Message of hope as Coleraine mother Kerry Millar laid to rest
Mourners at the funeral of a Coleraine woman whose body was recovered from the River Bann have been told that hope exists "even in the darkest of places".
Kerry Millar (50) was reported missing in the early hours of Saturday, February 24, after her car was found near the Bann at Christie Park in the heart of the Co Londonderry town.
A round-the-clock search for the missing woman involving the Community Rescue Service (CRS), the PSNI and dozens of volunteers continued until her body was recovered last Friday.
The PSNI are not treating Ms Millar's death as suspicious.
Speaking at Ms Millar's funeral, which was held at her brother's Coleraine home, Rev Robert McMullan told mourners: "Kerry's life might have been made up of a variety of colours, whereas the circumstances of her death have tried to obliterate it with every shade of grey and black.
"Your memories and love for Kerry, I know, will not allow that to happen. But they will not be able to answer the one question that you still ask: 'Why?'"
However, Rev McMullan urged those present to hold on to hope.
"First of all, even in the darkest of places, hope is there," he said. "There are professionals out there who you can talk to. But even if you think nobody cares and these people don't know you, God does and he wants to. Because even in the darkest of places, he is there.
"Secondly, even if the world denies it, hope is real. Even in the darkest of places, even when you are feeling at your lowest ebb, hope is there. Even if the world around you denies there is any hope. Hope is real.
"The third thing is this. Even if there is nowhere else to turn, Hope is beside you."
Following the service, Ms Millar was laid to rest beside her late father Robin in Coleraine Cemetery. She is survived by her daughters Nicole and Kirsten, mother Doreen, brothers Peter and Sean, and sisters-in-law Barbara and Julie.
After Ms Millar's body was recovered, her daughter Nicole Archibald posted on social media: "After the longest and most difficult seven days of mine and my sister's lives, we have finally been able to bring our mummy home. We've felt so much pain, anger and loss with so many questions and no answers.
"We both couldn't be more grateful for all the help and support from all of our family, friends and more so strangers."
If you are affected by any issues in this article, please contact the Samaritans free on 116123 or Lifeline on 080 8808 8000