Funeral for Nelson mum, unborn child
"My only regret in five years is I never married you. Thank you for all the time we had together."
So Andre Evans farewelled his loved partner, Daile Eden, who died with their unborn daughter last Friday.
Cuddling their 3-year-old son, Dakota, at a celebration of her life at Marsden House Funeral Home in Nelson yesterday afternoon, Andre said that from the first time he met Daile he was in love.
"I am so happy you have Mia-Rose because I have Dakota as my rock and you will have Mia-Rose," he said.
The eight-months pregnant mum was found dead in bed last Friday morning by her mother, Rewa Eden, at their Stoke home, and her unborn daughter, Mia-Rose, did not survive.
The family has questioned her care in the lead up to her death, which has been referred to coroner Chris Davenport to determine the cause.
The previous Sunday she had been ill and Andre took her to Nelson Hospital where she was admitted and went home the next afternoon.
Last Thursday, he took her to Nelson Family Medicine in Collingwood St where her chest and heart were checked and she was given advice about her breathing.
Celebrant and Nelson Speedway announcer Dave Birdling, who led the service, said: "It was a short life but today we are not here to blame, we are not here to be angry.
"Please, we are here to celebrate the life of this beautiful young woman."
The funeral house was packed upstairs and down with more than 400 family and friends wanting to pay tribute to the 24-year-old mother.
Mr Birdling reminded stockcar drivers that they would be required to have pink wheel gates on their race cars at opening night out of respect and to show care for the family's loss.
He asked everyone to continue to support them.
Daile's oldest brother, Greg, told of her "addictions" of shopping, fast cars and motor sport.
A rebellious teenager who left school early, she managed without having a paid job, he said.
But when their father, Neil, died she decided it was her job to live with their mother, who was now left with "a huge hole in her heart".
Everything changed for Daile in 2010 when son Dakota arrived, she grew up, and she was a fantastic mother, Greg said.
He last saw her in Auckland two months ago when she had been with a friend, and excited about her shopping successes.
She had bought "tacky" presents that her nieces and nephews had loved.
Her last addiction was preparing for her baby girl, and she couldn't wait to meet her.
"Daile, you are going to be missed by close family, close friends, and severely by Trade Me, eBay and other social network sites," he joked.
Mr Birdling read a message from a close friend who Daile first met when she was 12, holidaying at Goose Bay, Kaikoura, and who shared memories of a hiding spot on top of a train tunnel and making noodles and egg.
"You are the most craziest funniest chick I know . . . Go rock it hard upstairs."
Friends laughed and cried as photographs screened of Daile with her son, partying, pulling faces and proudly pregnant, as well as a scan image of her unborn daughter.
Playing the song A Little Party Never Killed Nobody by Fergie reminded everyone she was a party girl who loved having fun.
However, the single coffin for both mother and daughter, decked with bright orange flowers, was a sobering sight.
On behalf of Mrs Eden, Mr Birdling gently recited the poem Tomorrow Never Comes:
If I knew it would be the last time
that I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep . . .
The 11-verse poem ended:
Take time to say "I'm sorry",
"please forgive me", "thank you", or "it's okay".
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.
After the service, as the hearse pulled away, Andre, carrying Dakota, followed it out on to the street, not wanting the love of his life to go.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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