Saturday, 10 October 2009


She was the other Mother.
When our Mother couldn't be there.
She was the other mother to many.
When other mothers were not around.
She was the best big sister.
She was the best friend.
The best listener.
She had the best wit.
The best laugh.
The best shoulder to cry on.
She taught me how to sew a button on my shirt.
She was a friend to many.
She had time for everone.
She trusted everyone.
She always left a key in the front door!
My sister was the most loving person I have ever known.
I miss Helen so much, it breaks my heart.
But I am getting back.
I am coming back, slowly.
I am .
I have to.
And it lightens my heart so much to know that my pal Jimmy is on the mend.This news really cheers me.
So here's a glass to my lovely Sister.
And a glass to Jimmy.



  1. My heart wraps itself around yours, Map.... I so know where you are right now and that pains me to no end.

    Know that we are all here for you, that we care for and love you... beautiful man, beautiful soul.


  2. Pon; I am a lucky man indeed to have a friend such as you, much love my pal!


  3. All that you can do is give yourself time to heal, Map. It feels so useless to say that, but it's the truth. Grief sucks, period, but it does become more tolerable with time. We never stop missing our loved ones, but eventually a smile comes more readily than the kicked in the chest with a steel-toed boot feeling.

    What an amazing sister and human being Helen must have been. I teared up as I read this, for your sake, obviously, but also because I'd give everything I own, and then some, to know that one of my younger siblings would say something half as nice about me one day. It's the kind of eldest sibling I've always tried to be, and I love them to bits, but do they really know it? My mother has some serious mental health issues and and has done her best to undermine my relationships with the younger ones. I honestly don't know how effective her poison has been, and perhaps I'll never know. But this is about you, not me, so I'll shut up now. It seems to an emotional kind of evening here in Blogland.

    Warm hugs are winging your way across the ocean. You'll get through this. Honest, you will.

  4. Map, my eldest sister was much the same as your Helen. Laurel and I were the best of friends and the closest of sisters and had been that way since I was 16 and she was 20. She'll been gone 4 years on Oct. 19th and I miss her dearly every day.

    But like Eleanor says, in time, the smiles come more readily than the tears, although those will always flow on occasion. The love you feel and the love you miss will always be with you.

    There's no magic formula to get through the grief faster. Everyone has their own internal timelines for that and there's no rushing it. Know it is real, and it is yours, but make sure you stay living and loving with those still around you. xoxoxoxo

  5. Brother Map,

    I too will lift my glass to Helen and Jimmy.

    Be well my brother and friend.


  6. Deep breaths to counteract the slight inbalance between grief and alcohol has been my key when dealing with so many thoughts of lost loved ones. Finding an outlet for the emotions is not easy, but you have a strong will and a grand voice.

    Put your thoughts to song, and keep in mind that without tears a memory is merely a sketch. I'll stand alongside the people above, and be counted as a pal.

    Here's to you... Sláinte mhaith

  7. We don't recover and heal in the way of other wounds. We break. And then we rebuild with the shattered pieces, finding or constructing new bits for the missing ones, until we create a being that is capable of living in the world again.

    My thoughts are with you.

    I'm sure you have a good support network around you, but if you ever want to unload to someone who doesn't know all involved - and sometimes that can be useful as you don't have to worry so much about what you say or how you say it - then my email address is available on my profile.

  8. you have my heart, sugar. your pals are here and always will be whenever you need us. good times, bad times, we stick together! xoxoxoox

  9. It just so happens that my sister is here visiting this weekend from another state. I haven't seen her since my mother's funeral last spring. So this is a very timely post. Tonight in the pub, I will raise a glass for Helen. Glad to see both you and Jimmy on the mend.

  10. There are no words that can silence that pain. But there are hugs and love and caring thoughts from we, the "invisible" people out here. And we all care. Greatly.

    Glad to see Jimmy back amongst us. So for those of you who do raise a glass, add one from me too.

  11. Love and hugs from Brooklyn. I am so sorry Map.

  12. Eleanor; what a wonderful person you are to take time to comfort me. I do hope your siblings realise what a kind and loving sister they have. Thank you so much!


    Pon; as I've already said, I treasure your friendship, dearly, and I will take a moment next Monday to give up to Laurel, a person I never knew, but someone who was dear to someone dear to me.


    U; and to you my brother, cheers!

    Jimmy; you may never know how much reading your words has lifted my spirit!
    Thank you my friend, and a speedy recovery to a gentleman I would be proud to introduce to me Ma!

    Kim; You are indeed a wise and wordy man. I may well take you up on your kind offer, thank you sir.

    Sav; I have never doubted your kindness and sincerity beautiful lady. You have a heart as big as your smile. I love you dearly!


    UB; and a glass is raised to you too pal! Cheers!

    hope; more often than not the 'invisible people' can be closer, and give more comfort than the 'visible' people!
    Thank you, and all my 'invisible' friends!


    Leah; thank you so much Leah, you all make every day easier!


  13. "I love de bones of ya!"

    Map, I am honoured... truly... to have such a saying bestowed upon me... And truth be told, the feeling is entirely mutual.

    We love them, we miss them, our hearts have been torn from our chests. But time keeps on ticking, no matter what and we find ways to cherish them and still live a full and happy life.

    Having family and friends to give a hug, when no words will suffice or are even necessary, is best for the aching soul within us. xoxoxo

  14. Stew
    A glass to a beautiful woman from the other end of the world.
    Oh, i miss my Mum, my Dad and my only Brother.---a glass to them all

  15. Pon; you remind me so much of Her!


  16. Clyde; cheers pal! We'll share a drink one day I'm sure!

  17. Map - sorry not to have commented sooner, just so much on these days. You have a wonderful family around you and you always seem to make the most of everything. I haven't felt that kind of grief and so can't say as much as others. But you are a dear, dear, friend and one whose writing has filled me with laughter and tears.