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In memory of Brendan Campbell

Funeral Brendan Campbell 

 

Brendan Campbell

On behalf of Clare and the Campbell family I welcome you to this funeral Mass for Brendan Campbell.

We all come here to remember a good man, to give thanks, even in our grief, for his life, to offer each other, and especially all those who will most miss him, 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 Brendan; our sadness is that he has gone from us.

Our sure Christian hope is that the Lord our God will welcome him 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 Brendan.

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

Lord, you suffered and died in our name. Lord have mercy.

Lord, your heart was moved with compassion for the sick and the bereaved. Christ have mercy.

Lord you suffer with your people at the right hand of the Father. Lord have mercy.

And may almighty God, have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to life everlasting.

Let us pray:

Almighty God and Father of all, you strengthen us by the mystery of the cross and with the sacrament of your Son’s resurrection. We pray for BRENDAN, grant him peace. Welcome him to the eternal joy of the kingdom and give us all new hope in our sorrow that one day we shall all be with you and with each other in your home where every tear will be wiped away. Grant, this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

                             Brendan Campbell

 

When such a man as Brendan dies, our community is all the poorer. We no longer have his good example; we no longer experience his charity, his gentleness, his dignity. The basic value of this life is that the life and death of each one of us has its influence on others. In his leaving there is a lesson. Perhaps we can all see more clearly how much more he meant to us.

 

Above all we are remembering a good man with a wide circle of friends from all sections of the community. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Brendan, a burden of pain, a burden of loss, a burden of grief weighs heavily on us all. We gather as a community - our presence here today is our way of reaching out to those whose burden is heaviest and whose loss is greatest.

 

Today we shed tears for Brendan but our tears have a healing effect. Today we no longer cling on but let him go to be with the Lord forever.

 

But if we are sad today, there is also much to be thankful for. We are grateful for the long life of 83 years he did have, grateful for all the joy he brought into your lives and we acknowledge his service to the parish here and in Banbridge and his many interests which included horses and cars. A hard working man all his life carrying on the family business at the Bus bar and Handy Stores, raising a big family in Newry Street before moving to Laurencetown. For you Clare and his loving family there’s the comfort of knowing that you were able to show Brendan how much you all loved him and appreciated him.

 

In our sadness and grief, in the midst of things we cannot understand or explain, let us commit Brendan and ourselves to God's never failing love and care, knowing that he will give us strength and courage to face the days ahead, just as he gives Brendan new life in his heavenly kingdom.

 

Death has been conquered! In this holy season of Easter we are a people in waiting in hope of the resurrection of the dead and the life to come.

 

Like St. Paul we carry our faith in earthen vessels and death can either shatter or deepen our faith.

 

To be a Christian is to be a pilgrim on a spiritual journey. To be a pilgrim is to go along the way of faith, hope and love. The goal is certain – eternal life in Christ Jesus. But the way is often uncertain and at times we can lose our sense of direction and we forget how to live.

 

This is a time of sadness. We are sad today because we are gathered to mourn Brendan and say our final farewell. We are here today to console you in your sadness by our presence, our prayers and our words of consolation.

 

This is a time for asking forgiveness.

 

It is right to ask God, our loving and forgiving Father to extend to Brendan his forgiveness. We are assured by our faith that God forgives always, totally and immediately.

 

And finally it is a time of hope.

 

Our faith tells us that at death life is changed, not ended. We are then filled with hope that Brendan is now at peace. We are confident in this hope that God has taken him to himself.

 

May Mary the mother of God who buried her own son be with us to see the mind and the plan of God in our lives at this time.

 

May he rest in peace. Amen.

 

Today we bid farewell to Brendan for a job well done, he has fought the good fight, he has won the race and I extend our sympathy to Brendan’s loving wife Clare of over 60 years, to the family Mary, George, Valerie, Barbara, and Jacqueline, Edith, Brendan and Steven, grandchildren and the entire family circle. May his gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.

Family Tribute

 

Daddy was born 83 years ago at Barnmeen, the eldest son of George and Edith and brother to Peter, George and Marina. He attended medical school in Dublin until his brother George was killed in a road traffic accident, when he came home for the funeral ne never returned to complete his studies as his heart wasn’t in it. He joined grandpa and Peter working at the Handy Stores and Bus Bar in Newry Street, Banbridge.

 

He met mum at a wedding over 60 years ago, she had told the bride she would only attend the wedding if she found her a man and as they say the rest is history.

 

He was above all a family man, though he had 2 other passions in life- horses and cars.

 

His love for horses started when he bought my brother George his first pony and continued in his business with George firstly with show jumpers and then breeding mares. He seemed to know the pedigree of every horse in Ireland. He never rode again after been thrown off a horse about 40 years ago and smashing his ankle but then he had the horse and trap for a while and that was fun. He was well known at horse fairs and shows and he loved any equine magazines and TV programmes.

 

In his younger days he used to race a Mini Cooper in car rallies, he read car magazines avidly but unfortunately he never got his last dream car- he’d spent the last year scouring show rooms and plaguing car salesmen for the very last car he’d ever have, but it was not to be. Anytime one of us bought a car, he would take it for a test drive that would last at least a couple of hours. He had no use for Sat-Navs as he knew all the roads and by roads in Ireland. He was upset to lose his HGV licence at the advanced age of 79. And only a couple of weeks ago he’d driven to Kildare and back on the same day to collect semen for one of the mares.

 

He was a dapper man always well turned out- he had simple but exact taste. He lost his hair in his 20’s which led to the unfortunate period when he wore a toupee, this was abandoned after one to many incidents when a horse knocked it askew. He then progressed to wearing his familiar flat cap or a hat. He was inordinately proud in his later years to be taken for at least 10 years younger. Last Sunday at my house he was boasting about how he still could fit into his wedding suit. He was renowned throughout the family for his shoe polishing skills- his boots were as shiny as a mirror.

 

He was organised from his little red book in which he kept his shop accounts to his last words to me before his final operation- about what bills were due to be paid. He had even bought his double burial plot some years ago when the family joked he did so because it was buy one get one free.

 

He was a worrier the simple colds were “man flu” yet with significant illness he either down played his symptoms or had a high pain threshold. 10 years ago when he had his heart attack, he told my sister Jacq he just had some “wind”- she believed him and when the doctor sent him to the hospital for further tests she made him walk from the car park to the cardiac unit. At least this final illness which I couldn’t understand why he was still able to walk about and talk, I did afford him the luxury of an ambulance.

 

He was a great talker, telling anecdotes and any stranger was questioned until he knew- who they were, where they were from and the breed of them. Through his chat and easy manner he made an enormous circle of friends.

 

He adored mum and after her illness 18 months ago became her willing carer. For a man who couldn’t boil water without burning it he managed to cook 3 meals a day, though often one of them would be dining out, which they both enjoyed. They would bicker and wind each other up with the easy familiarity of 2 people in love. He worried about mum and what would happen and despite all our reassurances we would take over, we still managed to drive off on Friday after he died and left her in the hospital foyer- sorry mum, sorry dad, that was not an auspicious start.

 

Although a typical Irish father in that the girls thought the boys got away with blue murder, he was exceedingly proud of his 3 sons and 6 daughters and their children. He was heartbroken when his daughter Sheena died 20 years ago aged 32.

 

He was always there for us, we only had to ask, giving us lifts to airports, ferries, dances, polishing shoes, taking shoes to the menders, lending us his car or money. He always made sure we were never stuck.

 

Goodbye DC we will all miss you

 

 

 

 

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