“We asked everyone to wear bright colours."

"I met Barbara when I was 14 years old. I fell in love with her at first sight. We had a really rich life together.

"We wanted Barbara’s funeral to reflect what she was like. We didn’t want anything flashy, but we did want it to be stylish. Barbara loved dressing nicely. We asked people to wear bright clothes to the funeral, rather than black. We wanted to celebrate rather than mourn.

"It was very important to involve our church in the funeral. If it hadn’t been for Covid-19, we would have had a party. We will have a memorial with lots of people, music and everyone in traditional dress. We are an Afro-Caribbean couple, but we have friends from all different communities.

"We asked people to donate to a sickle cell charity instead of buying flowers. Afterwards, friends said that the funeral was 'really Barbara'."

Earle, Barbara's husband

Barbara's choices

  • Buried in a family grave and her son's ashes buried with her.
  • Natural pandanus coffin and tropical-looking flowers arranged by a family friend.
  • We dressed her stylishly for the day — as she would have wanted.
  • Professional bearers wore traditional striped trousers, black jackets and black tie.
  • Barbara arrived in a black vintage Daimler hearse.
  • Pastor Success Adeshida led a personal and uplifting service.
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