Stood in silence and united in grief, mourners lined the streets to say goodbye to Millie-Rose Heaton one last time.
The town of Skelmersdale came to a standstill as hundreds of people paid tribute to the three-year-old at her funeral yesterday.
The service at St Paul’s on Church Road in Old Skelmersdale was broadcast through speakers to everyone who had come to share their sorrow at the passing of Skelmersdale’s bravest child and show their support for a family with remarkable strength.
Reverend Chris Spittle spoke of how Millie has united a community.
He said: “Millie was known to and cherished by so many people, those who followed her brave fight against neuroblastoma through her family’s moving online postings, those who fundraised so creatively and tirelessly for her treatment, those who prayed for her and cared about her, many without ever meeting her.
“She united our town in a way that shows the depth of compassion and goodness and love that there is in the hearts of the people of Skelmersdale.
“I know that the knowledge of that love and care is one of the things that sustains you her family at this sad and painful time and you are so grateful for it.”
A sea of blue, Millie’s favourite colour, surrounded the small church tucked away on a busy road as people listened to the words of Eva Casidy’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Leona Lewis’ The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
Millie’s cousin Megan read a poem to the congregation and Diane Clarke, Millie’s aunty chose a hymn to be read, out before Micheal McGeoch’s memorial video was shown featuring beautiful pictures and videos from Millie’s short life.
Tears of disbelief and heartache fell as Millie’s tiny coffin emerged from the church followed by her mum, Lyndsay and brother and sister, Michael and Lexie, each carrying a single blue rose.
Dad Michael, carried Millie, alongside other close family members.
The clouds parted to reveal a blue sky and the people of Skelmersdale bowed their heads as Millie and her family passed by.