A young couple made their most heartbreaking journey as they carried the remains of their youngest son into his funeral Mass yesterday.
Alex Coyle and Suzanna Mangan held tightly onto a little white coffin carrying their 22-month-old son, Joshua.
He died after being struck by a van at his home in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, on Friday evening.
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral Mass at St Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny.
Suzanna fought back tears as she told Joshua: “The day you came into our lives was the happiest day of our life. Look down on us and keep us safe.”
Hundreds of mourners waited outside the cathedral as a hearse carrying Joshua, surrounded by floral tributes and teddy bears, arrived to a still silence.
Yesterday’s funeral Mass was concelebrated by Fr Eamon Kelly, Fr Eamon McLaughlin, Canon Dinny McGettigan, and Fr Jonathon Flood.
The day was even more poignant for Fr Flood as he had christened Joshua in the same church just 18 months ago.
Fr Kelly said he wanted to thank each and every person who had come to the funeral Mass and who had supported the family in recent days.
“Even though we do not know how to grieve or what words to say, your very presence, your very effort, is very important for Alex and Suzanna, Alexander, Sean, and Rohan,” he said.
He said he hoped people would continue to call and see the family as they come to terms with their loss.
Suzanna and Alex also conducted the first and second readings during the funeral mass.
Earlier, Joshua’s grandfather, Alan Coyle, said his family bore no ill will towards the close family friend whose van was involved in the accident.
He said he hoped the man would attend yesterday’s funeral and asked people to remember that he, too, was going through unimaginable pain.
The offertory gifts at yesterday’s Mass included Joshua’s favourite blanket, a soft toy elephant, and two pictures.
Broken-hearted Suzanna left the church clutching the soft toy and blanket.
A Garda escort led the funeral cortege through Letterkenny for the burial ceremony.
There were further emotional scenes as Joshua was laid to rest at nearby Conwal Graveyard.
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