November 18, 2015 05:00 PM

As she prepares for her daughter’s body to return home to California, Beatriz Gonzalez says that every day is a struggle.

“It is very, very hard,” Gonzalez tells PEOPLE. “All the memories come back to me. There is nothing that can make me feel better now. I lost my beloved daughter. She was my only daughter and my youngest. Maybe with time I will feel better.”

Gonzalez’s daughter, Nohemi, 23, was one of 17 students attending Strate school of design in Paris during a semester abroad program when she was shot to death at La Belle Equipe bistro on Friday night. The shooting was one of seven highly coordinated terror attacks that left 129 dead and 352 injured.

Nohemi Gonzalez, who had arrived in Paris on September 2, died of her injuries at a local hospital. She was the only known American among those killed.

Beatriz Gonzalez says the FBI is helping with the arrangements to bring her daughter back to California in the next few weeks.

“We don’t know the date yet,” she says. “All the paper work will need to be done.”

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Gonzalez’s stepfather, Jose Hernandez, says Beatriz had planned to go to Paris with a television crew to meet the doctor who attended to her daughter but decided against it after the FBI warned her not to.

“For security reasons they said they didn t think she should go,” Hernandez tells PEOPLE.

Beatriz remembers her daughter, who was studying industrial design, as a fiercely independent and driven young woman: Nohemi started doing her own laundry at the age of nine, received all A’s in school, worked two jobs to support herself and generally loved life, Beatriz says.

“She was always independent,” says Beatriz. “When she was a little girl she wanted to do everything by herself. She was always looking for something new and always had a goal. She was very successful.”

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