Husband bids Jill Meagher ‘Slán abhaile mo chara’ at funeral
TOM MEAGHER paid an emotional and beautiful tribute to his wife at her funeral ceremony in Melbourne this morning.
Hundreds gathered at the funeral home to hear Jill’s husband, father, mother and two friends describe the “beautiful and funny girl” they loved.
After the ceremony the family released 29 white doves, one for each year of Jill’s life.
Those gathered inside and outside the funeral parlour heard Tom describe Jill’s love for literature and dancing and life.
“Jill was never happier than when she was making other people laugh," he recalled, before bidding: "Goodbye my beautiful, funny girl I'll love you forever".
White ribbon wristbands were given to mourners to signify the fight to prevent violence against women and 29 white doves were released at the end of the service, one for each year of Jill's life.
Her father George McKeon fought back tears as he read a card he and his wife Edith sent to their daughter in 2004, in which they told her how much they missed her, her laughter, energy and smile.
"It hard to be apart from you," he read.
"So many of my thoughts are of you.
"Each night when the world is quiet and still, your smile and the wonderful moments we have shared crowd my mind.
"Then I find myself missing you even more."
Jill’s mother Edith spoke of her ‘‘goofy’’ daughter who made an impression on everyone she met.
“She was a messy creature and was as clumsy as hell, but she had style,’’ Ms McKeon said as she pointed toward the shoes many of the people in the church had worn in tribute to her daughter, known for her fabulous shoe collection .
‘‘These crazy shoes that you’re all wearing, can you walk in them?’’ she asked, to laughs from the congregation.
Many had also worn a small white ribbon on their lapel as a mark against violence against women.
A friend of Jill’s named Aoife told of Jill’s creativity, sense of humour and how she was planning to write her own comedy series.
“She is the only person I've ever encountered who ever literally slipped on a banana peel, and she was proud of it," Aoife said.
Aoife then read a quote from Martin Luther King, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that".
The service was filled with music from Jill’s life. Depeche Mode’s ‘Come Back’ was played to start the service.
Other music played included ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’ by Mamma Cass Elliot, and ‘Girl From The North Country’ by Bob Dylan. The congregation left the service to the sound of Edith Piaf’s ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’.
Mourners were shown a photo montage of Jill’s life before they gathered outside to release 29 white doves, one for every year of Jill’s life.
After releasing them, Jill's dad George held Tom's hand as he broke down in tears while waving goodbye to the doves.