Mum’s touching memorial tribute to ‘caring’ Ashleigh
THE mum of tragic Ashleigh Bowes, has held a special memorial event on the first anniversary of her death.
Ashleigh was found dead at her family home on Newquay Drive, Macclesfield, aged just 14, on the morning of August 30 last year.
There were no suspicious circumstances and an inquest into what happened is due to take place next month.
A year on, her mum Sue organised for a special mass at St Alban’s Roman Catholic Church to be dedicated to Ashleigh and invited friends and family to remember her.
Ashleigh used to go to the church with her family and was a former pupil at St Alban’s Primary.
After the church service, friends gathered at Sue’s house on Chatsworth Avenue to share their memories of Ashleigh, who attended Fallibroome Academy.
Sue moved into the new address with Ashleigh’s brother Chris, 17, because she no longer wanted to live at the house where Ashleigh died. At the gathering, Sue invited Ashleigh’s friends to help tend to her grave at Macclesfield Cemetery over the coming year. She has said they can take a month each to place flowers, plants, ornaments and other items to make personal tributes to their friend.
Sue, a beauty therapist, said: “It’s been so hard for Ashleigh’s friends and I wanted to give them the opportunity to do something to remember her. They are really struggling to come to terms with what happened.
“I want them to stay strong and not let it affect their GCSEs. I won’t have Ashleigh to watch over but I will be watching them and they will make me so proud if they do well.
“The church service was a way of celebrating the vitality of Ashleigh’s life.”
Ashleigh was an keen reader and loved horse riding. She had a love for all animals and especially her rabbit Floppy, who still lives with the family.
Sue said: “I like having Ashleigh’s rabbit and seeing her friends helps me but I’m finding it really hard. I’m finding it hard to go the grave myself, especially as the earth settles.
“I’ve got no closure, but hope I can find some when the inquest happens and maybe some good can come out if this, so that she hasn’t died in vain.
“Ashleigh was a wonderful daughter who loved life and always cared for others. I miss her every day.”
The inquest into Ashleigh’s death starts on October 13 at Warrington Town Hall.
●● Sue at Ashleigh’s graveside. Inset: Ashleigh