Hundreds gather to say goodbye to South Shields mam Ashley Tomlin
Hundreds of people turned out to pay tribute to the life of a South Shields mam who inspired so many people with her courage and strength.
Ashley Tomlin died early last Monday morning, after suffering a ruptured heart artery. - just weeks after she lost her 10-year-old son Jak Fada to the same condition on November 6.
Ashley’s granddad James Tomlin also sadly passed away just a day before Jak.
Mourners gathered at South Shields Crematorium today to say goodbye to the 32-year-old mum from Westoe who was remembered as being a ‘beautiful girl.’
The service, which was led by Humanist Minister Ian Hunter, began with ‘How Long Will I Love You’ by Ellie Goulding - a song which meant so much to the family, as it was also played at Jak’s funeral.
During the service Ashley’s family and friends heard how she was a popular and naturally caring woman whose life was defined by her son Jak.
The mourners heard that she was born in South Shields in July 6 July, 1985, to parents Jill and Keith Tomlin, and went on to study at college before getting a job as an administrator at a hospital diabetes clinic.
She then met Tony Fada and they went on to have their son Jak who was born in July 2007.
Mr Hunter said: “She adapted to the role she cherished above all others, and that was the role of Jak’s mam.She was there for all the important things when he was growing up.
“She was there for football, Jak was a black and white fan too and liked the Mariners.
“He was growing up to be such a wonderful little lad, and it was down to the love and support around him, that he was charming, caring and funny. She was devoted to him, but she still had time for friends.
“Friendship was hugely important to her, her friends from when she was a toddler and her party friends.
“Because as well as being a mam she was a party girl.”
The congregation then listened to a track called ‘How Can I Tell You’ By Cat Stevens while they reflected on their special memories of Ashley.
The service closed with a dance track to pay tribute to the fact that she was a party girl.
Mr Hunter continued: “She was naturally caring. She cared about everyone and looked after her granddad Jimmy. She was a beautiful woman with a lifetime ahead of her.
Mr Hunter said everything changed for Ashley in just two tragic days - when her grandfather died and, the following day, Jak's death.
He said: "Everything changed. I met her then and I was inspired by her courage.
“Her heart was broken but she was so strong and so dignified."
“She is now at peace and her heart is no longer breaking in grief. What survives is love.
“Smile through tears and then when tears dry, smile some more.
“Remember that life ends but love goes on.
“Keep her safe in your hearts and cherish every memory.”