You probably know what an Irish wake is.
Did you know that in Ireland they once had “American” Wakes?
It’s simple really. During the 19th century there was a veritable flood of emigration in Ireland.
Economic and political circumstances forced young people to leave family, friends, and home for the hope of a better life in America.
Before they left, they would pay their last respects to their loved ones while they were still alive.
Why hold a wake for the living?
Because, in the vast majority of cases, they would never see them again. And, in many cases they would never hear from them again either.
Still think Social Media is a waste of time?
Think about it. What would a Tweet or a Facebook picture would have been worth to the mother of an Irish emigrant in 1860.
Why 1860? That’s the year my Great-great grandparents emigrated from Ireland.