It is always difficult to write about the sudden loss of someone as precious as our dearly beloved Bridie. She was someone very special. “Special” is a word which describes people who act from the heart and keep in mind the hearts of others, spreads love with a smile, who is admired and can never be replaced. That is how so many feel about Bridie.
Paddy’s loss and that of Eileen, Sean and Liam and her wonderful grandchildren with whom she shared a special affinity will find the challenge of her loss, painful and never ending. You were all so lucky to have had the sharing of her love and concern for all of you, over her lifetime. Her exemplary life that not only affected you all but spread to so many of her community. Bridie’s kindness, her non-judgemental attitude, her deep understanding of other peoples’ struggle in life and her reaching out with such a genuine love, always made problems seem manageable and escapable to lives that were dark and without hope.
To me, Bridie was a treasure that I was lucky to have met, her empathy, spirituality and powerful prayers helped me along the road many, many times. My first real experience was when she came to Colaiste Eile. The dignified way in which she went about helping the many who not only needed education, but a reminder that she was that some one “special” sent to them to help them realise that they were experiencing the love of the Almighty, through her hands, for some, the first time to receive such unconditional love. Her students loved her, craved for her attention, and she always delivered beyond the call of duty. She could incorporate her Christianity without imposing it, her values without lecturing, and above all her loyalty and love for the people on the fringes of society that was an example to us all. May her gentle soul rest in peace in her final resting place.
When the Lord called her name on Thursday evening, the Golden Gates had already swung open and the choirs of Angels were preparing her majestic entry to the place she had earned many times over, in her lifetime of selfless acts and love of her neighbour. Her simple and dignified life that embodied so many strands of humanity, many who were on their knees, seeking help and care which she so generously gave will have been in the Lord’s record book for to be at last acknowledged where it only matters at the end of the day.
Paddy, no more than you, will know the sacrifices that Bridie made for so many people. You were her perfect soulmate, patient and loving and always there for her to lean on. I am sure she will guide your every move until you are both re-united in eternity. For the family, her loss will leave a terrible void that can not be filled. My deepest sympathy goes out to each of you and also her brothers and sisters. The pride that they can take in her legacy may help in some way to lessen their heavy burden, knowing that she is with the Almighty that she served so humbly and with such tenacity in a life filled with sacrifice and care for others. I, personally will miss her for many reasons but mostly for being there for me.