HIGHER GROUND

In­ti­mate farewell for Marie

Tweed Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Amanda Robbe­mond

Mur­willum­bah busi­nesses weigh up cost of be­com­ing flood-free:

MARIE van Beers’ el­dest sis­ter Betty left the ser­vice first.

Tears slid down her cheeks, her hands clutch­ing her walk­ing frame. She paused in the aisle as fam­ily mem­bers con­soled her.

She walked on, those be­side her brush­ing away their own tears as they helped her out­side.

The in­ti­mate fu­neral ser­vice farewelled mother, sis­ter, grand­mother and aunt Marie Ber­nadetta van Beers of Tweed Heads, who was al­legedly stabbed to death by her ex-part­ner Paul Ryan on Novem­ber 12. Bon Jovi's Never Say

Good­bye and It’s My Life brought smiles to faces dur­ing the 63-year-old’s fu­neral ser­vice – even laugh­ter as they

re­mem­bered how much she loved the charis­matic singer Jon Bon Jovi. But the clos­ing song, In the Arms of an

An­gel by Sarah Mclach­lan, over­whelmed them all.

At the front of the fu­neral par­lour, Marie van Beers’ two adult sons, Chris and Michael, clutched those clos­est. Both were in­con­solable. Grief wracked their bod­ies as they placed flow­ers on her cas­ket, turn­ing back to fam­ily for com­fort.

Marie’s sis­ter, Moya Reid, greeted and thanked close to 40 peo­ple for com­ing to the fu­neral ser­vice, held at Tweed Heads Me­mo­rial Gar­dens and Cre­ma­to­rium on Wed­nes­day.

True to Marie’s na­ture, the som­bre mood of the fu­neral was punc­tu­ated by laugh­ter. Like when they watched a slide show of pic­tures or when they were told how she tried to run away from home as a young child to hide un­der the house with an ap­ple, a sin­glet and a pair of undies. When her mother told her there were spi­ders there, she changed her run­away spot to the chook shed.

Marie was re­mem­bered as bright, bub­bly and hav­ing a great sense of hu­mour.

“She loved walk­ing along the beach and head­lands, wher­ever she could,” a fam­ily mem­ber said.

“It made her happy and she found it peace­ful … (Chris and Michael) were her rea­son for liv­ing. The fam­ily moved to the Gold Coast to en­joy the life­style they couldn’t in Syd­ney. The boys and Marie loved to fish and were mem­bers of the lo­cal fish­ing club.”

Af­ter the ser­vice, Chris said they had lost a “per­fect” and “beau­ti­ful” per­son.

“There’s only one of her,” he said. “She was so peace­ful, such an an­gel.”

PHOTO: SCOTT POWICK

RE­MEM­BER­ING MARIE : Some of Marie van Beers’ fam­ily, in­clud­ing son Chris van Beers sit­ting next to Moya Reid, Marie’s sis­ter, and Ms Reid’s daugh­ter, Martina Reid at far left at back.

PHOTO: FACE­BOOK

‘SUCH AN AN­GEL’: Fam­ily and friends gath­ered to re­mem­ber Marie Van Beers who was al­legedly mur­dered in her Tweed Heads unit.

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