Knowing the process won't get any easier as the weekend progresses, friends and family started saying their goodbyes to Whitney Houston tonight.
Guests including Houston's mother Cissy, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown and record mogul Clive Davis started arriving at the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark for an intimate, private wake at around 5 p.m. ET.
The family arrived in a gold limousine and Cissy and Bobbi Kristina held hands as they walked in together.
Hundreds of fans lined up on Martin Luther King Boulevard outside the funeral parlor to watch people arrive, many of them adding to the makeshift shrine of flowers, candles and mementos laid out in the late diva's honor or writing in a condolence book set up by Whigham staff.
In the lobby, someone set up a large photo of Houston, flanked by a black microphone stand and a chair with a fur throw and a Bible set on top it. Dozens wrote messages inside the book, which was left open to the 23rd Psalm, according to New Jersey's Star-Ledger.
Police escorted three gold limousines and two black SUVs to the funeral home. Metal fencing was set up across the street to keep members of the media from spilling onto the boulevard.
Davis stayed for about an hour, then his limo was spotted pulling away from the site just as a silver Town car ferrying Dionne Warwick pulled up.
Warwick is scheduled to speak at Houston's funeral, which begins tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church.
Davis, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Kevin Costner, CeCe Winans, Rickey Minor, Tyler Perry, Stevie Wonder, and gospel singers Kim Burrell and Donnie McClurkin are all expected to speak or sing during the program.
E! Online will be carrying live coverage of the Whitney Houston funeral starting tomorrow at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET and coverage on E! will begin at 8:30 a.m./11:30 a.m.
(Originally published Feb. 17, 2012, at 3:40 p.m. PT)