Millions of Irish Americans identify with their roots in the Emerald Isle. Now two ladies from Dublin have brought Handful of Home, Original Irish Dirt, to America. For those who claim Irish ancestry, Handful of Home offers the opportunity for burial in contact with earth from their land of origin.
“What we wanted to do is help Irish Americans celebrate their cultural heritage at some of the most important moments of their lives,” explained Aifric O Byrne, co-founder of Handful of Home.
She noted, “In the ancient Jewish tradition, the ultimate mitzvah, the ultimate act of kindness, was burying your loved ones.” At Jewish burials in America, it’s traditional to bury the person with earth from Israel, a tangible contact to the land of Jewish ancestry.
“In the Christian tradition, throwing a handful of earth from the Old Country on top of the coffin or urn really celebrates the roots of who we are as we go back to the earth,” she said.
Handful of Home started importing Irish earth to the United States to provide a powerful and emotional element to Irish American funerals. O Byrne and her business partner Dominika Hyriakova launched the product at the 2017 National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) convention and expo in Boston, Massachusetts, the cultural homeland of Irish Americans.
“So far it is going absolutely brilliantly,” said O Byrne. “We’ve had people try and buy our samples off our table, they’re so excited by it. People who have never had the chance to be to Ireland are holding our earth and connecting with our cultural heritage, some for the very first time.”
The company works with farmers in Ireland to carefully harvest top quality earth in the most sustainable way possible. The product is packaged in a lovely green enamel tin. Learn more about Handful of Home in the video below and by visiting www.HandfulOfHome.com.