‘I cannot describe how much the boys will miss their mummy’

Funeral of mother of three Natalia Karaczyn told her death was ‘unspeakably painful’

Natalia Karaczyn’s coffin is brought from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Sligo following her funeral Mass. Photograph: James Connolly

Natalia Karaczyn’s coffin is brought from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Sligo following her funeral Mass. Photograph: James Connolly


There were prayers for Natalia Karaczyn’s husband Rafal at her funeral Mass in Sligo on Friday where her death was described as “unspeakably painful”.

Hundreds of people, many of them members of the local Polish community, gathered to say farewell to the mother of three who died last weekend.

On Thursday her 32-year-old husband appeared at the local courthouse charged with her murder.

At Friday’s ceremony Natalia’s sister Magdalena praised Natalia’s devotion to her three sons Oskar, Nikodem and Max who were comforted by their grandmother and other relatives outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Stressing the bond between the three young boys, aged between two and nine years of age, and how they looked after each other, Magdalena said: “That is what they learned from their amazing mummy and daddy who created a loving home for them”.

During the ceremony Fr Brian Conlon, chaplain at Sligo University Hospital prayed for Natalia’s three children asking that they find peace and consolation.

“We pray for her husband Rafal. May the Lord support him at this time”, he added. There were prayers too for gardaí who have provided support to the family during the recent difficult days and also for the community which has rallied around.

Magdalena told mourners: “I cannot describe how much I will miss my sister and how much the boys will miss their mummy.

Polish reticence

“But I know she will never leave our side and will be in our hearts.”

There were smiles as she explained the Polish reticence about saying “I love you” and how “after a few drinks”, she , a longtime resident of Sligo used to ring Natalia in Poland and say “I love you so much”.

She told of her delight when Natalia and her family moved to Sligo four years ago and how well her sister had fitted in.

“Her dedication to her kids was exceptional. They had everything they needed and more,” she said. “When you look at those three boys all you see is love. It comes from their mother”.

As the coffin was carried out into the May sunlight they were hugged by Natalia’s friends and relatives.

Magdalena said she could not possibly answer all the messages of sympathy she had received “but I really value the support”.

“Without all my friends and my family I would not have been able to get through it - everyone, the whole town,you are all amazing. I can’t really believe all the help we are getting,” she said.

Fr Stanislaw Kardas, chaplain to the Polish Community in Sligo and the main celebrant, told the congregation that Natalia’s death was “unspeakably painful”.

“It seems incomprehensible to our minds that she should be taken from this life,” he said, speaking in Polish.

“In the face of this death of a young woman, beloved mother of three little children, we are invited to find, in the deepest recesses of our hearts, and to ponder, the hope that comes from our eternal vocation”.

Natalia from the city of Gorzów Wielkopolski in western Poland is also survived by her parents Regina and Senom Kurmin and two brothers Jedrzej and Wojciech.

After the funeral Mass the funeral travelled to the Lakelands Crematorium in Cavan.