Family & Pets
Terminally ill Gold Coast woman attends her own funeral
“How would you feel about people doing raffles at your funeral?”
It's an odd question to be asked - but Kelly Hardy is not your average woman.
The Gold Coast mum is the first to admit she has "a pretty weird sense of humour", which was one of the reasons why she wanted to attend her own funeral.
Another was that she didn’t want to let anyone get away with any cheeky potshots.
“If they’re going to take the trouble to turn up, I want to be there to see them,” the 44-year-old told 7NEWS.com.au.
“If people are going to throw a stick at me, I want to be able to respond.”
Hardy is terminally-ill with stage-four bowel cancer.
She was diagnosed in mid-2019, only after the cancer had spread to her liver and lungs.
She suffered "no symptoms" until she felt pain in her stomach while working at her family's fence building business, which involves "digging holes, mixing concrete and nailing fences for a living".
But at the time, she believed her condition was due to something else.
“I had copped a football to the stomach at training a week or so prior, which really floored me,” she said.
Her doctor sent her for a scan after noting her appendix was inflamed.
The results came as a complete shock.
“I can’t even look back and go, ‘ah yes, that makes sense. I wish I’d picked up on that’”, she said.
“There was nothing.
“(But) my bowel had nearly completely closed up from the tumour.”
She has been undergoing chemotherapy since to help prolong her life as much as possible.
“Sometimes I can get a whole day out of myself,” Hardy said.
“Sometimes I need a three to four-hour nap in the afternoon.
“It’s just a case of you take every day as it comes and you get most out of every day that you absolutely can.”
Hardy, who has two daughters, has described her “living funeral” as an amazing experience.
“It was like a life reunion,” she said.
“There were tables of people from different aspects of my life, all doing their own little catch-ups.”
There were also raffles and other fundraising efforts for her family during the event.
“That extra money means we can do things without having to freak out about the cost,” Hardy said.