Gemma Redmond, the widow of honeymoon shark attack victim Ian Redmond, gave a heartfelt tribute at his funeral to her “soul mate and best friend”.
Gemma Redmond, 27, told the hundreds of mourners at St Michael’s Church in Dalton, Lancashire, where they were married three weeks ago:
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you were and are my best friend.”
“I promise you will never ever be forgotten and I will miss you so very much. You, above all people, knew how hard I found it to say goodbye to others and so I know you will understand if I don’t say it. What I will say instead is <<See you soon!>>. I’m looking forward to it so very much.”
About 300 people were at the St Michael’s Church for the service conducted by the Reverend Tim Barton and other 200 mourners stood outside within the grounds and listened to the service on loudspeakers.
Gemma Redmond recalled her wedding day and then remembered their Seychelles honeymoon.
“We were having such a happy time,’ she said. ‘It was a lovely adventure and we were enjoying experiencing new things.
“We felt so at peace, so relaxed and were so excited about the future. It was truly romantic.
“Each and every time you went swimming and snorkelling and I watched you, I could never quite believe that I was married to you.
“You were the most handsome and perfect man I have ever seen and I always longed for you to come back out of the sea and be back with me.
“We could talk about anything and everything with each other – laugh, cry or just be quiet.
“You completed me and are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
“Whilst I cannot believe that you are gone, I am in shock and hurting so very much. I am comforted and consoled by the rich tapestry of our memories that we formed over our nine years together. Thank you.
“All my love now, forever and always, your wife, Gemma.”
On August 16, just ten days after Gemma, a primary school teacher and Ian Redmond, IT specialist, got married, while they were on honeymoon in the Seychelles, the groom had been attacked by a shark as he was swimming in the waters off Anse Lazio beach on Praslin, the second largest island in the archipelago.
Ian Redmond, 30, was quickly brought to shore where a French surgeon, also on holiday, gave first aid on the beach as his bride looked on, but he lost too much blood due to the massive injuries.
Ian Redmond death was the second fatal shark attack in Seychelles in a month. Just two weeks before, a 36-year-old French tourist was killed by a shark in the same area.
Gemma and Ian were due to set up home in Skelmersdale on their return in a cottage that the groom had refurbished.
Gemma said also at the funeral her husband was referred to by his work colleagues in Leyland as the “Gold Standard” of software developers because of his dedication to work.
“But you were also the Gold Standard of men – always smiling, always finding time for the family and friends that you loved so dearly, you were never cross, just kind,” the widow said.
“Above all, you were the Gold Standard of husbands. Amazing, courageous, inspiring, entertaining, patient and loving.”