More than 300 mourners have said their last farewell to tragic Lisburn mother-of-four Linda Stewart-Rooney, who died after being knocked down by a bus last week.
During the funeral service for the 48-year-old at St Anne’s Church of Ireland in Dungannon, Archdeacon Andrew Forster described Linda as “someone who knew really tough and hard times in life but always sought to be positive and not to bother and burden others”.
“Today we celebrate a gentle, compassionate and loving person, a humble person who in many ways didn’t know her own worth, who never complained, never made a fuss and loved a bit of fun and teasing and could give as good as she got,” he told mourners.
Archdeacon Forster described Linda – who had lived in Lisburn but grew up in Dungannon – as someone with “strength of character and strength of faith (which) brought her through hard and difficult times”.
“I know that lately she was blossoming, growing as a person, growing in her Christian faith which makes her sudden death all the more difficult,” he added.
The Dungannon cleric said Linda was “the big sister of a close and caring family”, a “caring and fine daughter to her late father Billy and her mum Iris, and an ever-loving mother to Rachel, Rebecca, Kathleen and Adrian”.
He said that “news of Linda’s tragic death has brought with it pain and devastation”.
“To the whole family we offer you our heartfelt sympathy and the people in this church today want you to know that we care for you deeply and want to give you all the support they can as you begin to come to terms with this terrible tragedy,” he added.
Archdeacon Forster said that “grief is so poignant today because in many ways Linda had turned a corner in her life and things were beginning to look up, and we know she had so much more to live for if it had not been for this awful accident”.
“We are confronted with the unfairness of it all and it leaves us searching for appropriate words and phrases that often end up sounding trite,” he said.
“The language of grief is not words or clever phrases, the language of grief is silence, the gentle touch of a hand, the loving embrace, the quiet presence of a friend and the willingness to help.
“The Rooney family have been surrounded by people who have eloquently spoken the language of grief over the last days.”
Linda was later buried in St Andrew’s Church of Ireland, Killyman, Dungannon, beside her father Billy Rooney.