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Grieving For Your Loved Ones
The death of a loved one is never easy, we know that. However, Irish people treat death in a different way to the rest of the world. Of course we mourn the death of our loved ones but we also celebrate their lives.
Traditional celebrations and rituals still take place and anyone who has attended one will tell you that there is nothing like an Irish wake.
The Irish Wake
The Irish Wake is still a huge part of Irish culture. The most common practice today is to hold a repose in the home of the deceased for two or three days. This allows friends and family from near and far to pay their final respects in the comfort of the home. As strange as it sounds, these can be very enjoyable events. There is lots of talking, story-telling and reminiscing that takes place during the course of a wake.
As we said in our Remembrance Handbook, the 'home is the nourishing nest that prepares us for all of our journeys in this world, the sanctuary of our memories and the source of our unique Irishness.'
The community always pulls together at these times. Friends will cook food for the family and provide refreshments for visitors and other will take care of parking outside the house. Unfortunately for many families, a death is the only reason everyone gets a chance to come together. There is often a jovial atmosphere in the house for a few days.
Often on the morning of the removal this atmosphere might change when it fully dawns on the mourners that this is the last time they will see the dear friend or family member. Even so, there is great care taken on the removal. People will stand by in respect as family members carry the coffin across the threshold for one final time on their way to funeral mass.
Celebrating in America
If you were born and raised in America you may not have experienced this before but it would have been commonplace for your ancestors who made their way from Ireland across the Atlantic.
There is different traditions in different cultures, we know that. Be it Christenings, Birthdays or Weddings - there is different ways of doing things. However, we know that no-one does remembrance like the Irish.
That's why we created Eternally Irish. You can create your own unique online space to remember your loved one. It helps you reconnect with your Irish heritage and your Irish ancestry. We have mentioned in our recent posts many of the features of our Premium Memorials. You can add your ancestral home to our Interactive Map of Ireland and share stories and memories (just like an Irish Wake). We know that it's hard to reconnect with your Irishness - to truly embrace your Irish heritage when living overseas - but we believe that our Premium Memorials allow you to create that little piece of Ireland in America.