Tag Archives: funerals

Afterwards!

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.

Missing in action.

Well almost.

I arrived in Dublin on 10 July, for a few days of Buffy sitting. It was more a case of Buffy playing and walking, and me being the ‘fetcher and carrier’ for Elly following her fall. George was away.

She had damaged two ligaments in her foot, earlier in the week and was hobbling about on a crutch. I think she was ‘hobbling more than she should and not spending sufficient time with the leg elevated. Elly is very like her late dad. In his eyes he was never ill, so he kept on his feet and active if at all possible.

She has learned the hard way, to listen to the pain warning, and rest the leg where possible. Thankfully she is able to carry on working from home.

On Saturday Morning we got word of a death in the extended family.

I am not often available to attend family funerals. But this time I joined my eldest brother, who offered to do the driving, (a 300+ mile round trip) and my sister and headed off from Dublin at 7am. on Sunday morning, to bid farewell to one of our cousins, all the way over in County Clare, at the mouth of the Shannon.

Kildysart Graveyard

Kildysart Graveyard

Once the funeral was over, we paid respects at the graves of our paternal grandparents, and three of our aunts.

Family Graves within the walls of the old church in  Kildysart.

Family Graves within the walls of the old church in Kildysart.

Then we joined the living for a meal and a catch up on all our news. We shared anecdotes and stories about the departed and news of other family members scattered across the globe.

I returned to Elly’s for a few more days, and since George would be about, I moved to stay with my sister on Tuesday.

I teased Eileen, that we had visited ‘the dead’ on one side of the family, and perhaps it was time we paid homage the maternal side. The days of deep mourning garb and widow’s weeds, have now thankfully almost disappeared. The old keening wakes with hushed whispers are now a thing of the past These days in death, we celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us with a more cheerful remembrance and plenty of laughter. It is the way it should be.

The suggested visit was really an excuse to visit the revamped Glasnevin Cemetery& Museum. In my young days, Glasnevin or as the Dubs called it ‘The dead centre of Dublin’, was a dark and dreary place. It seemed all overgrown and shrouded in tall trees and would send shivers down my spine. The place we visited on Wednesday seemed a world apart from those memories. Check out the link above. It is well worth a visit.

Glasnevin Cemetery is adjacent to and now accessible from The National Botanic Gardens.  Both have busy coffee shops, though the latter has a wider selection for a more substantial meal.
We had morning coffee in one and lunch at the other. We roamed so long that one of the grounds men that we had met several times on our travels through the graveyard, actually stopped his little van to say “Are you still here”? Later we wondered if he sent out a search party for us before the gates were locked for the night!

I unfortunately somewhere along the line of my travels, contracted a bug, that swept away my energy, leaving my legs like jelly. I have no interest in reading or writing blog posts and each time I opened the laptop it was only for about five minutes.

Thankfully the bug neither affected my tongue (for chatting) or my hands, so I kept myself busy. I finished the mysterious ‘cocktail stick’ project and decorated a hat. I’ll post the photos during the week….. when I have energy to sort them.

Worry not, I am being well looked after and not allowed home until Nurses Hitler -Mark one and Two give me the go ahead!

I am responding to good care and improving with every day.