The gallery of family photos spoke of love, laughter, hot summer days by the lake and a life well lived together.
The ever-present photos showed Patrick Kriegel gleefully posing with his beloved daughter, Anna, each smiling as wide as the other.
Then those loving father-daughter pictures diminished and nothing remained the same.
“What happened changed everything. For Patrick, a light went out,” mourners were told at his funeral service at Newlands Cross Crematorium yesterday.
His wife, Geraldine, said it was “an honor and privilege” to be Patrick’s wife for 36 years, describing her as “my best friend, my soulmate, my everything”.
Their life together was a whirlwind of adventure, madness and fun.
“And then came the sadness and how we endured… Life was never the same. My dear Patrick could not bear the pain of losing his little baby girl,” she said.
Those attending the service included barrister Brendan Grahan SC, a prosecutor on a murder trial in 2019 following the death of 14-year-old Anna Kriegel. Deputy Katherine Murphy, a close family friend, also attended.
Geraldine Craigel’s words, pre-recorded, described their marriage as “a beautiful poem that became the story of our lives”.
“He brought me to a place I had never imagined – a world of joy and passion and excitement.”
Life in Ireland suited his nature and he became a master of the art of slagging. But, originally from Paris, he loved French culture and tried his best to educate them about it, she said.
“I always knew I was lucky to have found such a rare and shining gem in this vast expansive world,” she said.
They always found it easy to express their love for each other. They became a family with “very hard,” Geraldine said, but it was worth the wait when Ana and Aaron came into their lives.
“Our life became a whirlwind of adventure and madness. I can’t tell you how much fun we had together,” she said, talking about winter skiing and summer beach vacations and their ‘little house’ in Annecy in the French Alps.
“She was my rock. My love for her knows no bounds – because my pain knows no bounds.”
Simple service was accompanied by an eclectic mix of beautiful music that they had enjoyed together and with deep poignancy, the coffin slowly fell out of sight. ne mi quit pass – (Do not leave me).
Mourners heard that Patrick had enriched the lives of his work colleagues, his students and all those who knew him with his kindness, sense of humor and his ‘contagious conspiratorial laugh’.
People, regardless of his vast intelligence, felt comfortable in his company because he was a good listener.
His compassion and his deep ability to forgive were remembered.
Geraldine’s brother, Kevin, spoke of the “amazing Parisian cafe atmosphere” that Patrick had created so effortlessly.
“He was always listening, always present, ready to engage and help,” he said.
Friend Irene Connor spoke of a man who, although he had lived his life in Ireland, was a “true Frenchman”. “He was really unique because he was a French man with a sense of humor – and an Irish sense at that,” she said with a laugh.
“Patrick laughed often and laughed a lot and that infectious laugh and that joie de vivre we will always remember.”