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A widower’s diary: The night before my wife's funeral I asked my four boys to draw pictures that we could put in her coffin

In January, father of four Steve Dempsey lost his wife to cancer. In his new weekly column, he writes about saying goodbye

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Steve Dempsey at home in Skerries. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Steve Dempsey at home in Skerries. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Steve Dempsey at home in Skerries. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The night before my wife’s funeral I asked my four boys to draw pictures that we could put in her coffin. Someone had told me this was a good way to help them take an active part in saying goodbye, seeing her body. It sounded like a good idea. So we drew some pictures on the kitchen table. It wasn’t too bad. It was almost fun.

The hard bit came the next morning when we arrived at the Funeral Directors’. They didn’t want to go in. They were afraid to see her in the coffin. Afraid of the funeral ahead. They wanted nothing to do with it. After some wheedling and negotiation, one of them cracked and said he’d do it. Then, they were all in — One for all and all for one, and all that.


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