Obituary: Mary Joy “Brenmar” Curraheen

Mary was a member of IAHIP, she did not serve on committees and did not take part in the administrative side of the organisation. She was fairly unknown in the wider IAHIP circles of committee members and activists, dedicated and utterly essential as they are to the organisation.  No, Mary, like so many members worked gently and lovingly in the quiet and sacredness of her own space to carry the truth of what she knew the essence of psychotherapy to be. Her passing was almost forgotten at the reconvened general meeting, her death was mentioned but few of the people there had had the privilege to be graced by Mary’s acquaintance.  Mary’s death is a great loss to her beloved husband, sister, brothers, nieces, nephews and friends.  Her loss must surely be felt deeply by those people who met her in her capacity as a psychotherapist, they were held by Mary with such tender, exquisite care.  She often wisely and tenderly brought me back to our shared raisons d’être; our reason for being, not only psychotherapists but fully committed to the unfolding of our humanity, in connection and wonder-filled alliance with all of life. She was, in the words of John O’Donohue, like a river, carried by the surprise of her own unfolding.

Mary lived her truth; she brought beauty, love, generosity, warmth, patience, wisdom, a wry humour and an exquisite sensitivity, not only to her work but to everything and everybody she came in contact with.  Mary’s last message to family and friends reiterated the simple fact that love never dies, that our roots are forever intertwined. Mary, thank you for what you channelled on your human journey, it made a difference to the world and you are missed excruciatingly.

My deepest sympathy to Mary’s husband Pat, her sister Anne, brothers Kieran and Terry.  May you be comforted and consoled and know that your loss is recognised and the love you have for Mary has resonance with all who met her.

A violet by a mossy stone   
Half-hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, O!
The difference to me!

                                          William Wordworth

Joan Browne