January 21

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I wanted to create a more enduring record of this Facebook post from last week – not because of the few paragraphs I wrote, but because of the great generosity, love and sadness encompassed in the responses. Thanks to every one of you:

Today’s the 30th anniversary of Sam’s death – a lifetime ago and no time at all. Heartfelt thanks to those who wrote in remembering. It’s incredibly kind and thoughtful of you. 
I sometimes wonder what he would have made of the adult world, its joys and disappointments. But that’s an indulgence when so many others are confronting the rawness of recent loss and wondering how they’ll get through another day.
Last night as I strolled along the beach Sam felt very close. He was part of the sea and stars, as we all are.
As each year passes life becomes more miraculous and mysterious .
I’m grateful for every second of it.

  • Vanessa Hair I’m not sure what to say Helene, so please forgive my ignorance. The only words that come to mind are, keep looking skywards with a small smile and a, I love you on your lips, till we meet again, stay in my heart Sam!! 
  • Geraldine Sarah Lewickyj-Finch I started reading “Cleo” on Saturday and finished it last night. I cried and cried but I so loved it. Today I’ve started “After Cleo”. Thank you for writing my favourite book of all time. Thinking of you today xx
  • Norah Lilian Packham Yes, Helen, when I first read “Cleo” Sam’s death touched me so much. Time passes, the rawness fades but the memories never do. The sea and the stars are wonderful elements, I feel the souls touching me when I grieve and wander along a beach. My thought are with you Helen.
  • Sue Thomas Helen, you have shared so much of Sam with us, I think anyone who read Cleo grieved deeply for your beautiful son and felt part of your pain. I think of my mum who has lost two daughters, one in 1978 and the other in 2004, and know that beneath her smile is a broken heart. 
    Thank you for sharing such a private and deeply hurtful part of your life to get an understanding of what loss and love is. My thoughts are with you, much love to you all xxx
  • Kanelli Tsiros Life is strange…I sometimes wonder if this or that happened how different my life would be or if someone lived on how thier life would be…we always imagine for the best but one never knows. Time goes so quickly sometimes I wonder whether it makes much dif whether we live a long time or short time … I guess its the quality of life that counts and Sam had that and through you now has made an impact (and Cleo). What wonderful souls!
  • Sue Phair Dear Helen You have touched so many peoples lives with your wonderful books. I love your books, and all of us that have lost someone dear to us feels the pain. I don’t think a day passes by that I don’t think of my Mother , time does heal but we will hold them in our hearts forever. My thoughts are with you today , and know that Sam will stay in your heart until you all meet again. Love Sue x x
  • Gina Taylor Helen, my thoughts are with you today… 
  • Christina Howes Thinking of you Helen
  • Emma Gillard At times like this there are no words. You have shared your life, experiences, thoughts, feelings and emotions which is huge when you don’t know us. Helen you have given so much joy to the many of us who have enjoyed your books and had the pleasure to listen to and meet you in person. Thoughts are with you and your family on this sad milestone of a day.
  • Diana Sellings Thinking of you all today, and so touching that Sam felt close last night. I too thoroughly enjoyed reading Cleo. We are 4 years down the line since losing our baby daughter Sienna and I found your book to be very healing and comforting. We have a lovely black cat of our own too We are planning a holiday soon and I plan to treat myself to the after CLEO book for then………..
  • Daniel Gentry wow Helen. thinking of you and all the family today. lots of love dan, gina, will, Finn&ariana
  • Chris Morvell Tears came to my eyes and a huge lump in my throat. I just love the way you write. Happiness,sadness and then I am lost for words. Just a few hours earlier I was thinking about Cleo and some of the stories from the book Cleo. Hugs and kisses to you. Samantha.
  • Daisy Elliot Patrick Barry Sending much love to you & your family today, treasured memories of your precious Sam will always keep him close until you are together again  xo
  • Barbara Briguglio Much love to you and your family Helen xxxoo
  • Lynnea Perry Bennett when I read this I thought how hard for you and yet how wonderful that you feel him so near.
  • Janine Farquhar Thinking of you today Helen.
  • Bec Brears I was so moved by your story I wrote to you, to which you sent ME a lovely reply. What a tremendous ‘pay it forward’ memorial you have established in Sams memory. Wishing you and your family many blessings Helen. Those we love are never more than a thought away x
  • Debbie McInnes Thank you for the post Helen, very moving. Debx
  • Leslie Schmidt Helen I am sorry for your loss
  • Grace Beaster They walk with us. That’s immortality. x
  • Dyanna Anthony-Dahl Thank you for reminding me to be grateful……thought I was being so, and in hindsight, maybe not enough………….loss of a child makes everyone family…forever…and links those who don’t/can’t understand the loss…….beautiful be your day……..
  • Sheila Simmons I have often wondered how my son would look now,what he would say about todays world,I think they never leave us although we may not be able to see them I feel they are always near.Only those who have lost a child would fully understand that though time passes is never eracess.

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