MEATPACKING DISTRICT — Family and friends who gathered at the Standard Hotel Monday evening to mourn the death of Mary Kennedy said they came to celebrate her life rather than dwell on the tragic nature of her passing.
"This was a person who was full of life," said family friend Linda Crowley, 59. " [The memorial was] a celebration of her life. No one remembers Mary as being depressed."
Kennedy, 52, hanged herself in a barn behind her Westchester County home last Wednesday. She was separated from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who filed for divorce in 2010. She reportedly battled depression and alcoholism.
Crowley, who is an editor at Town & Country Magazine, said at one point during the "standing-room only" memorial that Kennedy's former yoga instructor led the group in meditation.
Two of Kennedy Jr.'s siblings, Kerry and Max Kennedy, told reporters after the service that their family wanted to deal with her passing privately.
"We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers," Max Kennedy said. "We'd like to grieve on our own."
Things have reportedly been tense between Mary's family and Kennedy Jr. since her death.
Her brother, Thomas Richardson, reportedly challenged her estranged husband over control of her body.
Mary's body was reportedly released to Kennedy Jr., and she was buried in Centerville, Mass., near the Kennedy's compound in Hyannis Port.
Her estranged husband was reportedly not invited to the memorial.
Mary and Kennedy Jr. married in 1994 and had four children together. After they split she reportedly battled alcoholism and was arrested twice for driving under the influence.
"She was full of love, love, love," said another friend, Sharon Mane, at the memorial.
"She cared too deeply."