Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Three Weddings and a Funeral

May 26, 2022

February of this year was heart-breaking for the whole family as Liam, Dee’s older brother passed away very unexpectedly from an illness that we all expected him to fully recover from. You can just imagine the deep shock and sorrow experienced by everyone in the family as well as by his friends and colleagues.

As I sat with the family in the church in Tralee for the funeral mass it was so comforting to see friends and family paying their respects and I was very surprised to see my buddy, Fr. John Aherne on the altar with the local priest.

Fr. John had agreed to marry Rachel (Liam’s daughter) and Michael that year and he popped along to support and offer some comfort – he’s not from the parish and went out of his way to be there, despite having his own obligations that morning. This kind gesture meant so much to us and the family.

Despite the family not being very religious or regular churchgoers, I was really impressed how the local priest officiated the funeral mass, this incredibly sad occasion, and how well he had prepared with so much information about Liam and the legacy he left behind. He brought him to life in a special way and helped everyone on this tough day.

Sadly I found myself in Dungarvan for another funeral a month later. My uncle Noel passed away while mountain climbing with friends and it was clear from the sheer number of attendees how he touched so many lives with his work as a teacher and the general work that he did in the community, in particular for those with special needs.

Noel, wasn’t “a believer”, he wasn’t a regular churchgoer and yet again I was so impressed by the expertise of the priest who officiated the funeral mass and how he brought Noel to life in conjunction with the family and their beautiful eulogies.

And less than a month later I was at yet another funeral. My cousin Christopher, a young man who lost his battle with cancer. I witnessed yet another priest expertly officiating the funeral mass and honouring his life and legacy.

Three different priests and my friend, Fr.John, all incredible professionals operating at the top of their game, performing the most delicate of tasks for people when they are at their most vulnerable.

There is such a balance between holding the hand of those family members that are in deep sorrow and at the same time celebrating the life of the beloved person that we have lost.

A few weeks later and I’m back in church again but this time it is for a wedding!

It’s the wedding of Rachel and Michael, a happy occasion but also a very sad and emotionally raw one because Liam wasn’t there and it was still so close after he had passed.

We met Fr.John the night before for dinner and I asked him about how he was going to approach this special occasion because it did carry that huge weight of sadness – there was no getting away from it.

He didn’t go into any detail but he said he had it covered.

Rachel and Michael came to the altar with the best man, Robert and the bridesmaids at the beginning of the ceremony.

You could feel the huge weight of sadness in the church as well as the sense of celebration.

..and Fr. John began

“I’d like to welcome you all here for the wedding of Rachel and Robert

Rachel gave Fr. John a look, whispered loudly “It’s Michael” and the whole church spontaneously burst into laughter.

The tension was broken, we were allowed to laugh and while the sorrow never left us we were able to celebrate the special and very happy occasion.

Fr.John spoke about Liam throughout and reassured us that he was there with us celebrating.

When I spoke to him after about his huge “gaffe” he promised me that this had never happened to him before but he told me that “God works in mysterious ways” – he is right!

We never (at least I hadn’t) really consider the special role of our priests in these happy and sad occasions, and like all of the jobs that we do every day, this is their profession.

In a strange way on these huge occasions they are like the event organiser and the MC all rolled into one and what I witnessed was four different priests in different locations who each are experts at what they do.

I’m not very religious. I don’t go to mass but I do see and value the very special work that these special men do for all us.

Thank you Fr. John Aherne.

Greg

Greg Canty is a Principal of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

The day little Hazel comes home…

March 22, 2022

Today is a really special day in my life.

We have many of those special days throughout our lives including personal life moments, great gigs, famous Liverpool wins and even that day I scored the winner in a final of a school match where we were the total underdogs (I am probably the only one who remembers that match!).

Today is going to be another very special day because my granddaughter who I have never seen in person before comes home to Ireland from New Zealand where she was born last October.

The day Hazel was born was very special – we were at a John Spillane gig at the wonderful venue upstairs at The White Horse when the news came through on the 7th October that she was born, and while becoming a “granddad” waves in the beginning of another stage of life it was quiet overwhelming in a way that was different to everything else that came before.

There was that sense of relief that baby and mum were doing good and the elation that knowing another part of you has joined us in the crazy world of ours (and at such a crazy time).

