Family of mosque shooting victim Linda Armstrong says she'd be at peace

The family of Linwood Mosque shooting victim Linda Armstrong says she would be at peace knowing her death has led to a greater awareness of her faith.

The convert to Islam was affectionately known as 'Sister Linda' amongst the Christchurch Muslim community and will be one of the 51 remembered on Sunday.

It's a smile that brought peace and comfort to so many. From helping refugees resettle here a decade ago to being a mentor and mediator amongst the Muslim community, Sister Linda was everyone's sister.

Even before she converted to Islam a decade ago she'd lived a colourful life. She was a Christian, Bahai, a hippy, punk, goth and kick-arse feminist, a mother, aunty and grandmother.

"I think the only way to see yourself through this horror is to focus on trying to find some glimmer of hope, positiveness, coming together," her daughter Angela Armstrong says.

"Certainly us as a family we might not have understood the path that mum was on before - I feel that we do now."

As Sister Linda's death became known there were stories of her courage, her bravery, taking fire so others wouldn't.

Her family have spoken to survivors from the Linwood Mosque shooting and say the one certainty they hold dear is that she died in the act of prayer.

"What I know of my mother she lived life to the full and she would be totally at peace, maybe not that others died with her, but she'd be totally at peace that she'd gone in the way that she did, on a Friday, in a mosque with a prayer on her lips," Angela says.

"She's had an amazing life. She's in paradise."

It seems a remarkable reaction from those who lost their matriarch - senseless violence and darkness met with love and acceptance and light. But then this is Sister Linda's family.

"If she knew the impact her dying would have had on the nation, the world, she would have sacrificed any day in order for everyone to come together and the love and the unity that we have together," nephew Kyron Gosse says.

A unity never better illustrated than that shown by the nation in the days after the shootings. A spirit the family have carried with them this past year.

"It's incredible the outpouring that you get of love and support. It really really helps to get you through to know that the country has got your back in a way," Angela says.

"For me it's actually given me that drive to get out there and live my life bigger and to do more and do more of what I believe is right," Gosse adds.

The family have organised an ultramarathon next weekend. It's 51 miles - one mile for each victim - from Akaroa to the Al Noor mosque.

There's an open invitation for all to join, raising money for the Red Cross Refugee Programme, so dear to Linda's heart.