The funeral of murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross was a celebration of the joy of her life featuring videos of her singing songs she wrote herself.
As her family laid the 14-year-old to rest in a private service, they issued a statement saying they were still finding it hard to understand that the “spirited” and “vital” teenager’s life had been taken in such “appalling circumstances”.
The humanist service was full of music, one of Alice’s great passions and also featured videos her playing and singing songs she had written.
Tributes were also paid by parents Rosalind Hodgkiss and Jose Gross, her sister, Nina Gross, as well as teachers from her school.
Alice’s coffin was painted by members of her family including her sister and grandmother and featured images of her three cats, Lottie, Louis and Pattie and her dog, Peggy.
Mourners light candles in memory of teenager Alice Gross at Hanwell Clock Tower.
Her grandfather also read the poem Surprised by Joy, by William Wordsworth, which was written following the loss of his own daughter.
While the funeral was private, a public memorial ceremony will take place on Sunday, 2 November at Greenford Town Hall, where the family wish to thank the local community for its support.
The family statement said: “We have been devastated by the appalling circumstances of Alice's death. Alice was so spirited, so present, so vital and so full of promise.
“We find it almost impossible to understand what has happened and that we have to say goodbye to her. We want Alice's funeral to focus on the joy of Alice's life and the joy of having known her.
“We would like to thank everyone for being so kind and supportive. We have been moved by the depth of sympathy and compassion around us, not only from close family and friends but also from the local community.
“A tribute and donation page has been set up in Alice's memory with Youth Music. We feel this is a fitting tribute to our daughter Alice. She loved music and loved making music and would have wanted other children to experience this joy.”
The family have set up a tribute page with Youth Music, a charity that supports music projects for disadvantaged children in memory of Alice's love of music.
A spokesman for the Foundation said: “Youth Music is honoured and grateful that Alice's family has chosen the charity as the beneficiary of their online tribute in memory of Alice.”