Hundreds gathered to remember tragic Aviemore teen Jade McGrath at Carrbridge Parish Church yesterday.
The body of the 19-year-old was discovered in undergrowth near New Craigs Psychiatric Hospital in Inverness, where she was reported missing from on November 28.
A poignant celebration of life service was led by Inverallan Parish Church minister Reverend Gordon Strang who described the gathering as a “tragedy” but hoped mourners could remember Jade with a few smiles amid the tears.
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Reverend Strang paid tribute to the teenager, describing her as “bright, vibrant and full of life, with plenty more life to live” before lighting a candle in the church and asking the gathered mourners to “seek light through the darkness” and join him in honouring Jade’s life.
A private cremation had taken place in Inverness before friends and family gathered in the church as the Highland village fell to a standstill.
Businesses closed their doors over the period of the service taking place with local employers allowing staff time off to pay their respects to the teen.
Miss McGrath’s grandfather Colin delivered a humorous tribute to his granddaughter telling the congregation the tale of three artistic pieces of work created by her, known as the three Marys, which he believed allowed for her personal traits and artistic skills to shine through.
He thanked all who have helped the family throughout their torment, with help coming from all across the globe, but he paid particular homage to the people of Carrbridge for their generosity and well wishes.
Reverend Strang read aloud words prepared by Miss McGrath’s other grandfather Michael, where he spoke of her laughter and artistic skills, before relaying a message on behalf of Samantha Taylor, Jade’s mother.
He said that she wants good to come from the ordeal and encouraged those gathered to cherish each other and love themselves.
The pop hit Thursday by Jess Glynne was played during the service with Mrs Taylor wishing to highlight the poignancy of the lyrics and how they could easily have been written by her daughter. The song tells the journey of accepting one’s self and not adhering to the pressures people place on themselves and others.
Last week, Jade’s mother Samantha Taylor paid tribute to her daughter, commenting: “Jade was a happy girl when she was young and always had a good sense of humour. She was funny.”
A collection at the door will go to YoungMinds, a mental health and wellbeing charity for young people.