This Man's Life: Imelda was the sweetest thing for her runaway love Brian Bell
This world is not a vale of sorrows if you will recognise discriminatingly what is truly excellent in it; and if you will avail yourself of it for mutual happiness and well-being. My mother taught me that as much as Kurt Vonnegut (who wrote those words) did.
Recently, there have been vale-of-sorrow-ish moments when I wished I had my mother to talk to. Even for a second. The numbing emotional pain is as unsettling and ever-present as the sense of loss, the sense of a vast void in everything - in me. So I can only imagine how my friend David Bell felt last week when he lost his dear mother, Imelda.
Ironically, the last time I met David was on January 23 when we drove to Dolores O'Riordan's funeral in Co Limerick and sat in the Church of Saint Ailbe in Ballybricken together for the Mass. Three months later, I am looking up at poor David and his family in the Church of St Peter & Paul in Baldoyle. David is reading from the pulpit a piece that was written by Henry Scott Holland, Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford. It was part of a sermon he delivered at the funeral of King Edward VII in St Paul's Cathedral, London, in 1910, entitled Death the King of Terrors. "We know our mum would have appreciated it," explained David, before reading it beautifully: