Rachel D'Avino's boyfriend wanted to surprise her by proposing on Christmas Eve.
Just two days before the shootings, he'd asked her parents for their blessing.
The 29-year-old died while trying to protect her students at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Her aunt says she held out hope her niece somehow survived the shooting.
"Even after they said everybody was dead, I was still thinking that Rachel was hiding somewhere," Christine Carmody said.
Rachel's aunt received another emotional jolt the day after the shootings when her niece's annual Christmas card arrived in the mail at her Florida home.
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