Eulogy that was written by and read by Holly's father David Clacy at Trinity St. Mary Church


On the 12th December 2001 our lovely little girl Holly came into the world. I was called by the midwife that Lindsay’s contractions were regular and I should make my way in. By the time I arrived at the hospital I had missed her birth by just 30 – 40 minutes. Our daughter had arrived in a hurry, was crying and letting the world know she was here and was going to get on with life.

Holly Elouise Clacy was a child of extremes like any normal child. She could be spikey when cross about something inane, she could be hurtful and say nasty things when she felt aggrieved or angry over something important to her and all those things were just like any normal child. However, she was such an independent child, and when she was much younger and she was asked to do something she didn’t want to do, she didn’t know the word ‘won’t’. So instead she would say “I Willn’t”!

She was ready to help others and be thoughtful and kind for the sake of it and not for reward or praise, and that made her spectacularly NOT like a normal child. She was nearly always first to offer an olive branch and ALWAYS accepted one if it was offered to her.

She was strong and stubborn, and she could and would, let you know if she disagreed with you. Yet she would be horrified if she thought that for a moment she had upset anyone with an unguarded act of unintentional unkindness. She loved and adored animals and was always willing to stroke random people’s dogs or cats. She loved horse riding, which she did at one time or another with both her sisters Etholle and Lilia. She loved music, like her brother Elliott, and even tinkered a little on the keyboard and could play some music by ear.

She had a wondrous and infectious laugh, and coupled with a great sense of humour, made her a ‘people pleaser’ as anyone who knew her would testify.

On her first day at school here at Trinity St Mary’s, she ran as fast as she could to get here, her mum and Etholle had to run just to keep up. She couldn’t wait to start school and loved every minute of it and would even go in when she was ill so she never missed out on what was going on. She just wanted to get on with the fun. As a toddler at school she even used to leave her class to go into her sister Etholle’s class in pre-school because that’s where the action was.

I liken her to Tigger, just bouncing along. She was just bouncy in the way she walked. Holly wanted things she did to be perfect and when she was committed to something then it had to be just so. Although equally, she could rush something else just to get it finished. Just like any normal child.

On Christmas day one year when she was much younger I remember her opening a present and shouting out “It’s just what I’ve always wanted.” And then question “What is it?” Our daughter just wanted you to know you’d done the right thing and that she was happy. So easy to please and polite in social graces. A stickler for the rules.

One day after school she told me that a boy had cried because he’d dropped his sweets in the playground. “I gave him mine” she told me. That was NOT like a normal child and that’s a people pleaser right there! I learned later that the boy’s parents had found out and bought her some sweets to thank her for such unselfish behaviour. Even as a teenager she would do things to please you and would give you her last pound if she felt you needed it and in all probability wouldn’t even ask for it back. When money was a little tight you’d get a gift from her that she’d got from a charity shop just to surprise you. It was like she carried a hundred people in her mind and would want to make any one of them happy with a random gift.

She loved boots and shoes and clothes like any normal girl and despite wanting to be immaculate for an evening with her friends, she was just as happy in jeans and a purple ‘t’ shirt and wearing her mum’s old and shabby trainers that were too big for her.

There are small things that technology can give us as we grieve and miss those around us. We will be able to see her smile, as she did in nearly every single photograph, and we can hear her voice and her laughter on video. It’s never the same but we have those things thanks to the modern age. However, I can’t help but think of all the things I won’t be able to do that can never be satisfied or replicated. I already have presents for her that will never be wrapped and opened. I won’t be able to eat her homemade cookies any more. I will never walk her down the aisle and give her away. I will never hold her babies. I will never be able to hold her in my arms again. The words “I love you” I would call out to her, will never be heard by her again, and her reply of “love you too” will never bounce back to me like an echo.

As we go through life we become many things. A girl becomes a sister maybe, she becomes a cousin, a niece, an auntie, a wife, mother and grandmother. Holly only acquired some of those titles and would have been fantastic at them all. There are some statuses that she will now never attain.

Somewhere out there in the world is a young man that would have become her husband. Whoever he is, he will never realise that he’s missed the best thing his life would ever have given him. Now, just like us the rest of us, our lives will continue without Holly. We must count our blessings as we are lucky because we knew her!

Holly’s life should have been a novel but it ended up a short story. It’s as if you turned to page 45 and it says ‘The End’ and the next 190 pages are left blank. It may appear that her life was a Shakespearean tragedy but really it wasn’t. Only the last page was truly tragic. The hundreds of photographs we have of her smiling face will prove the story was more than just a sad ending, with a church full of people, and a sad Dad reading this eulogy.

Our hearts are truly broken and for me it feels like a vase has been dropped and smashed into a thousand pieces and I’ve tried to piece it back together. Although the glue is still drying, there are pieces missing and I know it will never be as good as it was. Ever.

Our loss is not just the family’s, it’s her friend’s loss, the community’s and indeed the whole world’s loss. A wonderful and remarkable girl has left our lives and left lacking something that will never be replaced. God bless you Holly. Your mum and I will be eternally grateful and privileged that you were our daughter and no-one else’s.

She left this world on the 20th November 2017 and she left it a colder and darker place. She was not perfect but she was never demanding and she was an utterly unselfish, genuine and lovely human being.

We all love you Holly. God bless and happy birthday.

Charity set up in Holly's name

The Holly Clacy Foundation has been set up to help other young people deal with the pressures of school and life