This put a spring in my step. It is extracted from a letter to the Irish Times:
I never cease to be amazed at how we Irish continue to celebrate and embrace death so excellently.
The morgue is now giving way to families’ increasing desire to bring the body home for a wake, not just for a few hours but overnight, so that neighbours and friends can gather as a community for lashings of tea, cakes, sandwiches, etc, all prepared by the neighbours as genuine gestures of friendship and community.
The importance of the community wake is also to be seen in the new development of taking the body directly from home to church, not on the evening before burial but on the morning of the service, with the community present in full support to the bereaved.
We Irish celebrate and embrace death so well that a good funeral is still a more social event than a good wedding.