'She will live on in our hearts': Hundreds farewell Shari
MORE than 500 people farewelled Lismore teenager Shari Anne Rose during an emotional and heartfelt service at St Andrew's Anglican Church yesterday.
As the 16-year-old's coffin left the Lismore church, Dancing Queen played over the speakers, while her family, friends and community who came to say goodbye to the young woman gathered in the forecourt.
An honour guard comprising her friends from Trinity Catholic College, East Lismore Netball Club and other community organisations lined the driveway and part of Zadoc St, as the Rose family accompanied their beloved daughter and sister to Lismore Memorial Gardens for a private burial.
The church had filled up more than 40 minutes ahead of the scheduled service time, with many people directed to an adjoining hall where they could watch via a broadcast or live on social media.
Shari's white coffin was crowned with a sheath of white and cream flowers and pale blue ribbons.
In keeping with her family's request for those attending to "wear a touch of blue", Shari's favourite colour was sprinkled in all shades as most people found a way to honour their wishes.
During the standing room-only service, which was conducted by the Rev Alan Shaw, those who knew and loved the effervescent girl came forward with mementos, while the song Amazing Grace filled the church.
Among the speakers were her older siblings, Olivia and Jacob, who struggled to contain tears as they spoke of how much they admired Shari's battle with the cancer that finally claimed her.
"You're not only our baby sister, you're now our guardian angel," Jacob said.
"My blondy-gone-brownie-gone- baldy-gone-pixie-cut sister.
"She was loving, stubborn, sassy ... we all love you so much."
One speaker urged everyone to "speak Shari's name often, so she will live on in our hearts".
A wake was held at the Italo-Australian Club, North Lismore.
Shari was undergoing treatment for Burkitt's lymphoma at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane when she died on Saturday.
Vale, Shari Anne Rose: April 16, 2002 - January 12, 2019.