The time since she was born has been quite strange as we have had to experience her through a mix of photos and videos online and in a way, sadly this has become the norm and five months later sometimes it’s hard to believe that I do actually have a granddaughter when they are so far away.

It must be so hard for anyone who has family and friends, who for whatever reason have decided to choose a life in a different country – quite simply I think the personal cost is too much.

I decided to write this piece today to capture my thoughts before Brendan and Ayla come home and I see little Hazel for the first time because I know that life won’t quite be the same once I see her!

Little Hazel…welcome home.

Greg

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Gratitude..

March 14, 2022

I was 57 last Friday and I was determined to do a few very simple things on the day.

I walked the dogs first thing as I always do with Dee – they love getting out!

The intention was to not work at all but I was busy with some client commitments, but I like what I do so that was more than ok.

I met mum for lunch – nothing fancy but it was great to see her.

Ellen my daughter popped by to say hello, which was great.

I popped in next store to say hello to our fantastic neighbours and their two kids – such special people.

And we popped down to the local, The White Horse with friends for dinner and drinks and while I was there Brendan, my son rang and we chatted briefly and I got to see little Hazel, my granddaughter over WhatsApp – they will be back from New Zealand in the next two weeks.

After dinner we came back to the house for a night cap – everyone was tired so it was just the one.

Before going to bed I checked my phone and returned the many messages with birthday wishes from friends and family.

That was it, another birthday spent with Dee and some of the other special people in my life and the two dogs of course.

While it is easy to get a little bit down with each passing year (and those numbers getting bigger!!) all I could feel this year was huge gratitude for being around to see another one and for spending it in a relatively safe country.

(God love the poor woman pictured above as she left her home and belongings in Mariupol in Ukraine – it makes no sense)

Thank you….

Greg

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Love and sadness

February 14, 2022

It doesn’t feel like a very romantic day with all of that love in the air.

Dee’s brother Liam, a very special man passed this day last week after an illness which cruelly took his life at the young age of 64.

She adored her brother who she says at times was like a dad to them when they were growing up, the person they would call if they were sad, scared, upset or when they fell down.

The sadness is heavy, really heavy not just for Dee but for all of the family – it’s awful watching heart’s breaking and there is really nothing you can do but just be there.

So today doesn’t feel like the day for cards, roses and gestures but then again is that the whole point of love?

I always say that the best of fun is the worst of tears – the deep sadness ultimately comes from that deep love and at some point those two will travel together.

So while I’m not making a great case for cards, roses, romantic gestures and candlelit dinners on this special day, I do want to make a case for the love that does not necessarily go with those things but is just as important. I could see that real love from friends and family over the last few really hard weeks.

So today tell your friends, your family, your neighbours, your pets and anyone who plays a special part in your life that you love them and say a prayer or raise a glass to those who aren’t physically here anymore but live on in our hearts.

It doesn’t have to be a candlelit dinner to be love (…if it is treasure it!)

RIP Liam Waldron.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

And how was your day?

November 11, 2021

I was casually chatting with my daughter Ellen today and as part of our usual chit chat I asked her how her week was going.

A bit sad dad, one of the kids in the school passed away this week” she said to me.

While this is a conversation that would floor any of us, in Ellen’s world it is sadly one that gets repeated with an unbearable frequency.

Ellen works as a special needs assistant in a school in Cork, whereby they look after very special kids with all sorts of disabilities.

A very sad fact of life is that often they suffer from poor health and they don’t get to enjoy the full life that all of our kids have and on occasion their lives come to an end when they are still in that school going age.

Ellen says this boy was a loveable rogue and quite the character and was well known and loved by everyone in the school.

They put up a tribute wall for him with photos of him since his time in the school and while it is heart breaking hopefully he can feel their love as he makes his way to his mum who passed away a number of years before. (Ellen tells me he always asked people about how their mum was)

Those lucky enough who are blessed with health and healthy children might stop for a moment and think about these special children, their families and the people who devote their hearts and careers to minding them.

Rest in peace, the honorary Garda Sean Tyrell and thoughts and prayers for his family, friends, teachers and carers.

And thank you my daughter for that huge kind heart of yours – the world needs more of you.

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

What am I doing on the Mantlepiece ?

November 7, 2021

What I am I doing there?

