Whānau finally lay loved one to rest after lockdown

updated By Mare Haimona-Riki

The Brennan whānau have decided to carry out a tangihanga for their beloved whānaunga Jimmy Brennan (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa) who passed away three weeks ago. Under alert level three restrictions, the family is only allowed to have ten people at the urupā to farewell their beloved patriarch.

Brennan's' tupāpaku has been safely kept in a Christchurch funeral home. A decision the family made due to COVID-19 tangihanga restrictions.

Jimmy Brennans' son, Aoraki Brennan, says, "We have decided as a whānau that we will move forward with level 3. We weren't too happy with having him there any longer.

"The pain and the heartache of this long process has become very very hard for us. So we feel like we need to bury him and give him his tangi as soon as we can. 

"It's hard with this ten people-rule because it's almost like we gotta keep it quiet. From the people that are just gonna show up, and how do we police that as a whānau? I feel like that's not our responsibility as a whānau."

Aoraki says he feels immense empathy for other whānau who have gone through this same process. Currently, there are 12 other families on the daily karakia hui over social media. 

"I know exactly what yous [sic] are going through. This is the hardest thing I've had to go through in my life, easily. Cos if they're feeling what I'm feeling, it's not a good place to be."

The whānau have decided not to disclose the tangihanga details so that the Alert Level 3 restrictions can be upheld.