Grania’s memorial service

Michael Nugent kindly filmed Grania’s memorial service in Cork, including words from her sisters and her friends (including me), and he also put pictures from the service on the Atheist Ireland website.

The 43-minute YouTube video is embedded below, and I’ve added a few pictures from Michael’s website below that. As I write this on Saturday morning, I am at the Honolulu airport without time to watch the video, but I surely will on Saturday evening.


And a couple of photos. I know Grania would surely want liberal consumption of alcohol at her memorial, even though she was only a moderate drinker.
I don’t know everyone here, but I think this is Grania’s sister Gunda on the left:
Michael Nugent, President of Atheist Ireland, is on the right, wearing his trademark red polo shirt, and that’s Grania’s other sister, Gisela, on the left:
A friend, Betty-Marie Burger-Smit, and a sister, Gisela, toast Grania. I join them in spirit. Goodbye, my dear friend!


  1. GBJames
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink


  2. Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Michael and Jerry. I’m going to the kitchen now to concoct a Grania-inspired libation of coffee, whiskey and Devon cream.

    You shall fondly remain in our thoughts, until we all be stardust, dear Grania, whose name means Love Shines.

    • DTaylor
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t know that’s what her name meant. What an excellent match!

      • Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        Two people on a recent post about Grania explained the meanings of her first and last names.

        • Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:00 am | Permalink

          For the record, it was both darwinwins and Bill Morrison who contributed the meanings of her first and last names, under Jerry’s first announcement of Grania’s death:

          (See comment by darwinwins in reply to comment 128:
          Posted June 17, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink
          “And as it happens, Grania means love in Celtic.”

          Also comment 104 by Bill Morrison:
          Posted June 17, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
          “I corresponded with Grania a couple of years ago about her family name’s origin. Spingies is a surname secondarily German but originally Lithuanian in the form “Spingys”. A related word is spindejimas, a noun meaning shine, radiance and brilliance. Another is spingseti, to glimmer or to twinkle as would a star. The news about her was so shocking.”


          Posted June 17, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
          “Someone else said that Grania means love. Love Shines.” )

  3. Mark Cagnetta
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Very sad. Sorry for your/our loss Jerry.

  4. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Goodbye Grania.

  5. BJ
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    So glad to see her friends and loved ones celebrate here life! Drinks and smiles.

    A few months ago, my dad was watching some cop movie. One of the cops had died and, being Irish, the “funeral” was basically a party after the services. I said to my dad, “Jewish funerals should be like this! We should be celebrating the life of the deceased, having fun, remembering them fondly and happily, singing and joking and getting drunk.” He said that’s exactly the kind of funeral he wants. He doesn’t want us sitting in our house for seven days while people bring us food, lament the death of our loved one, and carry a somber mood throughout. Just look at this description of what Jews are supposed to do when a loved one dies. Could you possibly make this process more morose and ultimately futile?

    When my beloved parents die, hopefully many, many years from now, I will honor their wishes and celebrate them. It’s OK to mourn the death of beloved people, but you must celebrate their lives as well. Show the happiness they brought you and others.

    I figure I’ll start my dad’s eulogy with a favorite dirty joke just to lighten the mood. He would appreciate that, especially from me 😛

    • BJ
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      In other words: Goodbye to you, Grania. I’m sure you would have had a great time at your memorial 😀

  6. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    very nice to see the power of a smile!

  7. Posted June 30, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    This is so sad. My heart goes out to you and all those who were friends and family to Grania.

  8. Glenda Palmer
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I have just finished watching the memorial gathering of Grania’s family and friends on YouTube. She was warm, smart, talented and complex and used her gifts so effectively. Grania helped bring real change to Ireland. Tragically left this world of family, close friends and cyber friends far too soon.

    • Posted June 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I am still processing the fact that I grieve for someone I never met. Grania was so special.

  9. Nell Whiteside
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I have learned a new term – ‘meat space’! That’s brilliant. Thank you Grania.

  10. Silvia Planchett
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Farewell Grania, we hardly new ye…

  11. Mark R.
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    It truly sucks not seeing her here anymore. You are missed Grania, even by those who never met you or spoke to you.

  12. Liz
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Slainte. To each her own.

    This was heartbreaking.

  13. Avis James
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    I didn’t understand the complexities of Grania. I really enjoyed her contributions here, but had no idea about her pain. I am enlightened to hear her story. Have to think about what to do in her honor. Not sure yet. Let me know if you have a good idea.

  14. rickflick
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful memorial get-together. I’m very much impressed by the people that surrounded her. She certainly left an impression on many. May she live forever in e-space. I toast Grania.

  15. darrelle
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    A wonderful memorial service. We should all be so lucky as to affect so many in such positive ways as Grania so evidently did. A toast to Grania. I hate farewells, so let’s just leave at I’ll miss you.

  16. Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I was deeply moved by the memorial service for Grania. The speeches, the walks down memory lane where Grania once trod, and the eulogy and poetry readings were heart-wrenching and poignant, and held profound personal meaning in my own private sorrows. Even in death, I’ve learned priceless things from Grania.

    Many thanks to Michael for sharing this recording. My deepest sympathies to her family and friends for their loss, during her living years and in her death.

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