Monday, July 22, 2024

Professional help for you at a difficult time

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Although this is just the beginning of the article, the subject is one that none of us like to think of or speak of much and when “the end” arrives, those who are left behind are often in a state of shock, with many finding it hard to come to terms with the loss.

None of us know the day or the hour, but we hope that this feature will allow you and your loved ones to give some thought about how you would like your end of life “celebration” to be and to perhaps plan a little in advance.

If you have been recently bereaved, we hope that the short article on dealing with loss will help you in some way. If you have debts as a result of the sudden loss of a breadwinner in the family, please know there are organisations out there willing to help you. If you have any questions about wills, we hope you can find the help you need with our suggestions.

Most importantly, remember that the end is just the beginning… and that those who have gone before us are at their rest and more than likely, would not change places with us.

Wakes, funerals, burials, cremations

Wakes and funerals are not pleasant but they also don’t have to be sad. If you are planning your own funeral, you can guide those left behind in ways that they can make the occassion a celebration rather than a morbid affair. If not organised in advance, funeral arrangements are generally made by immediate family members and where possible, the wishes of the deceased are respected and carried out.

The Undertaker / Funeral Director you chose can be of great help and especially here in rural Ireland, the majority of them are genuine in their efforts to ensure the final journey is smooth and respectful. Funeral rituals differ from place to place but remember rural funerals tend to be a bit less expensive than city funerals. The funeral director will guide you on all sorts of aspects, including wakes, burials, cremations, embalming, choosing a coffin, grave charges, flowers, music and newspaper announcements to mention just a few.

Burial grounds in Ireland are maintained by the local authorities, who in turn usually appoint a caretaker for each cemetery who manages the sale of plots and maintenance of graves. It is possible to bury a loved one on your own land but it is very difficult and time consuming to get the proper approval from the Environmental Health Inspector.

Cremations are becoming more popular in Ireland. The ashes can then be buried or disposed of in a family plot or as per the deceased’s wishes.

If you are making arrangements for your own funeral, you can engage an undertaker to deal with all aspects of your funeral when the time comes. We are fortunate enough to have great undertakers in the Midlands and would encourage you to consider making contact with those Funeral Directors who have advertised in this feature, to even just have a chat about the type of send off you would like.

Family gathering after the funeral

It has always been a custom for the family and close friends to retreat to a hotel or restaurant and have a private family meal, along with the priest or religious figure who conducted the ceremony.

This gives family members a chance to grieve together while sustaining their own body after a few intense days of mourning and preparations,when they probably would not have had much time to eat or sleep or grieve.

Local venues will always go out of their way to accommodate a funeral gathering and the Annebrook Hotel comes highly recommended as one such local venue.


Headstones were traditionally erected one year after the death but nowadays people erect these a few months after death. Headstones can also be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.

Sometimes less is more – and a simple piece of stone with your personal inscription on it can carry a greater memory than the biggest celtic cross headstone available. Consider giving our memorial services who have placed an advert on this page a call and perhaps visit them to get to know what is involved in the purchasing and maintenance of headstones.


The overall costs of funerals can be daunting and the more arrangements that are made in advance, the better and more easier this will be for those left behind. Many families manage their finances in a way that they plan for such unexpected costs but there are those on low incomes that cannot afford that luxury of planning as they rarely have spare funds.

Remember that there is help out there and you may be eligible for an Exceptional Needs Payment, if you have a low income. Contact your local Department of Social Protection (Intreo Office) and complete forms SWA1 and SWA5 to apply for a rebate in funeral costs.


Being light-hearted about the subject, there’s an old saying: “where there’s a will, there’s a family!”.

Being serious though, one of the most important things you will ever do in your life will be to make a will and more importantly, to register the will. Even if you don’t have anything much, put in the effort and list out what you have and detail whom you want as the will executors.

This will save a lot of unnecessary issues after you / a loved one has passed. Eoin Clarke Solicitors based in Mullingar offer a no obligation discussion and offer expert advice to make sure you leave behind a legacy you and those near and dear to you are proud of. Give Eoin a call today on 044 933 4565 / 087 631 8541 and take that first step in making your will.

Bereavement Counselling

Toddlers, young children, teenagers and adults all react to death very differently. It can be important to explain a death to children in a way that they can handle at their particular age.

Stock image.

There are many bereavement services and support groups throughout the country, including those public, private, professional, voluntary, religious and secular. If you are religious, there may be pastoral care available through your local priest, order, minister, rabbi or congregation. You should make contact through the relevant place of worship.

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