Happy 40th Birthday Gwen

Today is my baby sister’s 40th birthday. She died on the 3rd of February 1973 of a cot death.

Gwen & Me 1972

We only have four photographs of her. Most people didn’t have cameras then, and colour photographs were still very new.

I had written a long post about 10 days ago for Gwen for her 40th birthday, and I went to read it again tonight in bed on my iPad. For some reason I couldn’t find the post tonight even though it had been scheduled to go live at 7am later today. Then I saw that there was a post in my trash. I checked & there it was, and as I went to click restore, my iPad thought I had clicked ‘Delete Permanently’ and it did.

I am gutted to have lost that post, but I can’t reproduce it, and I’m not sure that I should.

In the post I had written a lot of things. Gwen’s death affected all of our family, she still does.

My final thoughts were to thank Gwen for my belief in angels. Because of Gwen I always believed I had my own personal Guardian Angel looking after me. There are many times in my life that things have happened that I didn’t want to happen, or times I have been saved from a situation that was dangerous. In hindsight I have felt that my very own Guardian Angel must have been guiding my path.

Tonight I wanted to check my post one last time before it went live. A significant majority of my family don’t like social networking and might not have liked that I had written a post on a blog about my baby sister. When I read it and re-read it again 10 days ago it seemed to be suitable, my version of a notice in The Irish Times.

I wanted it to be a post that anyone in my family would be ok about reading. Maybe Gwen thought it was not suitable?

Instead, I’ll just wish you a Happy 40th Birthday my little Guardian Angel. Keep looking out for me, I am far from clear of all those pitfalls that come along my path.

I miss you

Lots of love, your big sister


About Barbara

Born in Dublin, living in London with Peter, my two daughters, Wilson our Spaniel & Woordow our Malshih (Shih Tzu-Maltese cross)
This entry was posted in 40, Birthdays, Death, Families, Pain, Sisters and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Happy 40th Birthday Gwen

  1. Grannymar says:

    Barbara, you brought tears to my eyes. My abiding memory of Gwen was babysitting for both of you the evening before she died.


  2. Barbara says:

    I’m upset I lost the other post I had written, it would have been nice to keep just for me. Its a long time since I have written anything about Gwen. At least she got to read it! xxx


  3. Jody says:

    How beautiful! She was an angel then, and she’s an angel now.


  4. Jo Bryant says:

    That is so sad…i hope writing both posts helped you with this day.


    • Barbara says:

      Yes, you are right, the first post was very cathartic… A good process for me to go through, to get in touch with my feelings about Gwen, and how much I miss her at times, and how losing her affected all of our lives so massively.

      Her death saved my life. At a very dark time in my life I considered taking my own life, but because of Gwen I knew how awful that would be for my own children, so I am still here.

      I needed to thank her for that, and to let her know how much I would have loved to have known her

      And this post is a gentler version of what I wrote then, and also more how I felt on the day. Thanks for your post, I might post a photo of my Gollywog here. I have always loved him but am conflicted as he is not a politically correct toy 😦


  5. Al says:

    This is a sweet tribute, Barbara. And I think you’re right, that first post was meant to be between you and Gwen. It’s nice that you could share this bittersweet memory with us.


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