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In memory of Margaret Byrne

Funeral Margaret Byrne Medium Web view

Homily

There is we know a time for mourning and a time for joy. These two emotions will surely find a place together in our hearts today. At the end of Margaret’s life it maybe that the need to praise God is uppermost in our minds because it is so clear how rich God’s blessings have been to her:

“My soul gives thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings”.

Margaret was born on the 27th August 1937 in the townland of Drumlee, near the Moy and was the 9th child of a family of eleven to Patrick and Rose Fox.

Along with her other siblings, she attended the nearby primary school in Blackwatertown.

Margaret's profession was 'bookkeeping' and she worked in accounts department in Berwoods of Armagh, McAleers and Farm Feeds, also in Armagh. Her last employment before retirement was with O'Hagan's Tyres in Laurencetown where she was highly respected by all those she came in contact with.

In 1966, Eugene and Margaret met at a dance in the Commercial Ballroom in Dungannon and were married in St. Jarleth's Chapel, Clonfeacle on 17th April 1971.

Their first home was in Kernan, a small cottage with very basic facilities, but it was their 'first home' together. They later moved to Castleview, Gilford before moving to their present home in Copperfields 24 years ago.

Margaret loved gardening and her weekly Yoga sessions. She didn’t like to be away from home for too long but enjoyed mini-breaks and she also loved going to musicals. Like all grandparents, her favourite hobby was her grandchildren who she adored.

At parish level, Margaret served on the Senior Citizens Committee and the parish Lourdes Committee for many years. Her faith was a very strong faith, attending Mass as often as she could and she had a particular devotion to the First Friday Mass. An annual trip to Knock was a 'must' and she was already planning her next trip to the shrine in May.

Margaret had a very dry sense of humour and was the Queen of One Liners.

Above all Margaret was a lady, a gentle, lovely, wise lady. 

We are happy today because we know deep down that Margaret’s life was complete and she was ready for God. We have received much from her – always generous and thoughtful – a lady. 

In all our lives there are the valleys and the hills, the good times and the bad times, the successes and the failures, the joys and the sorrows. We are all given a certain number of years and those who live the longest become deeply aware that this time is not given so much for our enjoyment, but rather to work out our salvation.

We thank her for all her care and understanding and her complete generosity as a loving person, a loving wife to Eugene and mother to her children Julie, Paul and Denise, daughter in law Elaine, grandchildren Eoin, Rosie, Oscar and Beth. Holding a vigil for Margaret you have shared memories of who she was and what she meant to you. We mourn her passing, we cherish her memory.)

Above all we have remembered the humanity of a good person. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Margaret, a burden of pain, a burden of loss, a burden of grief weighs heavily on you all. We gather as a community in Gilford today - our presence here today is our way of reaching out to you her loving family. God knows the reality of deep loss. We remember a lovely person, a lady who was a treasure to you all. Letting go of her today is not going to be easy for Margaret was a great lover of family, people and life itself.

Every day brings new challenges and opportunities about waiting in hope and as people of hope we believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Margaret’s period of waiting is now over.

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

Let us celebrate her homecoming, with thanks to God for her life, for the example her faith gives us; for the lessons that we learned from her about living well and dying well. Eternal rest…

 

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