Posted by: meditati0n509 | August 14, 2011

Anthony Conroy RIP

As I write this my youngest son has been dead for four weeks now.  His ‘Month’s Mind’ – which is today, August 14 – is a day when family, colleagues and friends are specifically mindful of him and hold cherished memories of him in their hearts or in prayer.  All I can think of, in terms of a Tribute to him is to post a link to his Funeral Mass Leaflet.  This celebratory liturgy was my tribute to him – all I can really do now.   There is nothing else I can say at this time.  There is nothing to say. . .   Nothing that will change what has happened.  Nothing to explain or help us understand. . .  Nothing!    The loss is too fresh.   We are all stunned – family, relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours.

I sincerely thank everyone who has helped us live through these difficult days; the Gardai and emergency services, our neighbours and his many friends and work  colleagues who came to the house and shared stories about Anthony.   I thank the clergy who concelebrated his Mass and my sons and the Taize Group whose music and singing made the occasion joyful and celebratory.  I thank all who came to the house and all who participated in the Mass as well as those who phoned from long distance, who wrote or who lit candles and held us in prayer.   I thank family members who travelled from England and America and Galway and my late husband’s family and other relations who came from Counties Kildare and Clare.  I thank my other sons, his bereft brothers who, with his uncle and friends carried his coffin. I thank my daughters-in-law for their support of my sons and for bringing food and also, along with friends, made endless cups of tea and coffee.  I thank the funeral directors for their kindness and compassion and I thank especially my siblings some of whom brought me here, on vacation  – in France – so  that I am with people who care and support me while I process what has happened and ground myself in love and peace.

The only way I can write of him is through this liturgy whch includes a poem by the late John O’Donohue.  Here I can stay grounded –  in meditation and in the deeper, mystical truths of my faith.  So, it is with joy that I include the link here for his Funeral Mass Leaflet.

Mass booklet for Anthony’s Funeral MassIAN

For those of you who are on facebook there is a page there called ‘Anthony Conroy R.I.P.’ where his brothers and friends have posted photographs.

There are other websites some containing his music – he was a singer songwriter, among other things – and tributes on the Ballyroan library site and photos of him at work reading to children, and also a site with some of his writing.   He loved children and will be missed by those who visited his library and also by his nephews and niece.  Anthony had an eccentric and often flamboyant way of dressing which included wearing a Top Hat when hosting his story telling workshops.  Indeed many of his friends came to the funeral Mass wearing Top Hats as a sign of affection.

Suffice it to say that Anthony was, as one friend described him, ‘Larger than life with his over six foot frame and size 14 shoes.’  He was creative, warm, loving, witty, intelligent and incredibly frustrating at times, precisely because he was ‘uncontainable’.  Indeed there are many stories of times when we had ‘lost’ him, from the age of two and a half.  He would simply slip away and wander off leaving family members each thinking he was with one of the others.  At six he went into Dublin city on the DART while I was at the checkout at the local supermarket.  He had been running around the shop with other childreen and I had assumed he would come to me when I was finished loading up the grocery trolley but he didn’t.  He had slipped out the back door and followed other families to the train station and onto the train.  Naturally I was frantic and even called my late husband to tell him I had lost Anthony!  My husband came straight home.  All the neighbours and local shopkeepers were out looking for him as were the Gardai – who found him two hours later walking back up through Dalkey carrying flowers, bananas and a newspaper that he had taken outside shops – because he thought they were free.  He had, with the help of a map drawn by a shopkeeper in the city, found his way back to the train station and boarded the train from the right platform and got off at the right station to come home.  He had been trying to visit his eldest brother who worked in the city.  He and I had done this a couple of weeks previously – it was shortly after his brother had moved out of the family home.

My last memories of him include his reading to his niece and nephew at his niece’s birthday party early in July and of he and I eating steak and salad, accompanied by a glass of wine at a restaurant not too far from his apartment on the Sunday before he died.  This was our ‘Last Supper’ where we talked of many things and enjoyed each other’s company.  He and I were planning to meet up again in a week’s time and also maybe go for a short holiday break together somewhere in Ireland.  Indeed he had left everyone with plans to meet up for some activity or other.  He had a wide circle of creative friends some of whom were in his band and others in his book club.  He reviewed books on the library website and even had his own section at the library called something like ‘Weird and Oddities!’

We can only accept that we had him for 26 years and that for whatever reason known to himself  – that he is now gone.  We can come to some peace eventually.  This was his choice and we need to accept that.  We need to trust that he is at peace now; that he came into this world for a brief time and that now he has gone home; and that he is also once again with his earthly as well as his heavenly father. I conclude with an extract from John O’Donohue:

An extract from John O’Donohue’s  ‘On the Death of the Beloved’

‘Though we need to weep your loss,

You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,

Where no storm or might or pain can reach you. . .

. . . Whatever you enfolded in your gaze

Quickened in the joy of its being;

You placed smiles like flowers

On the altar of the heart.

Your mind always sparkled

With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,

Your spirit was alive, awake, complete. . .

. . . Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,

We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,

Smiling back at us from within everything

To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory. . .

. . .You would want us to find you in presence. . .

. . . May this dark grief flower with hope

In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:

To enter each day with a generous heart.

To serve the call of courage and love

Until we see your beautiful face again

In that land where there is no more separation,

Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,

And where we will never lose you again.’

Anthony, May you be at peace. 

Love Always!



  1. May you and all your family find peace during this time, John

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