Over the last few days families and friends have lost loved ones in the Sixmilecross area. This weekend there will be three funerals to three different churches. The loss of these dear folk will have a sorrowful impact on their families, friends, neighbours and the surrounding community.
Wakes are a good tradition that we have in Ireland when death comes upon us. For the few days between when the person has died and their burial, the community comes together to share in the grief of the family and to give their support. With a cup of tea in the hand, the loss of the loved one is spoken of with sadness but there is often much laughter as memories of past days are recounted and stories told. It is a time when the family circle comes together, often having not seen other for years, they catch up with how each are doing.
Death can be sudden and out of the blue, it can come after a short unexpected illness or be the sweet release from pain and suffering after a long illness. However it happens it is still a time of grief and loss.
Death brings about a change. The family unit has lost one of its members and adjustments need to be made to deal with the days ahead. Changes happen though out our lives, to our bodies, to our families and the environment around us. What is a constant for all humans, in all civilizations, is finding the way to deal with changes.
As a Christian I believe that God has shown and provided the way to give us comfort at a time of change. I understand that for many, that is not the case and they have found their own way. Of whatever creed, class, faith or no faith you may be, this is a time to support those that are going though a time of change because of death. The tradition of the Irish wake, gives that opportunity to do just that.
Jesus in the first Gospel said it like this,
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” Matthew 5:4