Sad news – the phone call you dread!

Yesterday afternoon after my first short walk out for  ages out in the sun  I was feeling a bit better, flowers were bursting out and the views of the beautiful Moray Coast and snow-capped peaks were stunning. As I got home the phone rang and my “Big sister” Eleanor broke the news that my sister Jenifer had died suddenly in Ayr hospital. It came as such a shock and I could hardly speak and take it in.  Over the years I had to deal with many tragedies professionally with my life in Mountain Rescue and I felt it made me so hardened to feel the true effects of any personal tragedy.  Nowadays thankfully I can grieve and I am so emotional. If anything happens no matter how small I react so differently I suppose it comes with old age and showing how you really feel is good, I just broke down and sobbed.”Big boys do cry”


I have been lucky to have such a big family and being the youngest of five kids I was well looked after and spoiled, especially by my three sisters. Jenifer or Jen as she was known was the youngest of the three sisters and we got on really well especially as I got older. She was a nurse for most of her life with her husband Alec she has two children Stewart and Caroline. She was a typical working Mum who gave everything for her family. Her husband Alec was ill for many years Jen nursed him at home with great love and care. Later on Alec was hospitalised and Jen spent her time nursing and caring for him. In the end in the Care home she dedicated her life to him looking after him and being there. I spent a few Christmas at home in Ayr with her, these were hard times for her, constant visits to hospital took their toll. We would visit Alec and then would have a long wander along the Ayr beach despite the weather and Jen would love the views of Arran even in the rain or snow.  In her day she loved the hills and would enjoy my tales along with a cigarette, always offering me one!  Jen  looked after me like a king when I stayed in her wee house and always cared so much for me. We shared many secrets together, I could speak to her and my other sisters about anything and I valued her council and spoke regularly on the phone. She was always cheery and saw the good in people and was a huge influence on me and my Brother Michael who she had a special bond. Recently she had been a rock for my other sisters Eleanor and Rosemary through illness and though so different in many ways they had such a sisterly bond together which was great to see.

Jen dedicated her life to her Nursing and to her family and her children Stewart and Caroline and her Granddaughter Mia was her pride and joy. I only spoke to her two days ago, she was as always just worried about others and listened to my moans and groans as usual. She advised me and updated me about my Sisters, they had just been for a coffee, her family and we spoke about things as we did and had a laugh together. She was so happy I had sent her a card on Mother’s Day  of our Mum and appreciated these little things. I never thought that was last time we would speak. This morning I received my Easter Card from her it means so much to me and as always she thought of others. There was a £10 not in it, as she always did, what a girl to her last days, kind, caring and considerate.   She loved flowers and the simple things but what a character and what a special sister, with a cheeky smile and comment and always a laugh.

Jen and me xxxx

Jen and me xxxx

I cannot believe your gone and how I will miss you like the rest of the family and I cannot thank you enough for your love and kindness over the years. God bless you and the family and thanks for being my Sister and looking after me.

My thoughts are with you all especially Caroline and Derrick, Stewart,Lisa and Mia. and my sisters Eleanor,Rosemary and Michael my brother.

Thanks to all for the kind words its always appreciated.

Look after those you love and give them a cuddle every day xxx




About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
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12 Responses to Sad news – the phone call you dread!

  1. Sorry for your loss, she sounded a grand lady. Lovely tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ptsd17 says:

    Such sad news, my thoughts are with you!


  3. Ian Rideout says:

    Heavy I am so sorry to hear about your sister being called from this life, your words describe a real humanity and a truly wonderful person. May your memories and those of your family last for eternity and be rekindled when you meet again.


  4. Elaine Gillies says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. She was clearly a very special lady as you write so beautifully and from the heart about her. What a terrible shock for you all. Every best wish to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am terribly sorry for your loss. My family will be thinking of yours tonight. Hang in there.


  6. We are really sorry to read of your loss , your eulogy to your sister Jen’ was very moving, poignant yet punctuated with joy, all the very best to you and your family at this sad time ….. Tony & Angela Bradshaw

    Liked by 1 person

  7. caroline says:

    Thanks David for your lovely words about mum, she was such a special lady with a heart of gold x

    Liked by 1 person

    • heavywhalley says:

      Love you all Caroline – what a Mum you had and what good memories, we will have to see much more of each other now xxx Thinking of you all be strong but let the feelings flow, it took me years to realise that.
      God bless you all xxx


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