I used to look at those pictures of loved ones who had passed; Grandads, Grandmas, all sorts of old folk and some younger folk who went before their time, and we used look at them on that mantlepiece, and when we had a moment we would pause and think about them as we went about whatever business we were doing at the time.

They are always there, a gentle reminder that they were once alive and very real and I do remember when they were with us, laughing, joking, telling stories, full of life and as real as you and me, but not any more.

I remember when they passed and it was very painful and there were many tears and a sense of deep loss and emptiness, but with the passage of time we started to cope and a new life without them became the norm, but of course that photo on the mantlepiece is always there to remind us.

I touch that photo and say “hello” and say “I love you” and “I miss you” and then I walk away and get on with my day or whatever I was doing before I stopped and paused.

I look at that photo on that mantelpiece and see that it is me in the photo and I am confused.

Am I the young man full of life, going about my business and looking at the photo of people on the mantlepiece who have passed or has my time gone and is that me in the photo?

We get one chance at this thing called life and we can’t go back – make the most of it.

p.s I miss you dad.

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The slow and long road back to the office ..

July 13, 2021

Oh…you want me to deliver the session in person, in Dublin?

This was a simple enquiry to facilitate a social media strategy session to a group from an organisation and then provide some specific bespoke training on one of the social media platforms.

We were having the usual conversation except the only sticking point was that they wanted a full day session with their group and I was trying to discourage this.

I find that if you stay at training too long then people get tired and what they learn in the morning they end up forgetting in the afternoon. It’s best if they get a chance to slowly digest, process and try it out for themselves.

I normally suggest half day sessions, when everyone stays fresh and then allowing a week in between so that everyone can practice and then come back to progress further.

It must be on the one day because we have the hotel booked” she said.

It was only then that the penny dropped and I understood why she wanted it on the same day.

This threw me as I hadn’t been faced with this in a long time and I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it.

Ok, lets do it ..

As it turned out there was a mix up with the hotel booking on their end and the training was cancelled (after all that !!) and while I was disappointed a big part of me was delighted!

I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect and disruption of it.

Travelling and delivering training sessions in person was part and parcel of the last 10 years (pre Covid), but the truth of it is that I have been doing this from the comfort of my little home office (converted bedroom) for the last 16 months and it works really well.

It’s convenient for me and participants, I’ve tweaked my delivery for online and it works really well, it’s cost effective and it also means they get a fresh “Greg” who isn’t after driving for a few hours and all that goes with it.

The big conversation that I was having with myself was “how inconvenient and pointless” that travelling/in person/ hotel experience would be compared to the very convenient way that I have replaced it with, and with no negative impact on the learning experience.

However, I do love the face to face in person training and as a social creature I love the energy you get back from a “live” group and the special learning dynamic that can happen. This will always have it’s place but only when necessary.

I know my simple example of this in person training session will be replicated very soon with so many of those things we have all been doing in the course of our work while working from home.

People have had to take on board new work habits which are now deeply embedded and there are parts about these that are very convenient as well as being cost and life effective and they won’t want to give them up too easily.

We can all talk about hybrid but this could be a very slow and long road back to the office and we need to be really careful to preserve what is working because it is possible to get the job done and ….

Win Happy!

Greg

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The very special Natasha Lynch

February 22, 2021

Natasha Lynch

At the end of a long work day we could be found trudging from the office weighed down by the usual stresses, challenges and issues, on the way to retrieving the car from the car park and heading home.

And there she would be, and regardless of the day that you have had it immediately would get better.

She was beautiful, inside and out.

When you would bump into Natasha at anytime you were 100% guaranteed to get a warm, friendly greeting, full of enthusiasm and positivity and she would always leave you with a hug and a feeling like your whole world had brightened up, at least for a while.

Of course she was a great business woman and of course she was a really lovely person, but that gift of making everyone that she met feel immediately better was really special and something that will be a huge loss.

Natasha, you were loved by many and will be missed by so many more and a sincere thanks for making me feel so good every time that we met.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Wayne, her two boys, her dad Tony and the many friends, colleagues and students who all had the benefit of some of her precious time on this earth. Her greatest legacy is that her kindness and brightness will no doubt live on in all those she interacted with, even if just for a moment.

Natasha, they will be lucky to have you up there

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Thank you friend..

