Saturday, November 26, 2005

Eibhlín's farewell

I went to a funeral today.

The ceremony was in the Victoria Chapel in Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin.

It was a very moving occasion. Eibhlín had died suddenly in London of a heart attack and was now finally being laid to rest a week later.

I knew Eibhlín in the 1960s and 1970s but hadn't seen her much since. I had no idea of the path of her life since then, or of its richness, or of the extent to which she touched so many other peoples lives, until I heard it all laid out at the funeral.

The ceremony was very moving. It celebrated Eibhlín's life and interests and included blues and classical music, buddist chanting, poetry and straight eulogy. While there was a priest "celebrant", there was an absence of the usual hijacking by the church of the soul of the dead.

Eibhlín was cremated, or as it was more aptly put at the ceremony, returned to the elements.

May her elemental self live on in the hearts of others.

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