Mourning at the funeral of a father and son who committed suicide pact overheard they were asked to “understand the pointless”.
At the funeral mass of Tadg O’Sullivan, 59, and his youngest son Diarmuid, 23, Father Toby Bluitt said their life and death had changed the lives of their families and their community.
The father and son were found dead Monday after sustaining gunshot wounds near their farmhouse in Assolas, near Kanturk, Cork.
The body of Diarmuid’s older brother Mark, 25, was found in his bedroom. He died after being shot by his father and brother.
Today the grieving mother and widow Anne O’Sullivan led mourners to the double burial at St. Mary’s Parish Church in Castlemagner, after which Tadg and Diarmuid were interred together in St. Brigid’s Cemetery.
She was dressed in black and wore a black mask. She was supported by family members when they arrived at church shortly before 2 p.m.
Due to the limitations of Covid-19, the church could only accommodate 25 people, but around 200 people gathered outside and in the parking lot across the street.
Inside, Father Bluitt told the ward how Diarmuid, who was due to get an accounting degree from the Cork Institute of Technology next week, had a life of opportunity for him.
He said Tadg had worked in the local automotive trade for over 40 years and recalled: “Because of my own encounters with him, I have always found him very accommodating, friendly and happy in his chosen area.
“It could also be said that both Tadg and Diarmuid touched the lives of many people on their way through life.
“Your life and death have all changed and you will never be the same again.
“Today, gathered in our grief, we do not minimize the loss of their lives by trying to give simple answers. Because there are no answers.
“But there are some things we know in the midst of our grief.
“We know that this was not God’s will, that the Our Father teaches us that your will should be done on earth as it is in heaven.
“God’s will is not always done on earth, as this week’s tragedy reminds us.
“We know that this was neither a wake-up call nor that it happened so that we could learn something.”
Father Bluitt added that a darkness similar to “the darkest hour of creation” has enveloped the O’Sullivan family and the local community in Castlemagner for the past few days.
He said, “The normally quiet area, covered with multicolored autumn leaves at this time of year, became a hustle and bustle, and the autumn light was a very distant memory for a while.
“The shock, the deafness, the devastation were inconceivable – and the news of the loss of three human lives was incomprehensible.
“In times like these – to quote from the Jesuit Father John Reese – a priest does not come down the mountain like Moses. . . with inspiration from God ‘.
“Like all of you, I struggle to understand this life-changing tragedy.
“Grief is never an easy burden – and never again when it comes to us, which can only be described as out of date, shocking and tragic.”
In a conversation with a small congregation under the guidelines of Covid-19, the pastor asked: “Have we made up our minds to allow the heartbreaking turmoil of the tragedy to keep us captive?
“To rob us of our goal? Clouding the glimmer of light that will guide us on our way? Or have we chosen to step out of the shadows and actions of darkness?
“Take small steps towards our goal. On the way to the light and brightness of a new day.
“We are gathered today in such grief, bearing a burden that not only appears to be overwhelming, but is indeed overwhelming.
“We gather to comfort and support one another in our common loss. We gather to understand the pointless. ”
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In expressing his condolences to Anne and the relatives of the dead, he asked the mourners to keep them in their prayers as they deal with their loss and fear.
After the emotional service, Anne O’Sullivan was flanked by two friends as she followed the coffins outside, waiting for them to be placed in two hearses.
They were then taken to St. Brigid’s Cemetery, followed by a cluster of cars.
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