A tragic mum urged her loving family and friends to ‘embrace life’ when her words were read out as hundreds said their final goodbyes during an emotional service.
Tracey Keers passed away in the arms of husband Steven earlier this month after losing her battle with breast cancer.
The 33-year-old died just days after giving birth baby Kyla and getting married in hospital.
Tracey’s words were read out as family and friends, with many dressed in pink for the service at Holy Trinity Church in Seaton Carew.
A reading of Tracey’s own word described her love for husband Steven and the couple’s children, and urged those in the congregation to make the most of life.
It went on: “I will miss you. But I will watch over everyone.
“Embrace life. Love as much as you can. Don’t worry your life away.”
First diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, she underwent a mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy before going into remission in July 2017.
But the joy of discovering she was pregnant in September turned to despair as doctors broke the news that her cancer had returned and was terminal.
Baby daughter Kyla was delivered prematurely at just 28 weeks and just over a week later, on Good Friday, Tracey and Steven became man and wife in a service in Middlesbrough’s James Cook Hospital.
Mourners packed into Holy Trinity Church, close to the family home in Seaton Carew, for a service that was a celebration of Tracey’s life.
A horse-drawn hearse, festooned with pink and white balloons, carried her white coffin to the church.
Father Roy Griffith spoke of how important Tracey’s faith had been to her, and the comfort she had derived from her belief that she would be reunited with her loved ones.
The service included a poem, chosen by Tracey’s mum Shirley, with the lines: “Here in my heart, there is a place, You’re always there, keeping me safe, It’s filled with love and happy times, It’s never dark, your light resides.”
Nurse Eleta Norris, who cared for Tracey during her illness, read a poem written by Steven about the couple’s time together.
After the service, the cortege made its way along the seafront, where family members, including seven-year-old son Kieran, could release balloons in her memory.