Belfast Telegraph

Michelle McStravick's daughter told 'you are her living legacy' at funeral of Randalstown crash victim

'Remember the special times with your mother, and recall them often in your heart as you might look at a special photograph'

By Claire Williamson

Mourners at the funeral of a mother killed in a car crash in Co Antrim have been told of the "tremendous legacy" she leaves behind.

Michelle McStravick (35) and Lorraine Clyde (56), from the Antrim area, both died in the crash on Monday morning in Randalstown.

It is understood both women worked as care assistants for Homecare Independent Living in Coleraine.

Michelle's funeral took place today at St MacNissi's Church in Randalstown.

Lorraine's funeral service will be held at St Comgall's Church in Antrim on Friday leaving her The Meadows home at noon. It will then proceed to Roselawn Crematorium for 2.30pm.

Michelle had a teenage daughter and was also a popular fitness competitor, winning trophies for body-building.

Addressing Michelle's daughter Cliodhan during the homily, Fr Diarmuid Sheehan said her mother left behind a "living legacy".

She was urged to "remember the special times with your mother, and recall them often in your heart as you might look at a special photograph".

He said: "Certainly there were things your mother wanted to do on earth that she was not given the time to do.  Yet she leaves a tremendous legacy. Not only the legacy of how she touched so many people’s lives, But You, Cliodhan, are the main legacy, you are a living legacy. 

"There's something of your mother in you; in who you are, in how you act, in what you say.  It is true you are your own unique person, yes, but you, are very much your mother's daughter. That resemblance, that heritage, is a blessing.

"Your mother I am sure had dreams and hopes for you. Like any loving parent, she wanted your life to be even better, happier, and more complete than her own.  I'm sure she also had dreams and hopes for herself and looked forward to a long life.

"Cliodhna, by the way you live your life, by living with honour, compassion, and joy, you can realise the dreams your mother had for you and even the dreams she had for herself.

"You are her legacy, and a wonderful legacy you are and will be.  Live your life well. With your grandfather and grandmother to help you, I know you will be supported in their great love for you."

Fr Diarumuid told the congregation how the need for an explanation is "natural and normal" and how it is at the forefront of their minds.

He said: "It demonstrates how we wanted, how we expected Michelle to continue as our companion on life's journey for many, many years to come.

"A death like this slaps us in the face, and we want an explanation. 

"We want to know who's responsible, who's to blame, who's the bad person in the picture.  We want rationality, cause and effect, a fair universe, even if we must bear the guilt ourselves.

"We want answers, solutions. We want to figure out this loss, make sense of it, and get under control what feels to us so painfully out of control. 

"No doubt each of us here has felt this struggle inside us somewhere along this road of grief, and there may be people here who feel this terrible struggle now.

"The loss tastes bitter in our mouths, in our hearts, and rightly we revolt against it, we demand an explanation, even from God.  Maybe we are told that what afflicts us, this grief that has attached to it a beloved name and face, is part of the human condition, evidence of a flawed universe, a world radically incomplete.

"We know this. But in all this we find precious little comfort."

He urged those present to "live each day to the full".

He said:  "Finally a word to all of us, myself included. For all of us and in particular you her friends, her peer group, today’s tragic loss is also an occasion for us to examine our own lives. None of us know the day or the hour death will come knocking on our door. This shouldn't frighten us but what it could do is to encourage us to live each day to the full. To be attentive to our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.

He added: "And in the meantime as we await our own homecoming to heaven, I leave the last word to one of Michelle’s quotes: ‘You have to take the good with the bad, smile when you are sad, love what you have got and remember what you had’"

Heartfelt messages and flowers were placed at the junction of the Church Road and the Moneyrod Road in Randalstown, where the tragedy happened.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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