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TRAGIC mum Isabel McBeath said a tearful goodbye to her daughter Mhairi yesterday - just five months after losing her husband.

University lecturer Murray was killed by a stroke last October.

Then, last Wednesday, the happy little five-year-old she doted on was cruelly snatched from her too.

Isabel was just about to leave for a memorial service arranged by Murray's colleagues when the dreadful news was broken to her.

Yesterday, the Rev Colin McIntosh told mourners at Dunblane Cathedral: "Mhairi was a lively and enthusiastic girl, full of the vitality and energy of childhood.

"Already we were seeing in her the gifts of a sharp mind, a perception and imagination.

"She was enthusiastic for her school, eager to soak up all that it gave her."

He added: "Mhairi had a thirst for knowledge, a desire to learn, a readiness to absorb everything around her. And she did not seem to require much sleep.

"Once she woke up her mother at 2 o'clock in the morning to ask: `What sound does a zebra make?' She was wide awake and there were things she wanted to know."

The Rev McIntosh added: "When Murray died last October we saw another side of Mhairi.

"Heartbroken and for a time subdued, we nevertheless saw in her a wisdom and understanding beyond her years. She seemed to know just the right thing to say to Isabel, the right thing to do."
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 21, 1996
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