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My sister died last Thursday

I expected no grief, she had Down's Syndrome and advanced Alzheimers.
Yet the grief is happening. She was my sister. I hurts so badly.
I considered myself some kind of sociopath, not expecting to to feel,
but II have lost my sister.


I had grown to see your sister from the pictures on your face book, and learned through the days that she was a gentle soul.
There is not much that I can say knowing your beliefs, but I will impose, and just say that for me, there is a special place for her in that place we know of, out there or just a thought away.
Jess know that we send our hands across the seas to hold you both, and will always walk with you.
Our thoughts and love go out to you, and a strength for you to know what you need,
Yours Ian .T , Anne and our Friends

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

my condolences, sur. May all of your memories be happy ones.


There is no way to predict how one might feel when a loved one passes. The universe allows Nothing to go to waste including any type of energy so at least in a small way there will always be at least a trace of all of us that lasts. I am sorry for your loss....................stan

So sad my condolences, Love Roscoe..

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

Sorry to know about the sad demise of your beloved sister. I'm sure you will appreciate that her suffering is over, though it is hard to console one self during such emotional upheavals when a void is left by the loved one in her passing. If you don't know already, I share with you the words of Rabindranath Tagore a legend from this part of the world, who had this to say:-

Death is not extinguishing the light bu merely putting off the lamp because dawn has arrived.

My heartfelt condolences and prayers for the departed soul to remain in eternal peace.

Warm regards,

raj (sublime_ocean)

You are no sociopath, Jess. You are a deeply feeling and sensitive man.. I say no more. Words are a temporary " fix " for grief..

Christus tecum


Sometimes we don't have more than words to offer. This is just one of those moments. Only you shall feel the real grief at this very moment, but we all go through this moment, and life goes on.


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

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my sincerest condolences on the loss of your sister. as one of six,
i can understand at least, the pain of losing a sibling.
for me, my family is my tribe. my family are my blood, my clan. my tribe. no matter
any differences, any estrangements, any battles, the intrinsic connection runs deeper
than most of us probably acknowledge or are even aware of, and it's a connection
that touches and tugs at some of our most vulnerable parts. often, at unwanted, unexpected times.
no matter anything, she was your sister .. your blood. when one is no longer there,
the family dynamics change. and you feel it. i really feel for you in your grief.

i hope you are able to find some strength and comfort from your family
and friends. i could say things about dealing with grief, accepting, moving on, etc,
but it's all probably been said, and i'm not even sure to say such things again would
offer any comfort. i'd much rather offer you a huge hug for as long as you needed to
be held.

again, so sorry for the loss of your sister.

