There were emotional scenes at St Mary's Church, Legga on Sunday last as the husband and family of 32-year-old Sarah Brady (née Reynolds), who lost her battle for life on Thursday evening after a car accident outside Longford town on September 12, brought her on her final journey before laying her to rest.
During the young mother-of-two’s Funeral Mass in the small church that nestles in the quiet hills of north Longford, chief celebrant, Fr Eamonn Corkery said that it was just less than five years since he had officiated at the marriage of Sarah and her husband Stephen at Bornacoola Church in Co Leitrim.
“That,” the parish priest added, “was a happy occasion”.
Fr Corkery said that marriage had been a celebration; a day of joy and happiness and one which Fr Frank Gray, Fr Derek Ryan and he had attended.
All three priests were back at Legga Church on Sunday to bid a final farewell to Sarah - “a loving wife, mother and friend”.
“None of us thought that day that we would meet again here so soon and at such a sad occasion,” continued the priest.
“None of us ever thought that Sarah’s married life would be cut so short.”
Mementos of Sarah’s life were brought forward to the altar during the Funeral Mass, which saw hundreds of people gather both inside and outside the church to remember the Leitrim native whose life had been so tragically cut short a few days before.
The mementos included a family photo symbolising the love that Sarah had for her family; a pair of silver sandals that represented her love of fashion and style, and Sarah’s Penneys work badge symbolising her strong work ethic and dedication to the store’s clothing range.
“In situations like this, people ask why and how could this happen,” said Fr Corkery before pointing out that there was nothing he could say now that would explain this or “lighten the cross that Sarah’s husband and children and her mother and siblings had to carry”.
“Death brings sadness and sorrow; sadness that is so much greater when it is the tragic death of a young person,” added Fr Corkery.
The congregation then heard that Sunday was the Church’s annual Day for Life and that all life - including Sarah Reynolds Brady’s - was sacred from the moment of conception to the precision of God’s call.
“In the case of Sarah, that call came very early; but despite her short life, she carried out God’s plan for her,” continued the priest.
“In her years in Bornacoola her life meant so much to her parents, her family, her neighbours and friends.
“Since she came here to Legga she has given so much to Stephen, to her children, her in-laws and to the whole community at large.”
The congregation then heard that even though Sarah’s life had been cut short, she had lived a very full and happy life; a life of joy and love.
“Length of days is not what makes age honourable, nor number of years the true measure of life,” Fr Corkery added, quoting from the Book of Wisdom.
“In other words it is quality not quantity that counts in our lives and Sarah lived a good and full life.
“Sarah is now living her life in the joy of Christ.”
Sarah Brady was then laid to rest just a short distance from her home following the Funeral Mass.
She is survived by her husband Stephen; children Oisin and Caoimhe; mother Bridget; brothers Vincent and James; sister Jacqueline; parents-in-law; extended family, relatives and large circle of friends.
May she Rest in Peace.