This is the Munster way. Paul would have seen the leaving of many of his friends over the years. He would not see himself more worthy of a big send-off than any other player.
So today is Paul's last match in a Munster jersey. Even just writing those words makes me gulp.
The final of the Guinness Pro12 takes place in Belfast this evening. Glasgow have strong Ulster ties but Ulster will unite behind Paul for the last hurrah against the Warriors. And maybe the Cavan fans might even sing their new victory song in his honour.
The first line goes, "Come home Paddy Reilly to marry James Duff" and sure you know the rest yourself.
Glasgow have been the team of the tournament. They play exciting rugby with loads of offloads but for years now Munster have specialised in tickling jugglers under the oxters.
Joe Schmidt will be on edge, watching and waiting for an injury-free game without any mad suspensions like Dylan Hartley who will hardly figure now for England in the World Cup.
Then there are the injury worries. That said there's only one way to play rugby and that's at full throttle. The cameras are a great help with keeping players out of trouble but finals aren't given up easily.
Out-halves must lead the charge and at the same time plan the battle. Ian Keatley had an off day with his place kicking in the semi- final. It happens to the best. He will be fine today. You can be sure Paul will have been giving him loads of confidence all week.
I can't believe Paul will pull the red jersey over his head for the last time. It's like the mothers who will kiss their kids on the way out to the Leaving. They say, with tears in the eyes, 'It was only like yesterday he was in babies'.
The Munster boys will be whispering the theme privately all week, out of Paul's hearing range. This is for Paul, the man they love and respect above all others. These are the men he clocks in with every day. His friends.
The leaving will inspire Munster and if the players can avoid the draining effects of emotion and channel their love for Paul into "the give all for Paul", victory will be ours.
And what's killing me is that, after all the years of following Munster and writing about Paul, I cannot make it to Belfast for his last game in the red jersey.
Writers' Week is in full flow here in Listowel and there are times when some of us have do a real job to make a living. Here's a quick quote from our big week. This happy man told us: "I arrived as lodger and I'm leaving as a lover."
It's coming back to me now, the first time I saw Paul O'Connell. It was in Cardiff Airport and Paul was walking up and down the aisles with Donncha O'Callaghan. They had the air of men who were desperately disappointed not to have been in the squad.
Later I was lying down on a Lion King mat in the kiddies' play area. My back was bad and my front was worse. I had my appendix and some of the sausage casing in the gut taken out a week earlier. What was even more painful was that we had just been beaten in a European Cup final and, as you can imagine, the form wasn't great.
I saw Paul and he looked even then like a future star. He had a word for everyone and the man sitting on one half of a see-saw told me this young lad was the business.
Today is also my dad's anniversary. Back then, 13 years ago, he hadn't much time left. I told him how well Munster played in defeat and of the huge young lad in the airport who looked like he could launch the jet home up into the air like a paper plane.
Paul will wave his goodbye on Ulster soil and he above any other man will be given a hero's farewell from all sides. For Paul O'Connell is bigger than borders, politics and religion.
Munster will be playing for the glory of the jersey and the glory of the last jersey. We have to give Paul the best send-off.
The whisper in the dressing room will be "Munster to win for you know who".