More than 400 people gathered yesterday for a service to celebrate the life of Hannah Smith, 14, who was found hanged in her bedroom at the family home in Leicestershire, by her 16-year-old sister Jo two weeks ago.
Reverend Charlie Styles, who led the service at St Mary’s Church in Lutterworth, said the tone of the funeral was one of celebration.
He said: “It was a really lovely service with lots of smiles. The atmosphere was really positive. There were obvious tears and it was quite heartbreaking, really, to hear, especially some of the younger people. But the overall tone of the service was a feeling of celebration and laughter even amidst the tears.”
The family had requested mourners wear colourful clothing and onesies.
Hannah’s father, David Smith, dressed in a blue shirt and jeans, was among those who carried her purple coffin with “I love you” on the side, out of a blue Audi Q7 and into the church as heavy rain fell.
Jo walked behind the coffin, consoled by her stepmother, Deborah Smith.
Inside the church, as Mr Styles led the 30-minute service, purple and white balloons lined the aisles and a poster reading “Be happy for Hannah” hung from a lectern with a picture of the teenager.
Hymns were sung and there were readings by Nora Parker, headteacher of Lutterworth High School, and Hannah’s cousin, Ben Hubbard.
Say It Right by Nelly Furtado, one of the teenager’s favourite songs, was also played.
Hannah’s coffin was carried out to One Step Beyond by Madness before the congregation gathered on the grass outside the church to release balloons.