GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: THIS STORY CONTAINS DETAILS WHICH READERS MIGHT FIND UPSETTING.
Janna Ezat weeps for her dead son every day.
It was her birthday, and Mother's Day in the Middle East, when she received Hussein Al-Umari's body which was still riddled with bullet holes.
"He used to give me flowers for my birthday but instead I got his body," she said in court today during the first day of sentencing for Christchurch gunman Brenton Tarrant.
But, despite being haunted by that painful image Ezat told Tarrant at the end of her moving victim impact statement she had chosen to forgive him.
"I decided to forgive you Mr Tarrant because I don't have hate … I have no choice."
It was the one time the convicted killer, who sat in the dock of the High Court at Christchurch surround by security staff, appeared to acknowledge his victims.
He gave a slight nod and wiped an eye.
Ezat described her 35-year-old son as kind, humble, caring and hard-working young man who had the rare gift of making everyone feel special, loved and appreciated.
His sister Aya Al Umari described her brother as the backbone of their family and her "guardian".
His selfless actions on the day of the shootings means he has become "the hero society deserves to have".
After his murder, she says she had to put on a brave face, which came at the cost of her own mental wellbeing.
"My best friend was executed in cold blooded murder," she told Tarrant, however she added that his death has made her faith in Islam even stronger.
The women were among 24 who stood before Tarrant and told him and the court how the shootings, which claimed 51 lives and left 40 others wounded, had impacted their lives.
Victim impact statements included stories of horror, heartbreak, and heroism. Some played as recorded messages, some were read on behalf of others and some stood in the courtroom, flanked by loved ones who clasped their shoulders, as they looked Tarrant in the eyes.
Many fought back tears.
Some told Tarrant they refused to be broken by his actions.
Survivor Khaled Alnobani, described being unable to return to fulltime work as he struggled with "everyday life". He feels bad he couldn't help more people and is still shocked by what he saw that day.
"Every time anyone talks to me about the shooting I become upset and angry. I find myself unable to control or contain my feelings.
But despite all that, Alnobani finished his statement thanking Tarrant.
"My heart is broken, but I am not broken," he told him.
"We have become more united – and thank you for that."
Mazharuddin Syed Ahmed also addressed Tarrant directly at the end of his statement.
"No one will remember you with joy … the damage you have inflicted was like a wild bull in a china shop," he said.
"The ones who bravely caught you, the ones who operated on the injured, the ones who mourned with us – they are the ones who will be remembered."
Ahmed, who was supported by his wife, addressed the court with a prayer before he read his statement.
He was at the Linwood mosque and while he wasn't injured he watched others being shot and killed.
"I was not comprehending what was happening, it was like a shock to me – I froze.
"I went to the main door … I saw him approaching to shoot … I pushed a father and a kid into a corner to hide them. I then lay down by the door watching for him.
"I was trying to decide if he is going to shoot me, where I was going to take the shot."
Ahmed said he could vividly remember fellow worshipper Linda Armstrong "screaming" before Tarrant killed her.
"He was just so calm … he just seemed to act so calm … He was just looking around then he would point his gun and shoot people."
When he heard of other friends who had been killed the "sorrow and grief began to sink in".
Many people giving statements talked about trouble sleeping at night since the attacks, about flashbacks and the financial toll it has taken on them as they are no longer able to work - or have lost their main source of income.
Siraz Ashraf Ali, who survived the Linwood attack but lost his father Ashraf Ali, said he was knocked to the ground when another man who had been shot fell on him.
"I looked in the eyes of the killer and saw his hatred," he said.
For a long time, he couldn't get that image out of his mind.
He suffers flashbacks from the bloody carnage he witnessed that day.
"I will never forget this and the trauma of what happened that day sits with me all the time," he said.
"The loss is huge and very sad."
Tarrant, 29, initially pleaded not guilty to his offending but later changed his tune and admitted 51 charges of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one of engaging in a terrorist act laid under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.
The hearing is scheduled to last four days, with more statements being delivered by victims, families and survivors from 10am tomorrow.
Temel Atacocugu's story: "The trauma will live with me forever"
Temel Atacocugu was shot in the face, five times in the legs, and three times in the left arm during the March 15 massacres.
Miraculously he survived and today he stood - strong and brave - and faced the man who opened fire on him as he prayed alongside hundreds of others.
Atacocugu – who will undergo a fifth surgery tomorrow for his injuries - is one of 66 people reading Victim Impact Statements at the four-day sentencing.
Bullets struck Atacocugu in the jaw, left side of the chest, left thigh and calf and his left arm, which also caused compound fractures.
He has had four operations so far to try and repair the damage caused.
Today Atacocugu was supported by his two teenage sons as he read his statement.
The mass murderer sat, flanked by security guards, shackled at the wrists and ankles.
He showed no emotion as Atacocugu spoke.
The father-of-two recalled that he was in the centre front of the main prayer room at Al Noor.
"The first shots I heard made me turn and see the gunman," he said.
"I witnessed fellow peaceful worshippers gunned down.
"The gunman and I looked into each other's eyes I saw the moment when I was the target of his gun.
"I was shot nine times."
Atacocugu had met a Kiwi woman in Turkey and the pair married and settled in Christchurch in 2009.
They had two sons together but later separated.
"I came to New Zealand with my family to live because it's a peaceful country," he said.
"Despite the events on March 15 I believe it will stay that way."
Atacocugu said it was horrendous living with the memories of the terror attack.
"As I lay under bodies in the mosque I thought I was going to die," he told the court.
"I tried to lie as still as possible when the gunman came back a second time.
"I could feel the blood and brains of the person upon me running down my face and neck ...
I couldn't move or make a sound as the gunman would have executed me as he did the others."
Atacocugu said he used skills he learned in the military when he was younger to save his own life.
"I know if I had moved wouldn't be here today," he said.
"Six bullets were removed from my body but three remain … Over the last 12 months I have required multiple long surgeries and have further surgeries scheduled.
"I suffer ongoing daily pain and I am severely depressed. This has affected my mood and behaviour - at times I am extremely angry and other times I am very, very sad ."
He spoke about being on "numerous" medications for pain and depression and attending counselling twice a week.
"I will have permanent disabilities and pain as a result of these injuries – however I am a strong stubborn Turkish man who has been brought up to battle on," he said.
"Although I am separated from my wife my family have been severely impacted.
"My sons have required counselling and will be affected by this for years to come."
However he said he knows he will celebrate many important days with them in the future and look forward to one day holding grandchildren.
"New Zealand will still be a safe country for them."
Atacocugu said after the shooting he had no support in Christchurch.
"My family travelled from Turkey and Australia to care for me but have been unable to stay permanently.
"A huge enduring strength for me has been my faith in Islam ... this has provided me with spiritual and mental healing."
He continues to attend Al Noor mosque and feels "anxious and nervous" when he is there and "paranoid" about any noises behind him.
"When prayer finishes I feel a sense of relief nothing has happened to me," he said.
"I will continue to be an active member of the mosque and my community."
He told the court that once he was a successful business owner but since the attack he had been unable to work.
He has been forced to sell his business as a result.
"Despite all of this, I will not let all of these things bring me down," he vowed.
"The trauma will live with me forever – the images, smell and sound on the mosque that day haunt me.
"I do not see a future where I will be without pain however I am determined to find a positive way forward… and live with my disabilities.
"I will be proud of all I have overcome as I walk freely in the sunshine.