Category Archives: Death

Good and Not so good

The past few months have been busy, but not that you would notice. I have been staying off line for many and varied reasons.

When the weather was favourable I spent time outdoors. Sharing coffee outings and walks with a lady senior in age to me but with a bright mind to compensate for her physical frailty. The challenge was to find somewhere new for our coffee each week and now our list is growing.  Only a few disappointments. One place was no longer trading, another had changed hands and was closed for refurbishment. There are a few earmarked for return visits.

On my travels I discovered a wool/yarn shop that hosts a morning of crafting where we bring the piece of knitting or crochet that we are working on and work away while nattering and sipping coffee. I had not realised how much I missed the camaraderie of kindred spirits and the inspiration we seem to feed each other. **

Last week was a difficult one. I travelled to Dublin at short notice for the funeral of a life long friend. She had lived a few houses away from my parental home for all of her life. The two families have kept close contact since them. This meant I met the grieving family, most of my siblings and several of the ‘old guard’ neighbours, a few of whom I have not met for about forty years! They needed no introduction the greeting was always the same: You look so like your mother! Thankfully they remembered mammy in her younger days, so I took it as a compliment! 😉 That part of the few days was good for my soul!

I stayed with my sister for a few extra days. She had been very involved in the care of our friend for the past four years of illness and would miss her daily visits. The end came suddenly and was a shock to everyone.  May my friend Rest in Peace.

I almost had a passenger stowed away in my car. She somehow dicovered how to self pack, I found her in a bag one morning!

Allanah in a bag

Allanah in a bag

Allanah whimpered all the time I was packing my car. Playing with a ball will have to wait until my next visit.

I moved to Elly’s for a couple of days and Buffy had great fun smelling the messages on my trousers and shoes. We played ball and tug the rope at every chance she got and the head went down when I was leaving.

** On my visits to Parlour Yarns I learned about Marinke Slump from A creative being, known to all as Wink.  A young creative and inspirational force who used blogging in her attempts to fight depression through crochet. She was so talented sharing patterns and publishing a book of her ideas and patterns. Alas the final post on her blog was not from Wink but from her sister… the depression had won.

Design Wars has asked that people pay their respects by sharing a mandala with the hashtag ‪#‎mandalasforwink. Parlour Yarns in Carrickfergus are taking up the challenge with a display of mandalas in the Courtyard on15th of August. Below are my contributions.

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We all know people suffering the agonies of depression, it would be difficult to find a family untouched by this dreadful affliction.

Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the deeply imbedded negative thought patterns that depression has for the individual struggling with it. Fighting the demons of depression when their voices are louder than any of those around, is not easy. Medications don’t help with that aspect of depression; the negative thoughts have to be fought with positive thoughts which have to be internalized to be effective because when one is in the darkness, other peoples voices are not heard over the din inside the head.

It’s hard for those who don’t go through the struggle to understand. It’s like having your wires crossed and certain signals not allowed through. The dark place is real and no one likes being in the dark. The mental pain and anguish is as real as the physical and all they want is to find a way out. Something’s wrong  and the patient can’t understand why.

If you are a sufferer please try to talk about it; don’t keep your feelings bottled up. If people don’t want to listen…find someone who will.

May we together hold hands and circle those who suffer, with our love!


A subject some folk are scared to talk about in case it brings The Day forward. They forget, that the event will happen at the right time. Not a minute before, or not a minute later. I am talking about the ‘D’ word. Death. One of the topics given an airing over lunch the other day was about funerals, burials & cremation. It came about in a roundabout way, we had been discussing Glasnevin Cemetry and the wonderful and sensitive restoration of the graveyard over the past few years. Now it is not alone a peaceful pleasant and respectful graveyard and crematorium, but also a real Tourist opportunity. A place to discover history of the State, a chance to visit the museum, coffee shop and tasteful gift shop. It now has a linking gate to the National Botanic Gardens, next door. In my young day the cemetry was dark dreary and overgrown. A place that would give you the shivers or have you wetting your pants, imagining all the ghosts and spirits of the past ready to jump out from the large shady overgrown trees. Brambles and weeds had taken over many of the old plots, making the perfect backdrop for a Bram Stoker novel, or an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Our discussion drifted to preferences for traditional Irish burial or cremation. The latter being my preferred choice. Our friend told us that “You cannot be cremated if you have metal implants e.g., metal hips, pins or pace makers”. I was somewhat surprised with this news, but decided to say nothing until I had checked the facts more fully. Later that evening I consulted my friendly search engine….. Since I am in the Republic of Ireland at the moment, the results heading the list were all from this part of the country. They were not alone informative, but very interesting. There was no need to change my plans. When the time comes, Elly can have me boxed and let slip behind the curtain. There is one thing sure, I’ll go out with a blast….. of Heat. Such a treat for my cold old bones! Mount Jerome Cemetery & Crematorium, was at the top of the list of suggestions. I know it. It was where my maternal grandparents were interred. It was the first privately owned cemetery in Ireland, when it first opened in 1836. It was also the first privately owned crematorium in Ireland in 2000. In the one hundred and seventy eight years since opening, well over 250,000 funerals for burial and 13,000 for cremation have been carried out. Ireland was a latecomer to ‘cremation’. Perhaps it had something to do with the catholic church and the years of hellfire, brimstone and damnation being bellowed down from the pulpit at regular intervals, on the congregations in the pews below. The process of cremation cannot commence until the cremation paperwork has been inspected by the medical referee. In other words, you are well and truly dead and not just signed off as ‘dead’ by one doctor, but two. For interment the one death certificate is sufficient. I also discovered through the Mount Jerome Cemetery & Crematorium website that:

Any residual metals (coffin nails, body implants, etc) left over after the “cremulation” process are recycled through a specialised Dutch crematoria metal recycling company called Ortho Metals. Monies received back from this recycling process are donated to Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6w.

So someone in their greatest hour of need would benefit from my metal hip! OrthoMetals Recycles tells us that they recycle to save our environment.

The efficient re-use of materials conserves energy and saves our environment. Recycling is the way of the future. We welcome you to take part in our green solution. All metals remaining after cremation are disposed of in the most suitable manner to reduce the impact on our environment. This will include the sensitive recycling of orthopaedic implants and metal residues in compliance with existing laws. Periodically, we collect all recovered metals and take them to a central point for recycling. We provide the logistics to collect and transport all metal remains and orthopaedic implants free of charge.

Then on a lighter note, I discovered Ashes into Glass Memorials. Loved One’s cremation ashes can be mixed with molten crystal glass and coloured crystals. Ashes into Glass Memorials are just as precious as the memory of your Loved One. Rings, pendants, earrings, cuff-links and paperweights are amongst the suggestions. I can just see my Elly adding me to a paperweight. Someone please tell her that a paperweight cannot sew!!!! 😉

UPDATE: I have recently discovered that Pacemakers must be removed before cremation, otherwise they would explode due to the heat.