A socially-distanced Huddersfield Crematorium was filled with love, laughter and tears at a funeral service for Mandy Taylor described as an “extraordinary person who emblazoned positivity and goodness.”
Fabulous fundraiser Mandy, 53, insisted on sparkles and colour at her funeral and mourners both inside and outside the crematorium did her proud with glitter, glamour – and even shocking pink hair!
Mandy, who raised more than £2 million for charities and good causes, died in December after her fourth cancer diagnosis in 10 years.
Emotional tributes were led by Mandy’s husband Andrew who described her as “kind, caring, giving, loyal – and the most wonderful person who I am so proud to say became my wife.”
Amid the tributes and the tears, laughter was never far away and – typically – it was Mandy herself who brought most laughter into the room in an emotional voice message recorded shortly before she died.
“Boo. Did I make you jump?” she teased, as her message was played. “I just wanted you to hear my voice one last time. How often have we said that?
“Clearly I’m not physically as such in the room singing and dancing but then again I am in the room. Not sat by your side or behind you but hopefully in your heart.”
Mandy brought laughter when she fluffed her lines saying she’d “ballsed it up!”
She said: “I have always known that you can’t add life…Look at me I’ve ballsed it up!”
Correcting herself, she continued: “You can’t add days to your life but you can add life to your days. I’ve done that more than ever recently and I encourage you to do the same, for life is short.
“Andrew and I never foresaw that this fourth cancer would come so quickly and take my life so greedily.
“Mother Nature can be a great friend but equally she can be a great horror. This time around she has won, hasn’t she? But don’t cry. Please don’t cry for me. Save those tears.
“Let’s have some laughter and look back on life and recall those wonderful times wherever they might have been and cherish the love we have all shared.
“I could be talking to an empty crem or a full one, I don’t know. I will never know. Those people there today I love you all. Thank you for showing your love and respect for me too.
“Just go out there and do it. Just go out there and be more Mandy and live your very best life. With all my love now and always.”
Be More Mandy is the name for a fundraising campaign set up by Mandy a few short weeks ago to raise money for children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Huddersfield.
Her family and friends have vowed to grow the #BeMoreMandy campaign and a Mandathon is planned on the East Coast in May.
At the funeral it was also revealed there would be a picnic at Castle Hill on September 21 next year, on what would have been Mandy’s birthday.
The #BeMoreMandy campaign will be a lasting legacy and in her funeral address, one of Mandy’s closest friends, Sam Watt, urged people not to be sad but to celebrate having had Mandy in their lives.
“I promised I would be more Mandy and I ask that you too make a promise to take life by the hand, to hold your loved ones close and go forward with your lives and be more Mandy,” she said.
Another friend, Nadio Granata, who introduced Mandy and Andrew and was best man at their wedding, said: “Our beloved has left all too soon but she has left a legacy.”
To support the #BeMoreMandy campaign click HERE.