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In memory of Mary McKenna

Funeral Mary McKenna 2 oval Medium Web viewFuneral of Mary Mc Kenna

A sad occasion like this today is an occasion to reminisce and to allow the mind to linger on moments from the past. Memories flood back of childhood experiences of being cared for, encouraged and loved by a loving mother.

This is a time when gratitude for a loving mother, sister, friend and colleague wells up in your hearts for a “job well done”. It is a time of awakening to an appreciation of the gifts and blessings received. It is only in hindsight that the gift becomes clear. Life is lived going forwards but understood looking backwards. Mary was born and grew up in the village of Moyvanne, Co. Kerry. She attended the local national school and then went on to the Technical school in Listowel for three years. She won a two year scholarship to Cathal Brugha Street College in Dublin, training for hotel management. Upon graduation she worked in hotels in Galway and West Cork. Like many Irish at that time, London beckoned and Mary left Ireland. She continued in hospitality for a number of years before a career change saw her enter the banking world.

She met the love of her life, Gilford native Jim McKenna, and they married in 1970 and went oin to rasie three sons. Mary then decided to return to work, trained as an auxiliary nurse and spent the rest of her working life at Whipps Cross Maternity Hospital.

Along with her husband Jim, she retired back to County Down. After Jim’s death in 2004, she returned to London for a time but found she could not settle. She returned back again to Northern Ireland to a new home in Laurencetown. She spent the last five years catching up with old friends and family and also met many new friends during this time.

Her recent illness aside, the last few years of her life in Northern Ireland were happy ones.

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 Mary was a great lover of family, people and life itself. Today then we bid farewell to Mary. Despite your sense of loss, you will face the future with courage and hope, knowing that that is what your mother would want you to do. We comfort one another in the sure confidence that for Mary life has changed, not ended. We also derive comfort from the conviction that she is at peace with God after all her suffering which she bore with great courage.

But if we are sad today, there is also much to be thankful for. We are grateful for the life she did have, grateful for all the joy she brought into our lives. For you her loving family there’s the comfort of knowing that you were able to show her throughout her life how much you all loved her and appreciated her.

You knew that time was precious in recent times. All that you could have done for her, you did. There are no regrets.

It is only to God we can turn at this time to try to find some meaning, some consolation; some hope in the situation we find ourselves in. Prayer will bring us through this time.

All of us gathered here today we just want to say how sorry we are for your great loss – to Mary’s family and extended family you are all in our prayers - May her gentle soul rest in peace.

As we gather to pray here today, we want to assure you, of the love and prayers of all of us here.

I know that Mary would want me to say thank you to all who have minded her and cared for her since her initial diagnosis, through to her leaving us on Friday morning in the hospice. Amen.

We extend our deepest sympathy to her loving sons Kieran, Declan and Paul, her brothers and sister, daughter in law, grandchildren and the entire family circle.





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