The Irish Wake

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The Irish Wake

Keep it real Wednesday

Irish Wake

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

During this week of St Patrick’s Day, I thought I would spend a few minutes reflecting on an Irish tradition…the Irish Wake.

I realize death is not something people like to talk about, but why not?  Isn’t death just a transition from one place to another?  Isn’t a life well lived something to celebrate?

Rosemary loves to tell the story of how her parents would scour the newspaper obituaries for death notices of people in the Cleveland Irish community. 


Part of the reason was because my Grandmother was a washer woman and it was her duty to see through the entire process from the bathing of the body to the burial.

Another reason was to support the family and Irish community and to surround the family in love.

And the final reason was to participate in the wake – the ultimate Irish final farewell.  It is a lively get together telling tales of the dead by laughter of the living, the free-flowing drinks to loosen the tongues and allow emotions to flow…. A celebration of a life well lived surrounded by friends… Celebrating “going home”. Yes, death can be celebrated too.

I am a big fan of Rend Collective, an Irish Christian band who wrote a song called “Coming Home”. This song encompasses the spirit of the Irish and what a beautiful celebration death can be. I hope you take a moment and listen.

I have struggled with the idea when the time comes and Rosemary is called home, how will I honor Rosemary’s Irish roots?

But then, we accidently stumbled across a little Irish pub in our community and approached the owner. Would she be open to an Irish wake held there in Rosemary’s honor?

The owner asked Rosemary’s name and I responded with Rosie Katie O’Malley (Sorce). The answer was a resounding YES.

So, when the time comes, there will be a CLOSED sign on the door of this little Irish pub as we celebrate the life of a beautiful woman in all her Irish glory and tradition. We will be singing “Coming Home”

Until then, we will keep riding….

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

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