Tributes have been paid to Limavady teenager Kyle Ferguson, who died suddenly last week, with friends and work colleagues describing the 19-year-old as someone who “brought light into the lives of everyone that he met”.
The popular and well known former Limavady High School student was laid to rest on Saturday, after a moving service at Christ Church in Limavady.
Mourners who packed the church heard Reverend Jason Kernohan explain how the pain of Kyle’s passing is greatest for his family, “but his friends and the entire community are feeling an overwhelming sense of grief and loss at this time”.
The congregation heard how the World Champion kickboxer “lived life to the full”.
“The Kyle I knew was a bubbly, energetic, outgoing and confident young man,” said Rev. Kernohan.
“He was the life and soul of the party. If you were feeling down, five minutes in his company would change your mood entirely. He had this incredible ability to cheer people up and make them smile.
“No matter where I saw him he always came over and had a chat, whether it was in the Care Home where he worked, or even just walking down the street. He would never pass by without stopping to talk.
“Without doubt, Kyle stood out in a crowd, in a good way. He towered above most people, not just in stature, but in personality. Even his clothes summed up what he was like - they were colourful, funky, and yes sometimes way out, but that’s what made Kyle unique.
“When I was in his room the other day I was looking at some of the music posters that were on the walls. And I have to admit that he had an extremely eclectic taste in music - from Meat Loaf to Jedward to Frank Sinatra.
“He loved music, but I know that his taste was maybe not always appreciated by everyone in the house, especially when he blasted it out.”
Rev. Kernohan spoke of Kyle’s passion for kick boxing, a sport which he started at nine years-old and went on to become World Champion in Germany last year.
“His room showcases his talent in the sport, shelves lined with cup and trophies and walls decorated with medals.
“Kyle made many friends in the sport - not just here - but further afield as well.
“No matter where Kyle went he was loved very much.”
Kyle’s involvement with Limavady Boy’s Brigade and work at Edenvale Care Home in Limavady was spoken of, as well as the times he helped out in Rush Hall and in Garvagh.
“He had something that many of our young people don’t have and that is the ability to relate to people of all ages.
“He had a genuine caring and generous heart, and was loved by patients and staff alike.
“One of Kyle’s heroes was ‘Superman’ and Kyle was a super young man. He was strong, brave and courageous and the turn out at this service today lets us see how much he was respected.”
During his funeral address, Rev. Kernohan reached out to the many young people at the service and said, if anyone needed to confide in someone, help was available. ”
“You are growing up in a confused and troubled world. A world filled with many hurdles and anxieties.
“Teenage years are not easy, but they are made much more difficult with the pressure to conform to certain standards and ideals. And sometimes if we don’t meet those standards we think that we are not accepted, and that we are somehow a disappointment, either to our family or our friends, but that is most definitely not the case,” he said.
“We are all unique and those who love us will always accept us - flaws and all. There is no problem that’s too big or embarassing to talk about.
“Don’t bottle things up inside where nobody else has access to your feelings. Confide in friends or in someone that you trust - there is always someone to lend a listening ear.”
Parents at the service were also appealed to.
“Remember that our world is ever changing and the way we deal with things need to change. Be much more open with young people and let them know that they can approach you about anything.
“Accept them for who they are regardless of how much they may rebel against the norm. Most of all constantly reassure them of your unconditional love and support,” he said.
Rev. Kernohan concluded his address telling mourners: “Kyle brought light into the lives of everyone that he met.”
“Kyle’s life on earth has come to an end,” he said, “but he has begun a new life. We will all miss him more than words can describe, but in our hearts and in our minds his memory will live on forever.
“When God gave Kyle to us he gave us a very special young man who made a big impact on all our lives.
“May Kyle rest in peace and rise in Glory.”