Kalala Carmine spent most of last year heartbroken.
The church where she was married and had all of her children baptised was destroyed. Across the road, she watched as the Canterbury Television building was demolished after its devastating collapse.
But she is standing strong, and hoping to help others do the same with a touching tribute. Mrs Carmine and friend Guinevere Newport are both members of the St Paul's Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Church.
The church came down in the February 22 quake and shortly after the minister passed away.
"It was a very cruel year," Mrs Carmine said. "It just broke our hearts."
After the rubble was cleared from the church and CTV sites, the women decided something needed to be done to bring hope and light back to the area.
They started by hanging artwork done by parishioners on the cordon fencing including Mrs Carmine's own painting, a Pacific design bearing the words "stand strong". Another states poignantly: love never dies.
But this week they ramped up their efforts, creating a moving shrine to those who did not survive.
An oversized decorative book has been positioned on a vacant site opposite the CTV building.
"When you lose somebody your life becomes strange. The ground beneath you becomes fragile. Your thoughts make your eyes unsure," it says.
Beneath the book, the women have laid white painted stones - one for each victim of the quake. They hope their shrine will help people to remember and to heal.
One woman sat quietly near the fence, looking at the site and crying. She said she was there for a friend who worked in the building and was killed when it collapsed.
Another man clung to the fence as he peered through at the site where 115 people died.
The family of a Japanese student who died in the building also visited, leaving a card with intricate origami birds and a personal message. A host family of another had attached a picture of her to the fence, with two roses.
Another fence inside the cordon bore many bouquets of flowers, and a plastic chair held soft toys and more mementos left by grieving families.By Anna Leask @AnnaLeask Email Anna