Like all who have heard the story from Co. Cavan concerning the death of a family in tragic circumstances, I am deeply saddned.

There is, at times like this, a call for privacy that is as necessary as it’s understandable.  People, the families involved, need so much space and time now that cameras and recorders should maintain a respectful distance.

Some years ago, following the death by suicide of a man well known in a community, a mother told me that she told her son and daughter he had died, knowing that they would hear the news at school.  She told me her son asked “How did he do it?”  Her daughter asked “Why did he do it?”  I thought the questions were telling.  The “how” speaks to detail whereas the “why” brings us to a place of reflection and seeking to understand.

In this case, it is possible that neither question is appropriate to most of us.  The answer is truly of no lasting benefit to us.  The role we play now is not that of interviewer or observer but one of fellow traveller, needing to stop and reflect on life and to offer whatever support we can be to those who need and deserve answers more than we do.

It is with prayer, empathy and sympathy we envelop those involved.

A prayer then rather than a question – Peace for those who have died and peace for those left with crosses and questions.  Amen!

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