ON THE day Jason Corbett was due to return home to Limerick with his two children, he was buried beside his first wife as his sister Tracey told mourners that the truth about his killing will be told and justice will be done.
In Jason’s own words written before his death, “I wanted a perfect ending, but I have learned the hard way that some poems don’t rhyme, some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end.
“Life is about not knowing, having to change and making the best of it without knowing what is going to happen next.
“I have learned that happiness is the consequence of personal effort, you fight for it, strive for it and insist upon it always -it does not come easy. How lucky am I to have had something that makes saying goodbye so hard – until we meet again, Jay”.
Jason’s final journey
“THE songbirds keep singing like they know the score and I love you, I love you, I love you like never before.”
The lyrics from Eva Cassidy’s ‘Songbird’ greeted mourners to Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Janesboro attending the requiem mass for Jason Corbett this Wednesday before he was laid to rest alongside his late wife Margaret.
It was the wedding song that united the couple in life and reunites them again in death.
39-year-old Jason, who was killed at his home in North Carolina over three weeks ago, was mourned by his two children, parents and extended family in what Fr Pat O’Sullivan was “the reality of sudden and tragic death”.
In a poignant homily dedicated to the life of the Limerickman who moved to the US four years ago, Fr Pat O’Sullivan reminded the congregation that “what truly matters today is that Jason is Jack and Sarah’s dad and he loved them very much and did all he could to provide for them with much love and fun”.
Fr O’Sullivan said that Jason’s children were “the most important people here and we are truly glad that ye are with us here today” before he thanked Sarah for choosing the purple vestments as it was one of Jason’s favourite colours.
The Corbett family, together with the large gathering of mourners heard of Jason’s life, his love of sport and the box of memories he made for everyone to keep or share.
Fr O’Sullivan reminded mourners that “when Jason moved to the US, he was known for his fine qualities and larger than life character which was appreciated by colleagues and new friends”.
Remembering the support that Jason received from his colleagues at the time when his first wife Mags’ died, Fr O’Sullivan said that he loved his job and that it was comforting for all to see some of his colleagues present.
The congregation was told that Jason went to Mags graveside everyday at lunchtime and was a lost soul after her death, but still lived his life with dignity, “although the light and spark was never replaced.”
“A friend of us told us recently that Jason would bring his lunch and read her the papers at the graveside – she was his world and felt blessed to have that kind of love in his life”.
During the mass, Fr O’Sullivan said that “It was always hard to say good-bye to Jason and we try to do so today to a man who was tenacious, caring, funny and generous to a fault…family and friends were foremost in his life”
Noting the hundreds of people who gathered in Limerick last week on the steps of City Hall for a candlelit vigil, Fr Pat O’Sullivan said that he hoped “that great sense of unity brought much hope and peace to a family at such a dark time.”
During the requiem mass that paid tribute to the short life of the father of two, the choral group Heavenly Airs performed hymns including ‘Journey of a soul’, ‘The Dance’ by Gareth Brooks and ‘Fields of Gold’ by Sting, all favourites of Jason and his late wife Mags.
Before taking him to his final resting place in Castlemungret Cemetery, alongside Mags, Jason’s brother-in-law David Lynch, read to the congregation a eulogy penned by his wife and Jason’s older sister Tracey.
In it she spoke of how her brother was her best friend and one of the few people she could confide in without judgement.
“Today we would like to celebrate Jason’s life – we have lost such a great person who personally was my hero – he always had my back and I his”.
“We shared friendships, good times, not so good times, struggles and achievements.
Jason’s love of home cooking and the Limerick favourite of packet and tripe was referred as a draw for him to often come home to his mother Rita, the congregation heard.
“I know my brother left lots of things undone and others that he never had a chance to start, but I promise that I will continue what he started and hopefully fulfil his dream for him – this is just my small way of thanking you for everything you ever did for me.
Ironically, Tracey revealed how she remembered that her last talk with her brother was. about death.
“We talked about death and how our funerals should be and my brother didn’t like to see people cry, especially his family. We only talked about it as a joke, but now I realise why he mentioned it”.
Before Jason’s remains were carried from the church, Tracey hoped that “Jay will continue to live on our hearts and minds where our memories will always stay protected.
“Jason had a wonderful life and was always at his happiest when he was with Mags and had their two beautiful children Jack and Sarah.
For a time, Tracey said that her brother was “as happy as any man could be and if couldn’t be here he would want to be with Mags.
“Today on the day that he was due home with his children to Ireland, we have to face bravely a life without him but I think I speak for everybody in saying that our lives were better for having him in it”.
“The months ahead will be difficult as we wait for the truth to be told and we have faith that there is justice in this world.
Listen the touching and emotional eulogy, read by David Lynch, at Jason’s funeral here (audio begins after 0.10secs)