Ruins & Rituals

To ‘Heaven’ by stairs or to ‘Hell’ with bells?


It’s hard to know if we Irish have it right or not…death that is.

Now I’m not religious these days, I truly don’t think that I ever was. Strange then that I find comfort in walking through the many old ruins of churches in Ireland. I enjoy reading the centuries-old gravestones, especially the ones of those buried within the ruins of Abbeys or Churches like in my photo. Even the broken ones just add to the mystery of the ‘who’s and how’s’.

The Catholic tradition here in Ireland is to ‘wake the dead’ for three days before they are buried. The coffin is left open, where possible, for those who are so inclined, to pray over. People of other religions may find that a bit strange but a lot of people here won’t feel that the process is complete without this part of dying.

Of course no good funeral is ever over until the obligatory pint of beer and tall stories, about the short person, in a very expensive wooden box, that is now six feet under.

For me, just leave out all the religious bells and whistles, but pray for yourself if you like. Please have a drink and tell good stories about me, but don’t laugh at my height. If you can, put me somewhere with a bit of character so that people in the future might wonder about the ‘who’s and how’s of the guy buried under the broken stone!

Long life and happiness to you all :) steVe






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