The son of a woman due to be married later this month told her funeral of his sorrow that she would not get her ‘Cinderella Day’.
Angela Gillies died on August 20, a week before her 52nd birthday and five weeks before her wedding.
Just two days before her death, the mother-of-two with three grandchildren postponed her hen party to have a routine hospital operation.
‘A wonderful woman’
Around 200 mourners smiled through their tears as they joined her fiancé Kevin Pratt and wider family to celebrate Angela’s life.
The service at D Chisholm and Sons funeral home in Inverness was conducted by humanist celebrant Lesley Simpson.
Lesley was due to marry Kevin and Angela on September 23.
The couple met six years ago when Angela was living in Aviemore and they set up home together in Inverness four years ago.
Following her death, Kevin, 53, described Angela as “a wonderful woman” and “one of a kind”.
She loved Christmas and Disney films and the wedding was to have had a Disney theme.
She was also a big fan of Pink and saw her in concert three times, the last occasion in June in Bolton with Kevin, their last big night out together.
Many mourners dressed in pink or bright colours at the service, where music included ‘When I Get There’, by Pink and ‘Circle of Life’ from The Lion King.
Pink tassels adorned her coffin which sat with a floral arrangement in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s face after the service on its way to Laggantygown Cemetery in Aviemore.
She enriched peoples’ lives
Ms Simpson said Angela was “one of life’s great and wonderful characters”.
“Sadly I thought the ceremony I would be conducting for Angela would be her wedding ceremony in just a few weeks’ time.
“So today I feel extremely sad but very honoured to have been asked by the family to lead this ceremony of farewell and celebration of Angela’s life.
“I just wish there was no need for me to be here at all.”
She described Angela as “exceptional, strong-willed, determined, feisty, sociable, fun-loving, kind and caring, honest and down-to-earth”.
She was someone who loved to laugh and have a good party and who enriched peoples’ lives.
Ms Simpson said Angela would want to be remembered with a smile “the way she was often in life”.
“So let us be brave enough today and remember her with happiness.”
Angela had two sons, Kieran and Allan, and three grandchildren, Thea, Alaya and Killian.
In an emotional tribute, Allan said his mother was the “family’s rock” and her “radiant smile, infectious laugh and abundance of love you had to share” will be missed.
Referring to her “obsession” with Disney, he said: “Like Peter Pan, she never grew old. Like Moana, she could overcome her fears. And like Snow White, she had three of the seven dwarves to look after in her grandkids.
“The one thing she wanted was her Cinderella day and I’m so sorry you never got it.”
Angela’s father Brian also described her as “our baby, our angel, our brightest star”.
Angela regularly attended The Oxygen Works centre in Inverness where she received treatment for fibromyalgia and ME.
Donations at the service will go the charity and Munlochy Animal Aid.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by her friend Helen Duncan to support Kevin and Angela’s family. So far it has raised £3,400.