It was always Bernie Nolan’s wish to make her name as a wife, mother, sister and friend as well as an entertainer.
And in a poignant way of showing her love for her family, the devoted mum has left a diary full of special messages as a legacy for her surviving 14-year-old daughter Erin.
Bernie’s ashes will be placed at Carleton Crematorium alongside her daughter Kate, who was stillborn in 1997.
Her sister Linda said: “Erin was born a year after Bernie and her husband lost baby Kate to a stillbirth.
“Erin was Bernie’s whole world and to lose her mother she is obviously devastated.
“To continue to be able to influence her life Bernie has left a diary for Erin.
“It is personal between mother and daughter – full of the memories they share.”
Bernie, 52, had spent her last days reminiscing with her family, before she died on Thursday.
Linda added: “My brother Brian and his wife Annie all went down to spend time with Bernie. The family had been taking it in turns to visit her.
“We went to the local cricket club and enjoyed a jug of Pimms and then we went back to her house for a barbecue.
“She was in a wheelchair and constantly on oxygen but she was sprightly.
“Her best friend Rick Coates, a musical director, visited as well as the cast of Chicago who performed ‘Razzle Dazzle’ as a surprise.
“This shows what sort of person she was, people wanted to do nice things for her.”
After returning home on Monday, Bernie’s husband Steve Doneathy contacted Linda last Tuesday morning to say he thought the end was close.
When Linda got back to Bernie’s home in Weybridge the same day, the family sang to her and talked about the old times performing together.
Linda added: “When we knew the time was close on Wednesday we opened a bottle of Champagne to toast Bernie’s life. We poured her a glass and put it next to her bed, she would have gone mad if we had left her out.
“On Thursday morning we got up early to be with her. Steve and Erin held her close.
“We all told her not to be frightened and that we loved her very much.
“At 10.10am her breathing changed. At that moment I felt beyond devastated.
“She once said she didn’t just want to be defined as an entertainer, she wanted to count as a wife, a mother, a sister and a friend and God, didn’t she achieve that?”