Sunday 25 March 2018

Scenes of grief as coffins of Jolanta and Enrika arrive home

The coffins arrive home in Lithuania.
The coffins arrive home in Lithuania.
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

THERE were scenes of harrowing grief as the remains of Jolanta Lubiene and her daughter Enrika (8) arrived home today to their tiny Lithuanian village.

The family alone were there to receive the two poignant white coffins, wich were carried tenderly up the steps of the community centre in Gedrimai.

The mourners proceeded along a path of strewn pine needles, in accordance with an ancient Lithuanian tradition.

It is three weeks since the bodies of the mother and daughter were found in their rented home at Langford Downs in Killorglin at about 8.30pm on Sunday June 16.

Red tape had delayed the arrival of the remains in the village and the family had been waiting impatiently for the bodies of their loved ones.

At 2pm they finally arrived and the grief of Jolanta's mother, Ramute Santiene was heartbreaking, as she dissolved, sobbing helplessly, in the arms of her daughter, Kristina.

Rimantas Santa, Jolanta's father and Enrika's grandfather, his face stricken, stood close by, leaning heavily on his stick for support.

Jolanta's husband, Marius Lubys helped carry his beloved daughter's coffin from the car and upstairs into the community centre - formerly a primary school where Jolanta herself went as a child - where she will be laid out.

The coffin of Jolanta came next, again carried by Marius and others that included her brother and a brother of Marius.

Inside, the coffins were then decorated with flowers, again following Lithuanian traditions and neighbours and friends will arrive to offer support to the family during the day.

A choir will later gather to sing old hymns, again in line with tradition.

Tomorrow, the funeral will take place in the ancient red-brick church of Gadunavas, 10 km away from Gedrimai and many schoolfriends and neighbours are expected to attend.

The mother and daughter will then be taken for burial at the nearby graveyard.

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