HUNDREDS of people have attended a funeral to celebrate the lives of two sisters from Whiteparish who were killed during the holiday of a lifetime in North Africa.
The service at All Saints Church gave thanks for the lives of 23-year-old Tara and 21-year-old Pippa Darlington, who died when their car was involved in a car crash in Morocco on September 17.
Paying tribute at the start of the service to their “golden girls”, Patrick Darlington said: “Our darlings, who would ever have thought that you would not return from Africa, that we would be mourning your loss and looking back at the wonderful girls that you were, rather than looking forwards, at all the possibilities that were opening up for you.
“Mummy and I are so very sorry. We have all been cheated. It seems so unfair. We loved you so much.
“Each of you were the brightest of stars – burnt out in your prime.
“We will mourn your loss for the rest of our lives, but today Mummy, Osci and I choose to celebrate that you lived, and focus on what perfect, beautiful girls you were.”
During the service, tributes were also made by the girls’ 15-year-old brother, Oscar, and three of the girls’ friends. Seven readings, which included, Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Death Is Nothing At All and A Child of Mine were given by friends and godparents, while music included The Beatles’ All You Need is Love and Elgar’s Salut d’Amour, performed on cello by friend Angus Reid.
Speaking on behalf of the family, close friend Christopher Keen said the girls were “always full of fun and full of joy”.
Both due to start their final year of university, Tara was studying media, journalism and sociology at Goldsmiths University and had begun her own business, Savvy Social Media, offering social media solutions to small businesses.
Pippa was in her final year at Newcastle University, studying law.
Tara’s godfather David Windmill said the local community had been invaluable in offering support to the family and Mr and Mrs Darlington and their son wanted the service on Friday to reflect the girls.
“They wanted to have a celebration of their lives rather than a grim, grief stricken event as that’s not what the girls were about,” he said. The service was led by Revd Nils Bersweden and the Revd Jane Dunlop. Revd Bersweden said: “The deaths of these two beautiful young women have deeply touched many people, not only their family and friends, but the whole community.
“The way that people, even relative strangers, have been moved to show their love has been a real sign of how, when we are reminded of the frailty of our lives, we re-discover our shared humanity and basic connection with all that is precious in life.
“In celebrating Tara and Pippa’s lives in the midst of enormous pain we can but hold on to the hope this love reveals.”
Ten people were injured in the crash that killed the two sisters. Their 21-year-old friend Joshua Stump, also from Whiteparish, was seriously injured and remains in hospital. Donations in Tara and Pippa’s memory can be made at justgiving.com/Emma-Darlington and will benefit the homeless charity Streetlytes, which was of particular importance to the girls.