HIGH-PROFILE horse breeder Lucy Stack penned a heartbreaking suicide note in which she said she "could no longer face the world" but assured friends that "no call could have changed this, no chats over wine".
The tragic society beauty had written a number of letters for family and friends before taking her own life, it emerged.
Around 1,000 mourners including many from the world of racing attended the deeply private funeral service for Ms Stack (28) – who, with her husband, trainer Fozzy Stack, was described by Tom Magnier of Coolmore Stud as "Racing's Golden Couple".
Bravely, Fozzy read aloud his wife's letter to friends, which was dated February 1, the day before her body was found at their marital home in Golden, Co Tipperary.
It began: "To my great friends, thank you for the fun times, the laughing, dancing and giggles. I've been so blessed with the friends I've had.
"You're a very special bunch and I need you to know that what has happened is no reflection of how you were as my friend."
Lucy wrote: "No call could have changed this. No chats over wine.
"Sadly, this is just my fate. I know it is selfish and cowardly but for me it is my only option. I can't face this world any longer. I'm just not strong enough. Too much has happened."
She urged friends to remember the happy days they'd had together, saying: "Please let my memory be one of happiness and laughter. Do not remember me for the sadness and the way things ended."
The letter, signed "Friends forever, Lucy," caused many mourners to break down in tears.
Along with Fozzy, chief mourners were Lucy's mother Denise 'Sneezy' Foster and her sister Jessie and brother Nick, along with her parents-in-law, trainer Tommy Stack and his wife Liz. A family friend, Tom Magnier of Coolmore Stud, told mourners that Lucy had "suffered silently from a young age".
She had chosen the hymns and readings for her own funeral service, which she stressed was to be one of "thanksgiving" for her life.
Addressing Fozzy, Mr Magnier, a close friend of Lucy's, said she was: "Your backbone, your rock.
"You were racing's golden couple," he said, recalling how she had fallen for the "tall, lanky, floppy-haired figure."
Paying tribute to her as "the brightest, kindest, compassionate, caring person ever", he said: "You suffered silently from a young age but you are now at peace up there with your dad" – eventing rider David Foster who died at the age of 43 after a fall from a horse.
It was strictly family members and close friends only at the service in the tiny stone Protestant church of St Ultan's, down a boreen in Lucy's picturesque native village of Rathcore, Enfield, Co Meath.
Most mourners stood silently outside the church, still absorbing the shock of Ms Stack's sudden death.
However, the thatched pub in the village had a speaker set up to relay the service.
Chief celebrant Reverend Janice Aiton told mourners that Lucy had been described by her mother, Sneezy, as being "beautiful inside and out", while in return, Lucy had described her as "the strongest, most caring mother ever".
Lucy had loved nothing more than to be outdoors with her beloved dog, Lola, said Rev Aiton. She spoke of Lucy's "energy and warmth of character", her enterprising spirit that had taken her off to Australia to work in the bloodstock industry there and of her love of people, which had led her to work in public relations. She had a "rich singing voice" and had a quick wit and an "ability to tell funny stories", she said, adding that she will be deeply missed.
Then, to the poignant strains of Coldplay's song 'Fix You', the coffin was taken for burial in the adjoining graveyard.
Anyone who is affected by issues in this article can contact Samaritans Ireland on lo-call 1850 60 90 90 or Pieta House on 01-6010000.