The language Heaney uses to describe the setting makes it quite easy to visualise yourself in his shoes and follow the order of events.
The way he talks about ‘whispers’, ‘strangers’ and being embarrassed triggers something in our minds we can al relate to E.g. Being at a family occasion and feeling uncomfortable , saying and doing the ‘right’ thing not you true emotion at the time.
The way he talks about the events gives the impression of people ‘walking on egg shells’ not really sure what to say which can create an awkward tense atmosphere. And gives the image of lots of people standing and sitting at a wake looking uncomfortable.
The language Heaney uses and the casual way the story is told gives the tone to be quite matter- of fact and impersonal.
He implies that his father is distraught, his mother is angry and everyone around him is ‘walking on eggshells’. But because of the lack of description about his personal feeling the tone sounds casual and indifferent until the last stanza where it appears to be more sad and even angry