January 20, 2021

Men's friendship

Maybe it was something that I specifically said in my email about a bad nights sleep or maybe there was just a hint in the some of my other content, that I was under a little bit of a cloud yesterday?

Whatever it was, like all good friends he sensed that my mood wasn’t quite what it should be.

Within minutes my phone rang and it was him.

We chatted about work, about football about Covid and about families and of course he did ask me why I was a bit off colour and not sleeping. He did get it out of me that this was getting close to Dad’s anniversary, and at this time three years ago we were watching him gradually fade away, day after day and the sad memories were weighing heavily on me.

As always, a problem shared is a problem halved and we also got the chance to talk about how he was feeling – his dad sadly passed towards the end of last year.

I am so grateful to my friend for taking time out of his busy day to reach out – it took away the cloud.

So today, and all days, pay close attention to those you love and your colleagues to what they are saying and how they are saying it, and if you can make the time, reach out.

Thank you Roger..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

When will we be back to normal?

December 20, 2020
closed because of Covid

I’m been really feeling down all day having made a decision to cancel two different restaurant bookings that we had made with friends because of the rising Covid case numbers and the fact that mum is coming for dinner on St.Stephen’s Day.

Yes, it’s the right thing to do..

It’s more than frustrating as since the 6 week lockdown period we managed to get out just once and now it looks like we are heading into another lockdown at the start of the new year.

I know Ireland is in relatively good shape and I am very lucky and yes, “boo hoo” to me with having to cancel a restaurant booking!! Others have had REAL hardship this year and some haven’t seen family in a long time – it’s been tough.

I’m feeling down because we are missing out on friends, I’m down for the restaurants that have to take cancellations on the chin and the crap year they have had, I’m down for the pubs and the entertainment industry that were wiped out this year, I’m down for those who are sick because of Covid and what about those who have sadly passed this year because of the disease.

More than being down, I’m feeling really angry that the “6 week sacrifice” that we all made and in particular the many businesses that were forced to shut again was fairly worthless because of some poor decision making that left us with high case numbers at the end of that period.

We ignored the opportunity to extend the school’s midterm break at the beginning of lockdown and even when schools had reported cases there was some strange determination to ignore it – this got so ludicrous that some schools with an “outbreak” that wanted to close were instructed to stay open!!

We had takeaway pints being allowed throughout the 6 weeks – what level of stupidity was this?

And as for people coming into the country ..

Instead of being down I think we now need to start getting angry because this could and should have been avoided.

Tony Holohan (Chief Medical Officer in Ireland) and co are blue in the face from telling us all to be careful, wash hands, avoid travelling, stop visiting, reduce contacts, but I swear to god …

..we’ll do all of that, but that must come hand in hand with doing the other sensible things as well

If you have half an hour please listen to Dr. Niall Conroy, Consultant in Public Medicine in Queensland, talking to Eamon Dunphy on his wonderful podcast about how the combination of strong leadership and listening to the doctors suppressed Covid-19 across Australia.

At that time (in September) he suggested that if Ireland did the right things we could be celebrating with friends and family on Christmas day. We didn’t – instead we did a one legged lockdown that has us practically back to square one within a fortnight.

As I said, I’m angry..

In my view the only way to avoid us being in this perpetual yo yo situation until late next year is to do something different, the proven things that have worked in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and even a place such as the Isle of Man.

The very clever people from the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group (ISAG) have carefully laid out a plan to get us “Back To Normal” for St.Patrick’s Day , which is a real solution to this crisis.

It is sensible, it will protect the health of everyone pre vaccine, it will save lives, it will start to restore mental health issues, it will have all of our businesses operating to their maximum potential under the circumstances, it will save the country a fortune and it will have our health service making up ground on all the other medical procedures that have been delayed.

Click here to read more – it will require a final lockdown (unfortunately we are there again), but then a real strategy to get us “Back To Normal” that works with some basic other things that will shut the back door as well as the front door and provide a real path to normality…

  1. Proper Suppression
  2. Travel Quarantine
  3. Northern Ireland cooperation
  4. Effective Test and Trace
  5. Region by Region approach
  6. Support for those isolated
  7. International Cooperation (that’s one I have added – we can open up with other countries who take the same approach)

Let’s make sure that most of 2021 isn’t as bad as 2020 – we know what to do.

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland