- 20 Apr 20
In the Hot Press 'Stay Safe' Emergency Issue, Irish stars and cultural figures pen 'Letters From Home' – offering their personal takes on the COVID-19 crisis.
Two weeks ago, my grandmother, Maura O’Reilly passed away peacefully at the age of 96. And while it wasn’t the coronavirus that killed her, its effect on her funeral service was both surreal and unnerving.
An amazing and strong woman, loved by anyone who ever met her, adored by her five children and countless grandchildren (and great grandchildren), she played a huge part in my grandfather’s record company, Dolphin Records, and the Dolphin Discs record shops.
I have no doubt her funeral would have been full with hundreds of people paying their respects with little anecdotes of something small and lovely they remember about Maura.
I have no doubt that there would have been a lovely celebration after the funeral, with music, laughter and many stories about how great she was.
And I have no doubt that I would have given my uncles, aunties, siblings, cousins, but especially my father, numerous hugs throughout the day.
Instead it was a short service, immediate family only, sitting apart but remembering together, and promising each other that there will be a proper send-off organised when all this madness has passed.
This pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. I feel a huge amount of guilt, admitting that I’ve spent far too many hours worrying about how it is going to affect my band. Selfishly worrying about whether an unfortunate band name will negatively affect sales or opportunities for us going forward, as well as all the other worries that I think all musicians and artists have in this uncertain time.
I suppose it’s human nature to be concerned with things that affect your livelihood. But as the days pass and the virus continues to wreak havoc on the world, it becomes clearer to me that all I really want is for my family to be ok and to give my dad a hug.
Stay safe, stay apart, this madness will be over soon.
Read more Letters From Home in the new Hot Press 'Stay Safe' Emergency Issue – available to buy in shops and order online now.