Monday 23 October 2017

Heartbreaking scenes as Jolanta and Erika laid to rest

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

MARIUS Lubys wept as he kissed a toy dog - his daughter's favourite belonging - and placed it tenderly in her grave.

Amid a sea of flowers, Jolanta Lubiene and her daughter Enrika were finally laid to rest today overlooking their native plains of Lithuania.

It was a moment of agonising grief for the grieving father as a traditional brass band played a mournful lament in the cemetery of Gadunavas.

The funeral was a beautiful one, with music and Gregorian chant at the heart of it as family and friends mourned "mama and dukra" - mother and daughter.

The two white coffins lay on a platform at the foot of the altar in the ancient church, with poignant photographs of Jolanta on her wedding day and Enrika in her Irish school uniform.

The coffins each bore a spray of pink rosebuds and a scattering of white rose petals.

Two simple wooden crosses bore their names and the all too short span of their lives.

The family were brave throughout the ceremony, led by retired bishop Juozas Siurys who said the mass was a sign of respect for Jolanta and Enrika.

Jolanta Lubiene and her daughter Enrika
Jolanta Lubiene and her daughter Enrika
The remains of Jolanta Lubiene and her daughter Enrika arrive home to Gedrimai in Lithuania, carried by their father and husband Marius.
(centre) Ramute Santiene, Motherof Jolanta Lubiene and Grandmother of Enrika been comforted by her daughter Kristina (on left) as their bodies arrived home to Gedrimai in Lithuania
Locals bring flowers to the removal of Jolanta Lubiene and her daughter Enrika in Gedrimai, Lithuania.Locals bring flowers to the removal of Jolanta Lubiene and her daughter Enrika in Gedrimai, Lithuania.

He said the heartfelt prayers for the dead because everyone is children of God.

"In this earth we are as guests - nobody knows when we are called by God," he said.

"Every loss is heartbreaking for us - especially the brutal death of the young.

Events like this make scars in our hearts."

At the end of the mass he said God attended Jolanta and Enrika into the church.

" God wins the battle with death," he said.

After the mass, the coffins were taken from the church and brought to the graveyard for burial followed by a solemn procession of mourners, all carrying a spray of white flowers.

In accordance with local tradition, an elderly woman from the village stood at the graveside and spoke emotionally about the deaths.

"You are still alive in our hearts," she said. "You will come to us in our dreams. Rest in peace."

Irish Independent

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