I can’t believe it’s a year since I posted about the sudden death of Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries. This first anniversary was marked today by the release of the song All Over Now, which comes from the album In The End, an album for which Dolores had recorded final demo-stage vocals for. The three surviving band members honoured Dolores with the finishing of the album, confirming it will be the group’s final one.
Another honouring was this video that I found online. Dolores was from Limerick, in Ireland, and Limerick artists of every genre came together to record a version of the Cranberries song When You’re Gone. It’s a diverse and moving tribute from her fellow hometown musicians.
The sofa features in the video as a reference to one that appeared on several Cranberries’ album covers.
I decided to also include the original Cranberries video at the bottom of the post, the initial inspiration. It was played at the end of the singer’s funeral last year.
Since City Jackdaw has been flying, I think I’ve probably made a Remebrance Sunday post every year. Except yesterday.
As usual we spent the day, which coincided with the Armistice Centennial, by visiting the memorial on which the names of past family members are listed. It’s this personal connection that gives context to the wider impact of that war.
As I didn’t post yesterday, I will share this photograph today: it’s from when I visited the grave of my Gt Grandfather, Timothy O’Sullivan, in 2007, ninety years to the day since he died. He is buried in Thessaloniki. A plot that is forever England.
This is the time of year when the act of remembering seems to take precedent, whatever your persuasion. From a pagan perspective there was Halloween/Samhain yesterday. For those of a Christian mind today is All Saints Day, followed by tomorrow’s All Souls Day. Even if you don’t wear either of these labels, Remembrance Sunday is also almost upon us.
Maybe it’s when we see see the seasonal decay of the world around us, combined with the shortened hours of daylight, that we instinctively turn inward, thinking about our own mortality and of the roots from which we have sprung.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Yesterday, my daughter and I visited an old cemetery in Harpurhey, Manchester. It’s one of those old cemeteries where it seems burials no longer take place, and to see flowers placed upon a grave is a rare thing indeed.
It’s a cemetery of the forgotten, a cemetery where the dead who reside there have nobody left in the world who can enshrine them in remembrance.
There, among the mouldering rows was a particular grave that we were seeking out. A grave that held the remains of ten people that had connections to us both. Ancestors of four generations.
I remember the first time that I stood on this spot with my father. I asked him who the John Murray was that was listed on the headstone, curious as this man was the one who shared my surname and went the furthest back in time.
“I’m not sure,” my Dad replied. “I think he was an uncle of your Granddad’s.”
Once I began my family history research I soon discovered that this man was actually my Dad’s grandfather.
How easily things become forgotten. Lost.
Not long after that day I began my search, born of curiosity and an undefinable sense of belonging. Of the ten people listed on that headstone, three of them I had known in life. Seven, (possibly eight), I now have photographs of.
Mindful of both the responsibility I have acquired and of the passing years, yesterday I brought my eleven year old daughter with me to Harpurhey. The next generation. To her I will eventually pass the baton.
Their stories I have recorded, and tell to my children. In this way I keep these people alive.
In regard to my blog, these stories are for another time. For now, I list the people here.
May they be forever remembered.
Charles Hewitt 1847-1884
Amelia Hewitt (née Wolfenden) 1847-1901
John Murray 1862-1926
Kate Amelia Murray 1903-1926
Frank Murray 1912-1928
Kate Ann Murray (née Hewitt) 1872-1939
Frank Murray 1950-1954
Millicent Murray 1899-1989
Margaret Murray 1914-1990
Fred Murray 1915-1992
For all the children who will not know Laura Bruno Lilly, Andrew James Murray ~ 5/22/2017 ~ For all the children who will not know the warmth of sunshine upon their cheeks; the cold of dug snow-forts and candy-land castles. For all the children who will not know the slurpy free love of an old…
In the wake of the Arena bomb, the city drew the creatives to itself, as though, in some act of self-healing catharsis, beauty was brought to counter the ghastly.
Along the city’s highways, and especially in St Anne’s Square which was fast becoming the focus for the people’s outpouring of grief and defiance, artists could be seen hunched over easels and pavement flagstones, etching hearts, bees and other symbols of resilience onto the bones of her wounded body.
Even now, on the eve of the anniversary, we turn to art to express our deepest responses.
In the wake of the Arena bomb, musicians could be found playing the music of their fellow Mancunians; recognisable core DNA transmuted through classical, reggae and ballads of bleeding. Mourners broke vigils with spontaneous outpourings of adopted anthems.
Even now, on the eve of the anniversary, we quote the words of some of her favourite sons.
Tomorrow is twelve months. The healing goes on.
The conception of ‘(He)art’ was created by my fellow blogger Laura Bruno Lilly. http://laurabrunolilly.com/blog/