‘I will be there in your hearts and you will al­ways be in mine’


Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS - By MARY FOGARTY

MOURN­ERS gath­ered for the fu­neral Mass of au­thor Emma Han­ni­gan last week heard from the lady her­self, as Fr Gerry Byrne read aloud words she had writ­ten prior to her death.

‘I have no re­grets, only that I have to leave right now,’ said Fr Byrne as he read Emma’s let­ter to those gath­ered at her fu­neral Mass at Our Lady of Per­pet­ual Suc­cour Church, Foxrock. Fr Byrne was chap­lain at Black­rock Clinic, where Emma spent her fi­nal days.

In her let­ter, Emma spoke about a happy child­hood in Bray, meet­ing her hus­band Cian and their life with their chil­dren. She wrote about her close re­la­tion­ship with her fam­ily. She lived be­side her par­ents and would speak to them daily.

‘I hope you know I will be there in your hearts and you will al­ways be in mine,’ wrote Emma.

To her chil­dren Sacha and Kim she wrote: ‘Keep danc­ing both of you. Keep hav­ing fun. Be care­ful, won’t you? Never go out on your own and stay with a group.’

A pho­to­graph of Emma, a pair of sparkly shoes, an an­gel, and one of her books were placed on top of her wicker cof­fin.

‘Yes, life was great, sur­rounded by so many great friends, she wrote. ‘I can hold my head up and say I never had a day where I felt lonely or as if I had no­body to turn to. I never felt I was on my own.

‘My can­cer fight was up there for all to read on Face­book or through my blog.

‘The peer to peer sup­port I re­ceived there was price­less. I had such loyal read­ers and fol­low­ers who took my hand and walked along by my side.

‘To each per­son I met along my way, thank you. Thank you for help­ing to shape my life.

‘They say all things hap­pen for a rea­son. I don’t want to go look­ing over my shoul­der or wav­ing my fist in anger. That was never my style. But the truth of the mat­ter is this. I would never have wanted to go. There would never have been enough time. So I will try to be gra­cious about it,’ wrote Emma.

‘There is enough sad­ness, suf­fer­ing and strife in the world,’ she wrote. ‘Let the laugher be heard. Let the sparkles break through.’

Fr Byrne said that Emma was ‘a bright star that rose high and sparked.’

Mu­sic at the cer­e­mony, cho­sen by Emma, in­cluded ‘ Smile’ by Michael Jack­son, and ‘She’s Like the Wind’.

She was later laid to rest at Shanganagh Ceme­tery.

Emma is sur­vived by her hus­band Cian, her chil­dren Sacha and Kim, par­ents Philip and Denise, brother Timmy and her sis­ter-in-law Hi­lary.

In her fi­nal days, Emma helped to raise over €125,000 for Breast Can­cer Ire­land. She urged fans and fol­low­ers to make €4 do­na­tions by tex­ting CURE to 50300. Dubray books donated the pro­ceeds from her lat­est novel ‘Let­ters to My Daugh­ter’, which sub­se­quently reached the top of the book charts.

Emma Han­ni­gan’s cof­fin is car­ried into Our Lady of Per­pet­ual Suc­cour Church in Foxrock ahead of her fu­neral Mass.

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