Nesbeth Bids Wife Final Goodbye
ASIDE FROM being the wife of reggae star Nesbeth, Jamaicans hardly knew anything about Annmarie Elliot-Nesbeth, but on Saturday, all that changed as friends, family and wellwishers said their final goodbyes to one they described as a woman of faith.
The thanksgiving service, held at the New Life Assembly of God on Constant Spring Road, pulled a huge crowd.
Perhaps the majority of those who showed up were more familiar with Nesbeth, but by the end of the service, with every tribute offered, everyone got to learn more about the woman he fell in love with.
“Prayer warrior”, “woman of faith”, and “true worshipper” were some of the words used to describe Nesbeth’s wife, as those in attendance reflected on the time they shared with her.
The send-off was one fitting the worshipper Annmarie was. It started off with prayer and was followed by a fiery praise and worship session. The tears that streamed down the faces of her relatives prior to the praise session dried up, if only for a brief moment, as they gave thanks for time shared with their loved one.
The tributes revealed much about Nesbeth’s wife. Among many things, she was a decorator, one who they would put in charge of floral arrangements for weddings and other engagements.
With this in mind, her family and friends paid their respects with a touching floral tribute.
Multicoloured roses in hand, several persons walked up to the front of the church and placed them in a huge vase in front of the casket, tears freely flowing as they did so.
Her husband, Greg Nesbeth, daughter AzanNia, son Sakani, stepdaughter SaAndrea, and mother Donna Wedderburn-Allen were a picture of grief as they strolled back to their seats. Some had to be consoled as the sadness of the moment became unbearable.
In her tribute, daughter AzanNia described her mother as her best friend. The 14-year-old fought back tears as she recalled the many nights she had nightmares and had to run to her mother for comfort. She described her mother’s smile as one that could light up a room and turn any bad situation into a bright one.
She broke down as she told the audience that things weren’t always perfect between her and her mother.
“It was by no means perfect,” she said. “We had our fair share of bad days. We would argue over me not washing the dishes or cleaning my room or taking her stuff. I was always putting on her clothes. I lost more than a mother. I lost my best friend.”
Stepdaughter Sa-Andrea also had fond memories, saying, “She called my brother and sister and myself her three other children and she always treated us well – blood or not.”
Her mother, Donna Wedderburn-Allen, also offered a touching tribute. She told the audience that her daughter was one who loved church and the Lord.
“She never leave out her Jesus,” she said. “Even when she was sick and in pain, she never questioned God. She never asked Him, ‘Lord, why me?’ She just kept praying and pressing on.”
Wedderburn-Allen described her daughter as a fighter and said she showed tremendous strength from a tender age.
“Even while growing up, Ann was always strong. She was always determined and hard working. I remember my wedding in December, she was so ill and I told her to rest and she said, ‘Mommy, if I even have to crawl, I’m going to watch you walk down the aisle’, and she did everything in that wedding – made bouquets, decorated the church – everything.”
Perhaps no tribute was as heart-rending as the one given by Greg. He and his wife tied the knot in 2013, but they were together for over a decade. He told the church that if he were to talk about all the happy memories he and his wife shared, he would never end. He held up really well as he recalled how his wife never feared death.
“Ann never feared dying, enuh. What she feared was this gathering – us coming together to mourn like this. She was more concerned about what this would do to her family.”
He then went on to deliver a song he wrote for his wife, recounting her final moments and how her death devastated the family and the void she has now left in his heart.
Annmarie Elliot-Nesbeth died on February 17 at the age of 32. She was laid to rest at Dovecot Memorial Park.