The act of throwing a handful of earth onto the coffins of our loved ones while their bodies are being lowered into the is a time-old tradition.
It is a powerful way to say goodbye. An important symbolic gesture bringing together all members of a community. By some, it is considered as the ultimate act of kindness - the service of burying those who will never be able to do you a service in return.
The importance of this tradition is perhaps at its strongest for the Irish living in America. Being buried in the land of the United States, but with the earth of Ireland is an emotional, and everlasting gesture. It allows families to say goodbye to their loved ones, while laying them to rest enveloped in the land of their ancestors. From ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Buried in America but in the land of Ireland.
The Handful of Home Ceremonial Canister allows Irish family members to gather as a community to say goodbye with this ancient Irish tradition. The earth is pure and dark. It smells like the rolling hills of Ireland, of deep green forests, and the Atlantic spray. It contains thousands of years of Irish history, soft gentle rains, and heritage. It is cool and soft to the touch.
At end of life celebrations, families gather around the coffin or urn being buried. They each take a handful of pure Irish earth from the Handful of Home Ceremonial Canister, and release it onto the graves of their loved ones. Through this action, they unite in saying their goodbyes, while doing their loved ones the ultimate service of laying them to eternal rest in the land of their ancestors.
Weeks, months, and years begin to pass after a loved one has been buried. Families gather to remember their loved ones on anniversaries or other important dates at each year.
Families may choose to grow and maintain a living memorial either at a graveside, or other important site in honor of their loved ones. Handful of Home can be used once more as a way of remembering loved ones, while honoring their cultural heritage.