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In memory of Kathleen Reavey

Funeral Mass for Kathleen (Kay) Reavey

Died 13th November 2011 aged 92 years

Funeral Mass celebrated by Fr. Gerry Powell P.P.

in St. Colman's Church, Clare.

 

I welcome you to this funeral liturgy for Kay, especially today we are praying for her extended family.

Death is always a shock; even more so when it's the death of someone close to us who has died after a long life.

We also come her to remember a remarkable lady, to give thanks, even in our grief, her long life of 92 years, to offer each other and especaily all those who will most miss her, the consolation of our love and our presence with you today; and to offer also the promise of eternal life.

Our consolation will be the happy memories we have of Kay; our sadness is that she has gone from us. Our sure Christian hope is that the Lord our God will welcome her home and that one day we will be united together in heaven. In the depth of our loss and hope we now pray and offer this Eucharist for Kay.

We come to God, knowing we need his mercy and forgiveness and so in preparing  to celebrate this Mass, we call to mind our sins.

 

Homily

November is the month of fallen leaves and empty potato drills - a time of growth has ended - winter is near - a time also to remember the dead. Those who died in war and all our beloved loved ones who have died with the weakness of sin still part and parcel of their makeup. Good people they were, but not perfect. We support our dead with our prayers.

It is right that we pray for our dead - death does not break the link of love. Many of us have been asked by a dying relative or friend to pray for them. Many of us are the persons we are because of someone now dead. We owe them remembrance. As Christians we do not fear death - our greatest fear is the fear of being forgotten.

We pray for Kay today because we believe in Jesus. We believe that his death and resurrection have opened a great destiny for us. Death is not the end. Instead it is the beginning of a new level of life for one and all who die in Christ.

We are united in sorrow today at the death of Kay. The reality of death, with all its pain and sense of loss, confronts us at this moment. But as we are united in sorrow, we are also united by something else.... our Faith. Confronted with the reality of death, we must allow ourselves to be confronted with the reality of our Faith. Our Faith opens our minds to the whole picture about life, death and what happens after death. Only in the light our Faith can we begin to understand what has happened to Kay and how were are to keep going from here.

Kay was born the youngest of three sisters (elder sisters Maggie and Frances) and the daughter of John Reavey and Mary Keating in the 'Valley' in Waringstown.

She went to school in Waringstown and then to the Convent in Lurgan Whereas her sisters had worked in factories, Kay was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship in a dapery shop in Lurgan before eventually starting her own business - a ladies' clothes shop - in William Street, Lurgan.

Kay was a keen gardener, following in the footsteps of her father who was known for his wonderful garden of vegetables and fruit. She spent most of her free time outdoors, tending her garden.

She had a great love for the countryside - she loved birds and nature - and took regular walks along the country roads and lanes around Magherana.

She was fond of foreign travel and ventured to places like Turkey, Bulgaria and the Holy Land at a time when going abroad was a rare thing.

She also loved the camaraderie of friends and neighbours. The cottage in Magherana, where she lived with her sister Maggie and Maggie's husband Tommy Byrne, was always a welcome place for visitors. You were sure to find a warm fire, Maggie's freshly baked bread and a few yarns and songs from Tommy!

During her years in business in Lurgan, Kay got to know so many people. In fact, her 'wee back room' in the shop became a great place for a chat and a cup of tea for many of her friends as they went about their shopping.

After her retirement, she moved in to the 'Fold' in North Street, Lurgan among friends and acquaintances that she knew well and was very happy there for many years.

When age finally caught up with her, she was cared for in Greenpark Nursing Home in Armagh until she died.

Her niece Frances wishes particularly to thank the nurses and carers of Greenpark for the dedicated care and attention they gave to Kay in her final years. Their commitment, warmth and kindness to her cannot be repaid. 

The end of the story is Resurrection and life that has no end! The farewell that we give to Kay today is a temporary farewell; she will live! She will rise!

We gather here today in sadness with the family of Kay. Our thoughts are for you. We ask God to send his consoling Spirit, to bring his peace to your hearts and to your homes. We give thanks to God for the life that he gave Kay and pray in faith that he will welcome her home to everlasting happiness in heaven.

I would like to extend our sympathy to Kay's nieces Mary, Phyllis, Frances, nephew John and the entire family circle.

May her gentle soul rest in peace.

 

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