Brendan Gleeson says seeing his parents die in hospice 'restored my faith in humanity’

Brendan Gleeson: 'A gift' to see his parents taken care of so well. Picture: VIPIreland

Seeing his parents die in a hospice restored actor Brendan Gleeson’s faith in humanity.

“Both my folks ended their days in there [in a hospice] and it was such a gift to have your parents, or your loved ones, depart this life in a way that could not have been more beautiful,” he said.

The actor explained that the level of care his parents received, made him see the better side of humanity.

“Their spirits were looked after, their morale was looked after, there was so much humanity in it that you come out of that awful experience, you have to say goodbye at some point, and I came out feeling nothing could have been done more.

“You come out feeling that human beings can be the most magnificent life forms in a way, it’s not always easy to remember that,” said the actor.

“You’re hearing all the horror that we can get up to and then you go out to a place like St Francis in Raheny or out to Blanchardstown or any of the places all across the country and you’ve people volunteering to help other people who are in dire distress.

“It’s the most beautiful thing. It was a total eye-opener for me,” he said.

The actor joked that his mother was “spoiled to death”.

“My mother said she’d never been creamed so much (even) as a baby, that’s my favourite quotation of all time. She went in and they absolutely spoiled her, they literally spoiled her to death,” he said.

The actor was speaking on the Pat Kenny Show yesterday morning ahead of Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning tomorrow, which is in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation.

The former schoolteacher said that he never takes his acting success for granted.

“It began to get a bit like washing dishes, after 10 years, a particular group of kids that I was very close to moved on and I had to start on all these new faces and it was a bit like: ‘Oh I’ve to wash the dishes again.’ And I never wanted to think like that as a teacher. I knew I had to reinvent myself a little bit,” he said.


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