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In memory of Willie Greene

William Greene

Funeral homily for Willie Greene

St. Colman's Church, Clare

11th July 2020

Celebrant. Very Reverend Canon Powell PP

When such a man as Willie 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.

He was a kind and generous man. First and foremost a family man, who adored every single member of his family. With his loving wife Gertrude of 57 years happily married and raising a large family on the Shore Road, Lurgan and then their present home in Ballydougan. He was very happy with his work in Monumental Sculptering. Just look around our cemeteries to admire his handiwork.

With a pipe in his hand, he was always up for joy, laughter and making everyone around him happy. From knocking around the garden centre and nursery, to relaxing with an interesting novel, he always liked to keep himself occupied.

Weekends were always always a pleasant time, with Mass in the Clare or wherever, and down to the shop for the paper, then home to cheer on Down on the tv with family, sons, daughters and grandchildren, all gathered around which was funny as he had raised a family of Armagh supporters. As long as family and friends were around and mum’s homemade soup was on the hob, there was a glorious smile on William’s face. His mind at peace as they all went home happy. He was proud as punch at the family he raised and one thing for definite is that he will look down on you all with that same smile you will always remember.

Above all we are remembering a good man. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember William or Willie, it could have been Billy but this isn’t the 12th of July, 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 Willie 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 82 yearsc he did have, grateful for all the joy he brought into your lives. For you Gertrude and his loving family there’s the comfort of knowing that you were able to show Willie 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 Willie 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 Willie 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 Jesuc.

Willie 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 Willie for a job well done, he has fought the good fight, he has won the race and I extend our sympathy to lhis loving wife Gertrude,
his chidlren Maurita, Liam, Ciaran, Helen, Stephen and Louise, his sister Eileen, his brothers Jim, Vincent, Eugene,
Emmanuel, his daughters and sons-in- law  Jean’s-Yves, Fiona, and Wilson, and his grandchildren Antoine, Emma, Adam, Niall, Orla, Aaron, Ava-Sofia and Jessica.

May he rest in pecace.

 

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