Eulogy to Sinead O’Connor
I heard the news of Sinead’s death via Facebook Messenger late morning of 27th July, from my Australian spiritual mentor, who has in recent years also become a good friend. I had been with my love the previous evening so the news had not filtered through to me.
As a mother who lost her own daughter to suicide almost two years ago, just four short months before Sinead lost her own teenage son to suicide, I know all too well the relentless pain and heartache she went through after such a horrific tragedy. After a suicide, families and friends implode. On all sides. Even if the suicide has in some way been expected, this still happens. And when the funeral is over, everyone runs for the hills.
As fast as they can.
If we have two or three people who stay to help us pick up the pieces, then we are lucky indeed. As I was. My love was one such person. Yet the night of Ruth’s funeral I still spent alone at home, as was the case for months and months of nights after. As is still the case. I was fortunate enough to have had the funds to access endless variations of alternative therapy after Ruth’s death, all of which helped enormously.
There were still however, so many dark days after Ruth’s death when I would wake and feel how utterly pointless my own life was, now that the person I loved most in the world had chosen to cross the Veil. Sinead was, as always, heartrendingly vocal about how devastated she was after her son’s death. Her song, “This is to Mother You” was played at Ruth’s funeral. It is to me, the most beautiful song ever written. I had previously sung it for my own late mother several years ago in West Cork while she was still alive. I had wanted to ring Sinead to ask her to come sing in person at Ruth’s funeral, but lost my nerve.
If I had asked, she would have come, I know that for sure.
It is not for us to speculate as to how Sinead died. She died alone, having just moved back to London. I can’t stop thinking how wrong it was that she died alone. Sinead spotlighted so many things wrong with Irish society, yet all these decades later, little has changed. Ireland utterly and at every level, failed the bravest, most courageous woman to ever have been born on this island. Ever.
I know how exhausting being brave can be.
I know how exhausting being courageous can also be.
As did my late daughter Ruth.
It simply burns you out in the end.
Grief is also utterly soul destroyingly exhausting. No one talks about that either. The effect it has on the physical body alone is beyond describing.
Sinead knew all about that too.
Sinead became an instant icon to those of us women who were already tiring of Madonna. Sinead was the real deal. A whole different kettle of fish. Taking stance at any and every injustice on what has now become a sorry little island called Ireland, she always but always, somehow remained simultaneously hysterically funny as she honed her razor sharp wit to perfection. She played Gay Byrne effortlessly. She stood up for abortion rights, for divorce, for those thousands of women who, like Sinead during her formative teenage years, endured the horrors of Mother and Baby homes.
In Australia they refer to the “tall poppy” syndrome. In Ireland it’s disparagingly called getting too big for yer boots, or simply “having notions about yerself” It is no wonder that almost every major Irish band ever has had to go to either the UK or the USA to succeed. From the Boomtown Rats to U2 to Sinead O Connor. Sinead and the Boomtown Rats were signed by the same label, and Sinead was only 19 when she started breaking out onto the Irish stage. U2 were even younger, having formed their band while in their mid teens.
Sinead has been consistently referred to merely as a singer. But she was also an amazing songwriter. Mercury conjunct Neptune in the twelfth house of spirituality. Her twelfth house Neptune was conjunct her eleventh house South Node – representing groups and societies. All in Scorpio, fixed water. My how she felt those emotions far more deeply than we ever realised. Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond are both also Neptune but conjunct the North rather than the South Node. Born to be singer songwriters – pure and simple. Their calling called them from birth, as did Sinead’s.
No need to faff around consulting an astrologer as to what your true path might be!
In her relocated chart for London, where she first started making an even bigger name for herself, her Neptune moves to her eleventh house. So she starts sharing her gifts more out in the collective. Her first house Sun in Sagittarius also became more accentuated as it conjuncts her Sagittarius Ascendant. So her relocated chart did indeed help her become far more visible in the UK. It is not always the case that London or the UK or California or New York are bigger stages. Astrology, through both relocated charts and astrocartography mapping almost always plays a part too.
She shares a Sagittarius Ascendant with Bob Dylan and also interestingly enough with Bob Geldof. Sinead and Bob lived nearby, knew each other very well while growing up during those dark decades of the sixties and seventies in Ireland. So maybe their teenage catch call was “How soon can we get outta here?” Who knows?
We are all far too fond of talking about our legacies these days. And yet, our legacy matters. Maybe now even more than ever, in these days of the internet driving more and more of our lives. Sinead has left behind a devastated and beyond heartbroken family. In the days after her death, stories abounded of how many people she quietly helped over the years. How she loved Bray, how it was quite simply her happy place.
Many of us who come into this world are simply too gentle and too sensitive for the harshness of life on planet earth. Sinead was one of these people. As was my late daughter Ruth. Ruth was surrounded by people who kept telling her to get a “proper” job and that she needed 400,000 Euro to buy a house. Yet Ruth had a house which she inherited from her late father, and which she had in fact put up for sale before she died.
Ruth was always happiest when minding kids, when painting and when writing. The families whose kids she minded adored her. And Ruth in turn adored each and every kid she minded. It was one of the things which bound us in later years as I had been a nanny for several years during Ireland’s last recession, then for several months in Italy.
I used to tell Ruth what vital work it was. To be such a good childminder that the parents could rest easy while at work. Priceless. I used to tell Ruth how rewarding this work was and she readily agreed. Yet Ruth was surrounded by people in Dublin for whom that kind of work wasn’t a “proper” job. But every job is a “proper” job.
Sinead is at peace now. Maybe she crossed the Veil before her time; that is not for us to speculate on. I know one thing for sure, the musical parties that are probably being held from beyond the Veil by all those who have crossed on in recent years must be mighty!
I mean, David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Robbie Robertson of the Band, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner and now Sinead O’Connor!!!! What music they must be making!!
Rest in peace sweet angel. The time has come for you to finally mother yourself after so many decades of mothering so many of us. And go hang out with my beloved Ruthie for me too, won’t you? She loved you so too.
My next blog post is a deep reflection on Venus Retrograde in Leo, which has just ended, so do look out for it.