John J Maher

Burying a friend is never good - and I mean standing by the grave as they lower the coffin - that sort of burying. It is all so final. I really cannot get my head around it. I am rational, but still it seems incongruous that he is no more.

The wake was "good" in some sense - there were a lot of people. The church was full and the wake was fuller. He was well liked. John Joseph Maher will be missed.

The service was in a catholic church, and I tried my best not to look out of place. Maybe a third of the people there did not do the communion bit. It was polite to sing the hymns. The eulogy was very good. The multiple unsubstantiated claims of certainty were teeth gratingly annoying, but I was trying to be polite.

He will be missed, and I feel sorry for his family. If belief in sky fairies helps them, then best of luck with that - I do understand. We are all entitled to our own fantasies especially if they help us feel better in a difficult time like this.

Myself, I am still coming to terms with it. John was not really a close friend as such - he came to a dinner for my Birthday last year and I had not seen him since. I recall he tried drinking a framing drink of some sort. It was funny. He died on my birthday this year and that was a shock - we got the call during a dinner that evening in a restaurant. But even so, he was a friend, and he meant a lot to me and to many people I know well.

If it would have not been out of place to take an iPad to any funeral, it would have been John's. He loved gadgets. I did bring my iPad to the wake afterwards but at the funeral I had a turned off phone and no iPad. Rare I know.

Apparently his iPad was invaluable. John was a project manager and had lists and details and contacts and everything on the iPad. His family were able to use it to ensure they managed the funeral and contacted everyone. The fact his phone, only just returned by the police, was synced over the "cloud" to his iPad helped even more.

Even so - a tragedy - only 52 and killed on his motorcycle, not his fault. I know some ask "why?" but why do you think there is an answer and who would answer. At the end of the day shit happens. It is sad.


  1. No-one is really dead while there are still those who remember them or their deeds.

    It is times like these when you forget the daily irritations such as an ungrateful customer screwing you with an ADR, your favourite telco, the ever-burgeoning workload in maintaining multiple codebases and even those moments of sheer panic when you realize that you broke FireBrick legacy IP support in the most recent public update.

    Events such as this take precedence over all of that.

    You took the day off to do the last thing you could ever do for this man and you made this post to tell everyone who takes an interest in your life and/or work why you weren't around today.

    I only hope you are spending the remainder of your evening with your family rather than with the folks in Azeroth; it should be used as an opportunity to reflect and a good reason to tell those close to you what they truly mean to you lest you never get the opportunity again.

    Any of us could die tomorrow because, as you say, "shit happens".

    1. I made a point of getting my character to level 85 and winning the bet the night before the funeral.

  2. My commiserations on your loss.

    One thing for sure is as you get older you attend funerals more often. I can fully sympathise with your annoyance at the faithful. As someone who as been an atheist since I can remember, I often feel the same way but justify my church attendance as support to the friends and family of the deceased, so I hold my tongue and smile politely. The various faiths have such a position of privilege in this country that it often annoys me considerably and this makes the service harder to bear but I keep focused on why _I_ have chosen to be there.

    Not easy, and even harder at the funeral of a friend.


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