Back in Ireland, and not so long ago, when it seemed that every family had at least one member in the US, there sprang a custom of throwing an "American Wake." If you are familiar with Irish wakes then you will know that this is not as morbid as it seems. The wake is a party for the soon to be departed (to America). The wake is a time of sadness but also joy. As the title suggests, this film explores a time of sadness and joy, endings and beginnings. Two young Irish-American men living in Boston make new relationships after each experience a loss. However, for the father, born in Ireland, loss spurs the desire to return 'home' to the old country. The new generation sees themselves as American, and the old generation see themselves as Irish.