02/12/2010 AT 4:10 PM ET
Designer Alexander McQueen was once asked to name his “most terrifying fear.” He faced the questioner – his beloved mom Joyce – and told her straight: “Dying before you.”
Poignantly for McQueen that particular fear – voiced in a special piece for The Guardian newspaper – didn’t come true.
But a different, painful fear did: Facing life without Joyce after her death 10 days ago. McQueen died Thursday, the day before he and his family were set to mark his mom’s life. Even in the wake of the designer’s shocking death at age 40, his mother’s funeral went on as scheduled Friday afternoon at a cemetery in east London, PEOPLE confirmed.