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A flower in bloom taken too soon

IT RAINED on the day Nicole Ross married Michael Daly.

And it rained at Gympie Cemetery yesterday, when doves were released at her grave.

Husband Michael and father David Ross helped carry her casket from the Gympie Funeral Home Chapel.

GALLERY: Images from the funeral service

Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

Celebrant Margaret Cochrane conducted the weddings of both Nicole and her best friend Leah Hohmann, who married Jeremy Josefski.

Yesterday, she officiated at Nicole's funeral, after attending Jeremy's only the day before.

Margaret Cochrane's Marriage Register shows a blot where a stray raindrop fell on the certificate Nicole and Michael Daly signed on April 24, 2010.

Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

"And it rained at Gympie Cemetery today," she said.

The register also recalls the wedding of Nicole's best friend Leah Hohmann to Jeremy Josefski, just over a year later, on September 17, 2011.

"They were each other's bridesmaids," Mrs Cochrane recalled.

Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

Nicole was helping Leah and Jeremy move to Victoria.

She and Jeremy were in the Josefskis' Suzuki, three hours from their destination, when, exactly two weeks ago in central western New South Wales, a car came around a corner in front of them on the wrong side of the road.

They had nowhere to go.

Yesterday Michael told more than 500 people Nicole had been the best wife and mother (to their son Laec) and had been his "rock, mentor and our whole world".

Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

"I've never thought of life without you," he said.

"We had so much ahead of us and it breaks my heart you will not be there.

"Laec is so much like you. I will tell him every day that you love him.

Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

"Although the (later) chapters will never be written in our book, I'm blessed with so many treasured memories.

"You were always helping people. Right up to the saddest day of my life, you were helping friends.

"You made me so proud to be your husband. You helped me be the person I am.

"Rest in peace, honey."

Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

Nicole's mother Narelle said she had wanted a child she could enjoy, after raising Nicole's siblings in more difficult circumstances.

She was pregnant almost immediately.

"Nicole was meant to be," she said.

"She took to motherhood like a duck to water."

Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

Nicole's best friend Leah became almost another daughter and "still calls me Mum".

"So many happy photos on such a sad occasion," Nicole's father David said.

"You can see how many people Nicole touched. She'd be so proud."

"We had so much fun," sister Michelle said. "I have enjoyed all 26 years.

"I'm not saying goodbye. I am saying see you later."

Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Funeral of Nicole Daly at the Cooloola Coast Crematorium chapel. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

"My soul sister," Leah said. "Not many people would help a friend move interstate, but you did.

"I'm so glad you picked me to be your best friend.

"God," she said, "has decided we will not grow old together and spike the drinks in the nursing home.

"We are all better people because you touched our lives. Sometimes, God picks a flower that is still in bloom."

Mrs Cochrane, a friend of the family, recalled Nicole's very personal vows to her husband at their wedding:

"Thank you for welcoming me into your heart.

" I will look with joy down the path of our tomorrows, knowing we will walk it together side by side, hand in hand and heart in heart."

Gympie Times

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