The Crow Family
|November 25, 2003|
am writing on behalf of Father Nicolas' (Uncle Joe's) family and the
Friary to which he belonged. It is with great sadness that I advise you
for those who do not already know, of his death on March 23rd, 2003.
My name is Christie Crow and I am the grandniece of Father
Nicolas (Uncle Joe). My grandmother was his sister Bryda Miller (nee
Egan). In mid-March my family received news from Frances Lenihan in
Athenry, Ireland that Uncle Joe had experienced a severe stroke. Three
days later, I found myself in Ireland-unfortunately only in time to help
with his funeral. I stayed on in Ireland for the eight days and
experienced a tradition, which I, as a Canadian in my early twenties,
would never have experienced otherwise.
Uncle Joe's burial was a testimony to the fact that he was a much
loved and respected man. His viewing was attended by members of the
parish, friends and family, who then accompanied him to the Abbey for
prayers. Following prayers, friends and family remained with the other
Friars from the Abbey to share stories about a man who led a remarkable
life. I felt honoured to be present and share in other's memories of him
His funeral mass was attended by family members who arrived from Canada
and all parts of Europe including children of each of his married
brothers and sisters. Many of Uncle Joe's family had the opportunity to
do readings during his funeral mass.
the mass, Uncle Joe was walked by some of the Friars, his family and
friends to his gravesite, where more prayers were read and final
blessings were done.
far the most amazing thing I observed was the respect and honour Uncle
Joe was given while he was walked through Galway, from the Abbey to the
gravesite. Cars and pedestrians stopped in the street, cyclist
dismounted their bicycles, and storeowners came out to their doorways
and bowed their heads as Uncle Joe passed by. Bearing witness to this
tradition of honouring the dead is something I will never forget.
Uncle Joe's few possessions was an address book that contained family
members and friends. He had a strong sense of family and in fact, was
working on his family free. He was committed to remaining connected with
his family members and that is why I chose to send you this letter. It
was wonderful to meet family I had never met, to talk with people who
knew Uncle Joe, and meet people who knew my grandmother who passed away
over twenty-five years ago.
Joe would have been happy that his family and friends had the
opportunity to celebrate his life, meet again; and for some to meet for
the first time.