TEARS were flowing as the family and friends of young Bethany Tiller gathered to say a final goodbye to the teenager.
Yesterday, more than 150 people went to The Oaks Crematorium, in Havant, to celebrate her life and grieve together.
The 16-year-old died of cancer on April 27 after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2016.
School friends, dance friends, close family, extended family and others who knew Bethany packed the chapel to remember her and share memories.
Her coffin was carried into The Oaks with Lily Allen’s version of Somewhere Only We Know.
During the service, pictures of her throughout her life from a baby to getting treatment at Southampton General Hospital were shown while Bruno Mars’ Just the Way You Are played.
A tribute by her family, dad David, mum Claire, siblings Jack and Charlotte, was read out.
It said: ‘The love and support we have received from family and friends has helped significantly in trying to get through this difficult time.
‘Bethany was a very popular girl at school and her dance group, what an amazing group of close friends she had. Bethany adored them all.
‘She wanted to make the prom at The Cowplain School but that wasn’t to be. Go though, make it a day to remember and do her proud.
‘Bethany will be there in spirit.’
As previously reported in The News, Bethany was given a bone marrow transplant to help treat her cancer.
But after being told she was clear of the disease, a week later the family were given the devastating news that it had returned.
Doctors said it was unlikely further chemotherapy would get rid of the cancer and Bethany, from Denmead, made the decision to stop treatment and leave hospital.
Speaking in the tribute statement, her dad added: ‘For anyone to make that decision takes bravery, especially at 16 years of age.
‘We are all so proud of how she handled herself throughout. She fought to stay with us all.
‘Brave, inspirational, strong, positive and the most used word of all, beautiful, with that infectious smile were all comments said about Bethany.
‘She has certainly touched the lives of people.
‘We are so honoured and privileged that we got to call her our daughter for 16 wonderful years.’
A poem written by two of Bethany’s close friends was read out along with two verses chosen by her parents.
The service also heard a tribute from one of Bethany’s school friends Paris who knew her since infant school.
It said: ‘I was lucky enough to call Beth my friend for 10 years.
‘Watching her go through the toughest 18 months has shown me what it really means to be a strong young woman. It isn’t about physical strength but about attitude and mindset.
‘She has inspired me to make the most of every moment in my life.
‘I have been so privileged to have had such a caring, funny and beautiful friend.’