Deena Wilkes, 61, died of breast cancer at her home in Wednesbury, West Midlands, and will now miss her son Dean’s wedding to his partner Emma Costin
Image: BPM Media)
A mum who died of cancer just four months before her son is due to get married will be cremated in the wedding dress she never got to wear.
Deena Wilkes, 61, lost her battle with breast cancer on January 14 – four months before she was supposed to watch her son Dean marry his partner Emma Costin.
Having not worn a wedding dress when she married her late husband Gary, Deena will now be cremated in one, as per her last wishes.
Speaking to Birmingham Live, Emma, 32, said: “She always made sure that everyone else was alright and everyone’s kids were ok.
“If someone in the street was struggling, she’d cook them a meal.
“She was just so selfless it was unbelievable. We’re all still in shock.
“I’ve known her for eight years and she was like a second mum to me. I saw her almost every day.”
Emma said Deena, from Wednesbury, West Midlands, was the life and soul of the party and left a letter containing her last wishes to prove just that.
Emma, who is a student nurse, said: “She never wore a wedding dress when she got married and she requested to be laid to rest in a wedding dress, so I’ve gone out and bought her a beautiful dress.
“She also asked for the curtains to be left open as she’s cremated and Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire to be playing – one last hurrah.
“She never asked for anything in her life, she always gave – so we want to honour her wishes.”
Deena had undergone a double mastectomy but the cancer spread and the devoted mum died at her home.
Emma, herself a mum, said: “She was meant to be staying around for our wedding in May, and that’s the only reason we wanted to get married, so she could see us walk down the aisle.
“But she didn’t make it. We actually found her wedding ring in the house and I’m going to use that as my wedding ring.
“She was fighting to stay to watch us get married but she couldn’t make it.”
Emma expressed anger over the recent allegations that Boris Johnson hosted parties during the coronavirus lockdown.
Emma said: “It is outrageous and made me so angry. We stayed away because she was so high risk so when you see things like that it is just awful.
“As a student nurse, I’d strip down every night after work and have a Dettol bath before I could even go near my kids.
“I was working tirelessly and that was the thanks that we got. It is frustrating that we didn’t get to spend as long with her as we wanted to.
“We had to take regular Covid tests before we went to see her and would stand in the garden.”
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