Perhaps my sister's eulogy might help explain the shame and grief I feel. Although fiercely protective, I once beat a man who mocked her, I always felt her a burden.
"Eulogy For Patience
6/10/1959 to 6/3/2014
Our family would like to thank everyone for coming here today and for the
overwhelming support and sympathy we have received over the last few days.
Most of you have mentioned the warmth and strength of Patience’s hugs, a
Patience hug was always an affirmation that you were loved! And to all those
gentlemen, relatives and friends who have confided in us that they were
Patience’s favourites…. Yes, you were!
We especially want to acknowledge the carers and staff at Gowrie Village who
have cared for Patience and us since 2010 with compassion, dedication,
tolerance and an unfailing sense of humour.
Also, Assisted Community Living who supported Patience through all the years
she lived and worked independently. We know how much effort and
dedication that required. You are masters of ingenuity, subtlety, planning and
fast talking and I’m sure there are secrets you hold that we will never know.
Thank you also for the opportunities you provided her, we are forever grateful.
Patience obviously was not only special to us but also to all of you.
I am going to talk about her early years growing up within our family and will
then pass over to Graham, Chris Ann’s husband.
Graham has provided the compass with which Patience has travelled. He has
always been her confidant, her facilitator, her defender; a true and trusted
best friend.
When I was working I had a cartoon pinned above my desk that said:
“If you ever feel too small or insignificant to make a difference you have never
been in bed with a mosquito!”
Patience was small but never insignificant and she certainly made a difference!
When she was born my parents were advised to place her in care immediately.
Our father’s response was “This is our child and we will know what is best for
her and passing her care to someone else is certainly not going to happen” and
our mother said “This child needs me more and needs all the love and support
that only we can give her”.
And that is what she got.
From the beginning she was our special sister and we remember lining our
friends up at Mum’s bedroom window to admire this special baby.
It was a journey into the unknown for all of us and Patience soon made her
presence felt. Our lives could never thereafter be called predictable or boring!
As a baby and toddler she was as cute as a button and an absolute dynamo.
She only ever succumbed to sleep sitting up. Mum would then creep in and lie
her down. As a toddler we would all be rostered to lie with her in her bed in an
effort to keep her there and get her to sleep. It rarely worked! Mostly she
would toddle out to declare proudly that we were asleep.
She charged through life and tackled everything with enthusiasm, confidence
and rugged determination.
There could not have been a more enthusiastic brownie and then girl guide,
she has dozens of badges to prove it.
She adored water, she taught herself to swim along the bottom of the pool and
was on occasion hauled to the surface by people who thought she was
drowning! Once she learnt to swim on the surface she was virtually unsinkable
and unstoppable.
She cost us all a small fortune at a swimathon she entered. Dad finally hauled
her out of the 50 metre pool when she had completed 100 laps. The pool was
closing and everyone else had given up!
During winters she was plagued with runny noses and Mum discovered the
most effective way to clear them up was to take her down to the beach and
literally throw her into the surf – she loved it!
She loved to cook, especially baking, she didn’t worry too much about recipes
or the time of day. Mum was woken several times in the middle of the night to
find Patience busy in the kitchen! Surprisingly they usually turned out fine.
She took up karate and loved it. She was a talented photographer – she had a
real eye for framing a photo, a very good artist, craftswoman, knitter, needle
woman and ceramicist. As you will see she would accept any challenge and
have a go at anything.
Most of all she enjoyed Merrymakers. She was a foundation member of this
famous dancing group and never missed a rehearsal or concert. You made her
feel famous, and gave her the opportunity to be a star and she loved it.
This doesn’t sound as if I’m describing someone with a disability does it, but
Patience was always aware of her disability and her limitations, she either just
ignored them or used her status as “a person with a disability” to her
advantage to help her get what she wanted. She learnt that sometimes being
helpless, mute, immoveable or unconscious was an effective method of
achieving a desired outcome.
She and I developed a special relationship when she came back and lived with
Keith and I for the school year when Mum and Dad were living in Hong Kong. I
was pregnant with Brianne and working at the time. We learnt a lot about each
other that year. She was a great teacher of what is fundamentally important in
I remember she was adamant I would have a boy called Joey. I wanted a girl.
Mum and Dad had 3 grandsons already and I wanted to produce the first
granddaughter. When I insisted it would be a girl – she would retort, no a boy!
Exasperated I finally said – why not a girl? She said “because she might be like
I had a little girl and Patience adored her just as she has adored all her nieces
and nephews and great nieces and nephews. But despite being aware that all
the milestones her siblings were passing through – driving, boyfriends,
marriage and babies – milestones that were denied her, she shared our joys as
if they were her own. The first phone call on our birthdays was always from
Patience. Our husbands were definitely her favourites and our babies were her
babies. She had an uncanny knack of settling a fractious baby.
She never stopped striving to gain and maintain as much independence and
autonomy as she was possibly able.
When she finally gained the independence of a home of her own she defended
it fiercely and created an autonomous world within its walls where she was the
boss. Boss of Summer Bay, boss of All Saints, boss of McGyver and James
Bond’s right hand man or maybe girlfriend.
She could do her office work and write letters of admonishment or advice to all
her favourite characters and actors. George Clooney was her last favourite.
Just as she had trouble with some concepts such as telling the time and dealing
with money – the ATM was always considered a source of free money, she
sometimes tried to make her life more like the TV shows she loved, with
interesting consequences, as you will hear from Graham!
Finally we want to acknowledge with our utmost love that Patience achieved
what she has because she was accepted, nurtured, challenged, encouraged
and protected by the finest teachers and most fiercely loving parents ever.
(Adrienne Tunnicliffe 10/3/14)

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Thanks for sharing this eulogy which profiles the life of your sister Patience so very nicely and I could make our how exceptional she was.

raj (sublime_ocean)

I won't say sorry for your loss. It sounds like Patience had a good full life, and a well-loved and well-protected one, too.
The idea of you being a sociopath is...well...silly. The very first interaction you and I had, on the old site, was passionate, angry, and emotional, containing none of the hallmarks of uncaring and unfeeling.
And you are a poet. Need more be said?
Now I don't know if this is the first time you've lost someone close to you, so I'll just say that the hurt grows into deep and fond rememberance over time, the hole in your heart will scar over, and she will live on, in that place where you have an emptiness, now.
Considering how her loss makes you feel, I wish I had met her.
Walk with the gods of sun and moon, my friend.
With much love,

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

I've been lucky. My father's death affected me in strange ways. I felt liberated and turned my life around for the better. He was a bit... oppressive. The only other loss, which is still an open and bleeding wound, was my best friend Jason.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

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Jess feel good. you are not a sociopath. such is life and its ups and down.
be consoled


A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

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and it only gets harder

early on you found abandoning all feelings
left you isolated and untouchable;
a sociopath.
now, her touch forever lost, you are left
feeling abandoned and all alone;
crazy, eh?

the biggest obstacle in Patience's life, from what i've read, isn't overcoming her disabilities. she seems to have knocked that out of the way pretty early on. it was, i'm thinking, that others couldn't get over it themselves. everyone else saw limitations while she leapt at opportunities only she could get. i bet she raised hell when her 'limits' were used to deny her what she wanted.
wanna feel better? write us a piece with Patience as the N. do NOT make it even slightly sad. show us the fire in her belly. show us how she fiercely fought for her independence. show her pride and leave out others pity.
your sister said Patience missed out on milestones everyone around her got to experience but none of them may make absolute strangers cry and mourn for them from around the world.
wish i had a sister like yours. now get back to being our favorite nutter.

Wise, honest and compassionate words.

I don't have the piece you suggest in me just yet. Maybe later.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

learning disabilities. One is Down syndrome, and both have experienced set backs from Traumatic Brain Injuries, one is still in an assisted living faculty. It hit me a few times how close I was to losing them. My condolences Jess.

In ink,

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