THE poignant sight of the two women who were closest to Connie Twomey in life, his wife Elber and Mother Julia, as they sat beside his coffin along with their families and friends, profoundly moved the large crowd attending Connie's funeral Mass in St Joseph's Church in his native Meelin on Tuesday.
After battling valiantly since last July following the horrific crash in Devon, which claimed the lives of his son Oisín and unborn daughter Elber Marie, Connie sadly passed away last Friday.
His funeral Mass was celebrated by Rockchapel and Meelin PP Fr. Denis Stritch, assisted by Canon Jackie Corkery, Canon John Terry, Fr David Herlihy, Fr Dan O'Connor and Fr McGrath.
Fr Stritch began his homily with a comforting quotation from Matthew: 'Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest'.
"Connie Twomey was overburdened by the injuries he received in the car crash in England last July and last Friday night the Lord called him home so he could have rest for his soul.
"The accident last July was one of those occasions when all of us will remember where we were, what we were doing, who we were with, and who broke the news to us when we heard about the crash," Fr Stritch continued.
"Some might have been at a match, some worried about how bad the weather was, maybe some were making plans for the weekend. This tragedy reminded us of what was important in life, it reminded us how precious and fragile life is, and it galvanised this whole community in prayer and support for Connie, Elber, and their families."
Fr Strich told the congregation that since Elber has been physically able she has spent every day at Connie's bedside in Cork University Hospital. "A few short years ago in marriage, they promised to love each other but no one could ever predict that Elber would be spending nine months at the bedside of a young strong man, but in doing this she has shown her great love for Connie, which is beyond anything my words can describe," he continued.
"Today as we gather in great numbers, we assure her and his parents, Julia and Michael, his sisters, his grandmother, and extended family of our support, our sympathy and our love, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all those who will miss him."
Fr Strich described Connie as "strong and active, and maybe it was his strength and endurance which helped him survive for so long after sustaining such horrific injuries".
"He was a very hard worker, he had great strength and great energy and he also used that energy to great effect on the hurling field.
"He was a wonderful son, a great brother, marriage partner and best friend to Elber, they shared too short a time, and he was a great dad to Oisin.
"Today, our prayer is that they are reunited along with little Elber Marie, and from their place in heaven they will help Elber and all those left behind."
In a heart-rending ceremony, family members broke down while doing the readings and prayers of the faithful. The Offertory gift of a hammer symbolised Connie's building skills, while a Meelin jersey and hurley paid tribute to his aptitude on the sports field.
Following his funeral Mass, Connie was laid to rest in Clonfert Cemetery in Newmarket.