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Life here and after

30 November, 1999

Businessman and Senator Feargal Quinn, former Director of Superquinn, tells how being in touch with his dead father has strengthened his faith in the hereafter.

It is probably good to question your religion now and then in order to affirm your beliefs. I had often questioned the ‘life hereafter’ as I grew up, but then, I had not had the experience of the death of someone close to me.

My father, who had been my mentor in life – both personal and business – died in June 1972. I found it difficult to manage without his counsel.

One week, about six weeks after his death, I stood up and said to my wife Denise, “I’ll just phone Dad – he’ll be really interested in what happened in Finglas today.”

“But…” she said.

“It’s okay” I interrupted, “I won’t be all night – he’d just love to hear about it.”

“But he’s dead,” she exclaimed, and I suddenly realised that in my enthusiasm to tell him of the incident, I had forgotten that I would never again be able to be in touch with him.

About a week later, going through some of his papers, I came across a number of foolscap pages in his handwriting. They were a long ‘advice’ to me that covered many subjects including business. He had written them on holidays a couple of months before his death but had never got around to posting them to me.

I suddenly realised that he was not gone – he was still able to communicate. Each week at Mass, when we say “We look for the Resurrection of the Dead”, all we need to do is just that – “look for”.