Always tell those you love that you love them – and why

Nov 15




Helen Whitten

Posted In


Always tell those you love that you love them – and why

Every time I eat from these lovely bowls my sister Sarah gave me I wish I had told her how much I enjoyed them, and how many other people commented on how pretty they were. I forgot, and now she is gone.

When she was dying in her hospice, I was going to write her a letter to explain why I loved her and talk about all the things I was grateful for. As a teenager, when my mother was ill at home, she took me to Gorringes and bought my school uniform, put me on the school train, introduced me to the glamour of her and her friends living in Chelsea, took me to my first Cary Grant movie. When my son Daniel died of a cot death she lived around the corner and was there for me, to talk about it, to help me manage the aftermath. When my son Oli was terribly ill as a baby in St George’s she took my older son Rupert, aged 2, into her home late at night while the doctors did tests on Oli.

That’s what a sister can be. They aren’t always, and I am not pretending everything was perfect because of course nothing in life is perfect. But it was pretty good.  As a young girl I found her a bit scary – she was that rather sophisticated teenager of the late 50s with bouffant hair and stiletto heels and what did I, a mere 8 year old, know about any of that? Nothing! But as we grew up into adults we lived near one another in Kensington and then South West London – Putney, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, East Sheen, and spent a lot of time together with the little cousins.

Over the years she listened to my woes and my challenges in business, though I don’t think she understood the difficulties of being a single woman running a small training and coaching business. I don’t think she knew any more about this kind of career than my mother did. But she listened. I know she didn’t always approve of my actions or my decisions but no more did I of hers. That’s siblings isn’t it? And it doesn’t take away the fact that you love one another.

I did tell her I loved her as she lay in her hospital bed, and she told me the same. I was going to write all this down but I didn’t. Why not, I am not totally sure, and so that is why I am writing this – don’t hesitate. Life can jump surprises on you. Here is a poem I wrote her

And so it is my brother and I now, and I have much to be grateful to him about as he never made me feel unwelcome as the younger sister joining in on bike rides with his friends, or going to parties together, or playing endless games of L’Attaque or Cluedo or whatever, and more recently has been a huge emotional support to me in the various changes in my life.

So this blog is short and sweet. Think of those you love and tell them you love them but more than that. Tell them WHY you love them as it really helps someone appreciate the qualities and gifts that they have and can share with others.


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