Moving tributes at child’s funeral

MOVING tributes were paid to Beth Cousins at her funeral in Shankill Parish Church last Wednesday.

11-year-old Beth died on Sunday, July 15, after an accident on a family holiday at Portballintrae.

Beth’s mother Ruth told those gathered that they were there to “celebrate Beth and give thanks for her life and to thank God for the wonderful girl we had the privilege to call our daughter, our sister, our granddaughter and our friend”.

“Beth was beautiful in so many ways,” she added.

Beth had excelled at King’s Park Primary School, had been a popular member of High Street Methodist GB and a team player in every sense of the word at Lurgan Ladies Hockey Club. Ruth described the hockey club as a family and her daughter was given a guard of honour by club members wearing the red, black and yellow with pride.

In his address Rev Geoff Wilson fought back the tears as he referred to Beth as a VIP.

He said: “Little Beth Cousins touched our lives and our hearts in some special way. I want to suggest to you that Beth was a VIP, a Very Important Person to each and every one of us.”

He said he chose those words very carefully because of a story he’d been told by Alistair and Ruth about their daughter’s great love for Jessie J.

When Beth found out Jessie was going to be playing in the Odyssey Arena next year she’d asked her mum and dad for tickets. Rev Wilson told how Beth would remind her parents about the concert each day and each day her dad would pretend he’d forgotten and promised to get tickets the following day.

When Beth found out the concert was sold out she was resigned to the fact she wouldn’t be going.

Rev Wilson completed the story: “Imagine then her delight when on June 22, her birthday, she received a Jessie J hoodie and opened up an envelope containing two tickets to the concert. And not just any tickets, but tickets to the VIP enclosure.”

Rev Wilson went on to say Beth was in heaven “receiving VIP treatment in the presence of the King of Kings”.

He added: “Today we celebrate and give thanks for her short life and we can do so with joy in our hearts as well as tears in our eyes, because we know that death is not the end for little children and those who know and love the Lord Jesus.”