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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 06/24/2011

Bethesda Lululemon shop reopens after death of employee

More than three months after the killing of Lululemon Athletica employee Jayna Murray in the store’s Bethesda location, the athletic apparel shop reopened Friday and unveiled a stained glass mosaic emblazoned with the word “love” above the entrance.


A stained-glass window emblazoned with the word "love" pays tribute to 30-year-old Jayna T. Murray of Arlington, who was killed at Bethesda yoga clothing store Lululemon in March. (NIKKI KAHN/THE WASHINGTON POST)
“We are hurting,” said Kate Murray, Jayna’s sister, at an impromptu news conference outside the store Friday. “Lululemon is hurting; Bethesda is hurting; Jayna’s friends are hurting. ... But walking by that sign, it makes me want to smile. There’s no better way to honor her.”

Kate Murray was joined by her and Jayna’s parents, David and Phyllis, at the store’s reopening, which was preceded by what appeared to be a team huddle inside the store. Seen from outside, employees clad in Lululemon gear laughed, hugged and held a moment of silence with hands in the Namaste prayer pose.

At 10 a.m., the doors were unlocked and a dish of water was set outside for canine passersby; about a dozen customers entered the store in its first hour.

For the first time since March 12, it was almost business as usual for the Bethesda Avenue store.

Brittany Norwood, 28, has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing. Police say Norwood fatally beat Murray after an argument. Norwood faces up to life in prison if convicted.

“We’re all on our separate paths [in the mourning process],” said Phyllis Murray. “We take a step forward, and we take a step back.”


Jayna Murray’s father, David, walks behind Kate, Jayna’s sister, outside Lululemon on Bethesda Avenue on Friday. (NIKKI KAHN/THE WASHINGTON POST)
Murray’s father, David, said that walking into the store Friday morning was “difficult. But when I saw everyone inside smiling. ... It was very comforting. Very warm.”

Since her body was discovered at the store, Murray, 30, has been remembered as “a fighter” by friends and family for the way she lived rather than the circumstances of her death. Today was no different.

“Jayna didn’t meet a person she didn’t like. She didn’t realize the collection of friends she made,” said Phyllis Murray. “She never lived in her comfort zone and she was always out doing ‘one more thing.’ ”

Kate Murray called her sister “an inspiration.”

“Jayna was all about yoga and she inspired me to start,” said Kate, who admitted with a laugh she isn’t very good or particularly dedicated to the practice.

Lululemon will hold what the company is calling a “heart-opening” community yoga class Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

The family contributed a memory book to the store, with photos of Murray with her friends and co-workers, as well as notes and memories from those who knew her.

“Today is such an honor for [Jayna],” Phyllis Murray said. “Today is a day she is turning cartwheels in heaven.”

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By  |  12:45 PM ET, 06/24/2011

 
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