Irish wakes are a cultural phenomenon to behold. Frankly they are the only time that (in this case) brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, cousins, grandkids and now great grandkids come together as one group. It’s the only time.
Firstly we comment on how we are all older than before. My dad was the last funeral and then at that time you are too busy keeping everyone happy, fed and watered (tea and coffee). This time was another’s duty – trying to keep this as anonymous as possible.
It’s my Aunt’s passing this time. In the end it was a mixed blessing after a year’s illness and pain. She was 86 and she took over after my grandmother passed as matriarch. She was the glue that kept the threads together.
Ireland is very much a matriarchal society. Centuries of losing our men in the eternal war does that. Someone has to carry on. That’s why Irish women are a pain in the ass normally but as fierce as Lionesses when needed.
I’m not sure if it’s just our family but generally they are hilarious. We Micks are strange. We laugh at funerals and cry at weddings. We always bring up and remember those times we messed up and laugh at them again. They are heart breaking and heart-warming at the same time.
A brief shadow of the past came up. An uncle was murdered in ’72 by ‘loyalists’ and finally the remaining uncles opened up and we younger ones got to hear some of the details.……… yet again cover up by the state – cop literally wiped the weapon clean in front of my uncle on the scene.
They were hard day’s people. Old scars picked open. Glad to hear he went down fighting in his own home.
The passing of the baton to my generation has happened. My dad’s brothers really are advisors but no longer the drivers of events. They aren’t physically able any more.
I’ve noticed my posts aren’t as read as before. I am very much an acquired taste these days. I do not ride the middle line anymore. Hard times are coming. My heart is hard again. I opened my heart recently and the tears are now dry again.