Remember in November: Memorial events are as unique as the person being remembered.
The Irish funeral happens quickly – an intensely emotional and busy few days that offer deep consolation to some but can feel disorientating in its speed. The Irish funeral is rich in tradition and ritual, these rituals are centuries old and create an emotional cocoon around those in mourning which carries them through the days after their loved person has died, when life will never be the same again.
We are known throughout the world for the way in which we ‘celebrate’ funerals which combine religious, social, sacred and secular rituals and rites – from the last rites, to the wake, the funeral mass to the reception. There is a long and fascinating cultural history to the way we do funerals in Ireland – but more on that another time (honestly, anyone who knows me, knows I could talk about this for hours!)
But what if tradition and this quick way of marking the end of someone’s life doesn’t fully serve all our needs in terms of equipping us for bereavement. Maybe the concept of a final goodbye within days is too much, too soon and some of us need more and varied ways to engage with the process of saying goodbye over time, marked with different milestones.