On Friday, Ashley Cain and his partner Safiyya Vorajee laid their baby daughter Azaylia Diamond to rest at a funeral service in England, which included family and close friends.
Cain, a former footballer, and cast member on MTV’s The Challenge and Ex on the Beach, shared that it was the “most difficult day” of his life.
He and his partner recently shared a series of heartbreaking photos from the funeral online, giving others a look at what was an emotional day for many people.
Ashley Cain opens up about daughter’s funeral service
In late April, Ashley Cain’s daughter Azaylia Diamond Cain lost her courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia, passing away at just 8 months old. On Friday, May 21, Ashley and his partner Safiyya mourned their loss at a private funeral ceremony held in their hometown of Nuneaton, England.
Before the ceremony was a funeral procession, with supporters who followed COVID-19 protocols standing on the sides of the streets as Azaylia’s coffin was transported in a white horse-drawn carriage. According to Daily Mail, it was a 15-minute procession with individuals streetside showing support by clapping and cheering.
Several days after the service took place, Ashley shared an Instagram post with a series of heartbreaking images and an emotional tribute caption.
“ADC ? BEAUTIFUL STRONG COURAGEOUS INSPIRATIONAL FOREVER IN MY HEART ?,” Cain wrote on an Instagram post he shared on Sunday, May 23.
“Friday was by far the most difficult day of my life. Laying to rest my beautiful daughter who had such a huge, positive and powerful impact on not only myself and my family, but the entire world. ?,” he added.
“Rest in eternal paradise princess. Daddy loves you forever and always! ??,” Cain said in his heartbreaking IG post (below).
Cain shared several images with that post, including photos of himself and family and friends during the funeral service. He included a photo of his daughter’s white and orange coffin with her initials “ADC” written on it, as well as black and white photos taken from the private ceremony.
Ashley also shared photos as he and his wife stood before his daughter’s gravesite, holding orange flowers. In another photo, Ashley is shown dropping his flower onto his daughter’s coffin.
Orange was a featured color at the funeral procession and service as the color associated with leukemia awareness. Ashley wore a suit with a tangerine-colored pocket square fold and tie, while many women in attendance wore orange ribbons on their outfits. Some attendees held orange umbrellas outside to shield themselves and others from the rain.
A BBC report indicated that orange feathers decorated the eight horses that led Azaylia’s funeral procession. Many of the nearby homes also had orange decorations to pay tribute and show support.
Safiyya Vorajee shared funeral was ‘toughest day’ of her life
Ashley’s partner, Safiyya Vorajee, also shared an emotional Instagram post on Sunday, May 23, in which she included several different images. The first of those showed Ashley comforting his partner as she held an orange flower and her other hand over her face during the funeral.
“The toughest day of my life, was waking up Friday morning my heart sank ?it was the day I had to say goodbye to my baby on earth ?
I was scared & heartbroken to say the least,” she shared, going on to praise Azalyia.
“I did a speech and spoke about how u made me a women, u inspire me everyday Thank you for teaching me unconditional love and so much more I’m so proud of you Azaylia your mummys hero???,” Safiyya said in her post.
In other photos which Safiyya shared, she is shown speaking during Azaylia’s service and seated next to Ashley. The indoor decorations included a large lion statue nearby since Azaylia was a big fan of the Lion King. A screen to the side of the podium showed off various images featuring Azaylia as part of the private ceremony.
Azaylia Diamond Cain’s brave battle with a rare form of leukemia inspired many people and received support worldwide. That included Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who sent a special video message to Ashley at one point recognizing his baby daughter for her courageous fight. Many people showed their support through an online cause to get Azalyia treatment which raised over $1.5 million. Unfortunately, she became too ill in April for treatment to be effective.
“Thank you to all family and friends for your continued love and support and Thank you for everyone that stood by for Azaylia’s final journey you made it beautiful I appreciated everything you all did ??? Sweetdreams Azaylia ???,” Safiyya shared in the close of her IG caption.
The Challenge Season 37 premiere date is TBA for 2021 on MTV.