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In memory of Dessie Hamill

Funeral Dessie Hamill Medium Web view

Celebrant: Very Reverend Gerald Powell P.P.

When such a man as Dessie 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.

Dessie was born on 3rd July 1946 in the Red Row, Gilford. He left St. John’s Primary School to go to St. Patrick’s in Banbridge before his first job as a painter with Hector Abton in Tandragee. Dessie was the youngest of three boy, brother of Vivian and ‘our fella’ Jackie. He worked on various building sites until ill-health took its toll. Dessie was a loyal Leeds United supporter; he had a great sense of humour and enjoyed a good bet on the horses, along with the ‘odd drink’!!

He was a kind and generous brother and uncle – enjoying annual foreign holidays with his good friend Jim Doyle.

Above all we are remembering a good man. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Dessie, 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 Dessie 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 life he did have, grateful for all the joy he brought into your lives. For you Jackie and his loving family there’s the comfort of knowing that you were able to show Dessie 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 Dessie 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 Dessie new life in his heavenly kingdom.

Death has been conquered! As Christians we are a people in waiting in hope of the resurrection of the dead and the life to come.

Throughout his illness, he knew that God knew him, he knew his fears. In the world we live in, suffering is seen as the ultimate evil but as Christians we must continue to seek new and effective ways to alleviate suffering and to offer our sufferings with the suffering of Jesus on the cross. Let all of us who suffer pray for one another. None of us choose to be sick or to suffer, it is a cross which is given to us and it sneaks up on us like a thief in the night. There are many stages to accepting that cross - as you move through them at your own pace, ask the Lord to help you and unite your sufferings with those of Jesus.

Dessie did not allow his illness to get him down. As a man of faith he lifted himself up above it all with dignity and serenity and retained so much hope in the midst of despair ably supported by his family, all the doctors, nurses and carers at home and in hospital.

Together, as the People of God, the Church, as pilgrims we journey towards our homeland where every tear will be wiped away and there will be no more mourning, no more tears, no more suffering – only life in all its fullness forever!

Today we bid farewell to Dessie for a job well done, he has fought the good fight, he has won the race and I extend our sympathy to Jackie, Rosaleen, nephews, nieces, Julienne and all his cousins and family circle.

 

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