John Kilroy died nearly a year ago, jiving with his wife at a local wedding. She had been recovering from sickness and a broken hip and this was her first time up on the floor in a couple of years
He stopped dancing, gripped her tightly, looked into her eyes for a few intense seconds and collapsed to the floor. They couldn’t find the defibrillator.
The funeral was huge; they played Garth Brookes ‘The Dance’ as we walked into the church.
Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance
He is missed by many and on his anniversary his family are throwing a party for 200 with food from the local restaurant and a band.
The day after the funeral I took a walk with one of his closest friends on the green road to St Patrick’sWell, on Abbey hill, in the Burren. She saw her first ever Spring Gentian. That is always a magical moment.
People who have seen Spring Gentians search the Burren compulsively in April for the prize. News spreads like wildfire when the first one flowers. It is like finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow, a handful of blue gems scattered on the short spring grass. Bliss.
If you are looking for them there is always a hopeless feeling you will never find them, they are so small and the hills are ten square miles. But when you do, you know you could never have missed them. They are the most piercing, laser bright, cobalt blue that exists in this world. The bluest blue you will ever see, an intensity that can not be captured by film, only be witnessed by the human eye. Five diamond petals surround a tiny, white, five pointed star. They signal the start of the wild flower season on the Burren, with all its promise of rare alpine flowers and orchids.
I spotted a small patch yesterday down by the Flaggy shore and that was when I realised it must be a year since John died.
In his memory, a first responders group has been set up in the village and so far 3 defibrillators have been installed in weather proof boxes. Over 30 people have been trained in CPR and there are three emergency mobiles that rotate around the group. I have had the emergency phone for the last week. It hasn’t rung; if it did I think I would need resuscitating… You must try to get to the victim within 2 minutes.
Eventually there will be so many people trained that hopefully someone will be able to perform CPR at the scene until the defibrillator arrives.
So John’s death, at some stage, will save a life, and every year when I find the Spring Gentians I will think of him.