends was unmatched and infectious, so much so that you pushed me out of my comfort zone to experience things I never had.
"I am the man I am today because of you, you where the brightest star in our family and our lives will never be the same without you.
"Veton, I am broken without you
"The memories we have of you will hold us together forever and help soothe these wounds. "You left us with a parting gift, and that is the impact you had on the people that knew you, through them you will always live on, your cheeky escapades, your acts of love, and your larger than life personality still reaches us even though you are gone.
"The world would be an amazing place if everyone had your outlook on life.
"I love you, I will always love you, My brother, My best friend … I miss you so much."
On behalf of his family, Drilon expressed gratitude to relatives, friends, Australians and "the worldwide community" for the response to Lindita and Veton's deaths.
He said it had been "a beacon of light in these dark times".
"To everyone out there. Please remember Veton and Lindita for who they were, their love, their passion and their otherworldly presence.
"Because to remember them for what happened is an injustice to love itself.
"Please, to those reading, right now, I beg you, put down your phone, close your laptop, shut off your screen, and go embrace your parents, your siblings, your friends and all of those who matter to you.
"Hold them, tell them you love them, and do so every opportunity you get, because my family would give it all just to hold Veton and Lindita once again.
"Veton and Lindita, we will always love you, you brought two family's together who will now always be one because of you.
"We love you, we miss you, your love was endless in life, and now it is endless in death."
Following the double shooting on December 31, Lindita's estranged father Osman Shaptafaj was found a block away with self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
He is in hospital under police guard and has yet to be interviewed.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. The Suicide Call Back service is on 1300 659 467.