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In memory of Geraldine Fegan

Geraldine

 Geraldine Fegan
1968 - 2020

Funeral Mass in St. Patrick and St. Colman's Church, Laurencetown
24th November 2020

Celebrant: Very Reverend Canon Powell PP

A very sad occasion like this today is an occasion to look back and to allow the mind to linger on moments from the past.

Memories flood back as a time of gratitude and prayer for a loving daughter, sister, family member wells up in your hearts for a short life, so well lived.

It’s a time of awakening to an appreciation of all the gifts and blessings received. It’s only in hindsight that the gift becomes clear, that life is lived going forward but understood liking back

Geraldine was born 31st March 1968

She attended the local primary school St Colman’s Bann Primary School in Laurencetown and St Patrick’s High School in Banbridge.

She did all of her training as a hairdresser alongside her auntie Mary.

Geraldine spent her summers in Castlewellan with her aunties, uncles and cousins. 

She was always so courageous to the extent when one Sunday morning stole her daddy’s car and was seen driving around Banbridge in the car with no license! 

Geraldine remained as a hairdresser until she contracted Multiple Sclerosis aged 24 and it was the worst progression form of MS, so she had to give up hairdressing.

A highlight of her life was to become godmother to Anna in 1998

She spent some time in Copper fields centre in Banbridge - where she painted and enjoyed spending time with her friends. 

She Went for respite in Thompson’s house Lisburn- where she took part in her love for activities, She loved her television, in particular Mrs brown boys. She also loved The chase- always claim to know the answer to the question but would never tell the answer 

Geraldine loved her annual trips to Lourdes (more than 10 times)- always returning with rosary beads, prayers and gallons of holy water to be shared among the family

She loved her little outings with her friends - going out shopping and drinking cappuccinos and eating McDonald’s with the girls.

Nursing staff/caring staff- always saying how grateful she was for all the care provided 

She loved to spend time with her new great nephew Séanan, and always had a special love for children and they in turn, always had a special love for her. 

Geraldine enjoyed spending Sunday evenings with Uncle John and Auntie Mary.

Special mention to people who cannot be here today, especially her auntie Collette, cousin Cleo in England and cousin Feargal in Australia, also people joining online due to restrictions 

Feargal used to stay on a Saturday night and never wanted to go home to his family.

Feargal has sent a special message from Australia:

“Geraldine was one of a kind. Always welcoming and a big smile for everyone.

My own recollections are of great childhood memories with Geraldine, fun to be around and very caring. 

I remember she took me to town one day on the bus, ended up in this big school for some reason. Geraldine had to give Martin something, but he was a cheeky in the classroom and Geraldine give him a good clip round the ear. God it made my day, she put him in his place.

On our trips to school we'd pick Geraldine up to head to Portadown where she worked as a hairdresser., Mary would start the prayers and I would kick & make faces at Geraldine to try and put her off make her laugh. She always did her best not to. Mary would be watching, you see.

Another nite she give me a good old piggie- back from the driving range on Point Road to the top of Chapel Hill. 

I used to also help her have a smoke and watch out for Hughie coming when she first got MS, I now realise that smoking was her release and good on her.

 Very fond memories.

Geraldine took on her battle like a true champion, got on with it & never complained. Would always ask how about others. She fought the brave fight like true champions do. Courageous, strong, brave to the end. Lessons for everyone in today’s world.

My sincere condolences to Phil, Martin, Anna at this truly sad time. But Geraldine wouldn't want you to be sad. She is at peace and we all truly happy- no more pain or suffering. She's gone to be with her father as she called him ... (Happy times again for them both.????) 

Beannaigh d’anam

(Bless your soul.)

Rest in peace

From Feargal

So today we are remembering a lovely person whom it was my privilege to know and serve for the past 15 years in her home and various places. A young lady, obviously a treasure to all of us. Letting go of her today is not going to be easy but Geraldine was a great lover of life, of family, of people. So, we bid farewell to Geraldine, despite our sense of loss today we will all face the future with courage and hope, knowing that is what your Geraldine would want you to do. So, we comfort one another with the assured confidence that life for Geraldine has changed, not ended and we also derive comfort from the conviction that she is at peace with God, after all her suffering and her illness.

So, if we are sad today there is also much to be thankful for, grateful for the life she did have; grateful for the joy she brought into our life and for you, her loving family,

You were able to show Geraldine in her short life how much you loved her and appreciated her. You know that time was precious in recent times, and all that could have been done for her, you did.

In the words of her favourite singer, Garth Brooks “There are no regrets”.

It is only to God that we can turn at this time, to try and find some consolation, some hope in the situation in which we find ourselves.

Prayer will bring us through this difficult time.

So, all of us gathered here today online, in the chapel and outside the chapel in large numbers listening to this broadcast, we just want to say how sorry we are for your great loss. Geraldine’s family and extended family - you are all in our prayers

May her gentle soul rest in peace.

Geraldine has been supported and sustained by the love and friendship of so many of you who are present today, in one way or another.

At times we were hopeful, at times despairing; at other times feeling almost entirely helpless, so little we could say or do, as much as we all wanted to share her pain and alleviate her distress, even in some small measure.

We so much wanted Geraldine to try and to get well

We so much willed her to be well.

We prayed and implored the Lord fervently.

so on behalf of all of us here today as we gather to pray we want to assure you of our love and our prayers.

She was absolutely wonderful, a truly remarkable human being, she was forever young, sweet, kind, gentle and mischievous, that cheeky little smile I saw every month when I attended her and brought her communion.

Geraldine will live on in your minds and in your hearts and I know Geraldine would want me to say thank you to all who have minded her, cared for her thought her short life through to her leaving us on Saturday.

Dear Geraldine, rest in peace. Amen.

 

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