Breda O’Brien: Irish people need to talk about death

Capitalism seems to have left us unable to deal with suffering in a meaningful way

‘Previous generations, though just as loving and as full of grief when tragedy struck, had ways of understanding suffering that enabled them to bear it.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘Previous generations, though just as loving and as full of grief when tragedy struck, had ways of understanding suffering that enabled them to bear it.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

There are times in everyone’s life of inexplicable tragedy. In the last fortnight, within two days, two families in our immediate circle lost much-loved dads and husbands without having any adequate time to prepare.

Seeing the grief of our children, to whom both of these men were honorary uncles (and in the case of one child, his godfather) it is frightening to think that their sorrow is only the faintest echo of what the children of the bereaved families are feeling. And if we miss our friends so much, what must their wives be experiencing?

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