Dominic O'Halloran

27 February 2021



Teenager Hannah Whelan from Dublin writes about losing her sister Julie to suicide.


I was 13 when my it felt my life was ending. I didn’t even understand the word suicide let alone could I comprehend how my sister took her own life.

I watched as my whole world fell apart. I watched as my family members grieved for months on end and I thought we would never be ok again. I sailed through the days like a zombie, numb to everything around me. Every time I heard a bell in school I felt panic ripple through me as the thoughts of the phone call that day made my stomach sick. I let myself believe that I would be sad forever and that this was my life now and that things would always be this way.

 Five years later I’ve started college, something I thought I’d never be able to cope with; I get up each morning and I remember that things are better now, not normal but just different to how they used to be.

 I remind myself every day that I’m lucky to have the great memories with my amazing sister and I remind myself that Julie lived her life to the fullest. When she walked into a room you could always feel her presence as she talked wildly about the things she loved.

 I know I’ve been through a. Lot of hurt and pain from a young age which made me feel like blocking out the world and hating things but  I now know for sure that Julie wants me to be the bravest, brightest, happiest version of myself possible, so I’ve decided to live with her in my heart and laugh and love twice as hard for the both of us.



By Hannah Whelan in memory of her sister Julie


  • Deborah whelan says:

    Hannah,I’m am so proud of the beautiful young woman you have become. .your strength and passion comes from the all the love you have for your sister Julie.your story is an inspiration to many others who have lost a sibling to suicide .I love you darling 💜Shine Bright 💜

  • Nancy Husarik says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. So sorry for your loss 🤍💔 Being able to speak about your loss and how you are learning to bear it will help others. You are not alone 💜💙

  • Maureen Slough says:

    Wonderfully written beautiful Hannah. Julie will always be in your heart…. And she wouldn’t like you sad all the time.
    Shine bright like a star. ✴️

  • Vera says:

    Thank you so much Hannah. I feel this sharing of your story gives us all hope.

  • Rachael G says:

    Beautifully written ❤️ I remember well how much Julie loved and spoke about her ‘hanny’ ❤️

  • Aisling Lyons says:

    Hannah, you are indeed an inspiration to others. The way you expressed yourself and bravely shared your story is remarkable. I know your family is so proud of you and Julie is too, watching over you everyday, encouraging you to be the best version of yourself, which I believe you have become Hannah. You are truly beautiful inside and out 🥰

  • Annette says:

    Hannah it is so beautiful that you are living with your sister Julie in your heart ❤️. Thank you for sharing your story which offers words of hope and comfort to those affected by suicide loss. Sending love to you and your family and wishing you laughter, love and happiness for the future. 🦋💕

  • Nicola says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Hannah, gives hope that there will be brighter days🌞 Such loving words about your sister, you can feel the warmth of her personality through you and your strength, despite having suffered such a big loss so young.x.x

  • Mary katilius says:

    Oh Hannah was so emotional reading your story, Julie would be so proud of you at such a young age to lose your beautiful sister and to live your best life is a wonderful tribute to Julie 💖 xxxx

  • Jenny says:

    Another wonderful story of the month.Please keep this blog going.Its so needed.

  • Claire says:

    thank you for sharing the reality of losing a loved one to suicide.
    You describe so well how it effects those left behind.
    It also gives something very important to us all, and that is hope.

    Well done Hannah,
    the very best with your college life.

  • Dear Hannah,
    What a beautiful and honest story of your experience of sudden loss. Loosing a sister through suicide is so painful. You are very brave to write this, and it will help others to open up too about their pain, loss and grief.
    I’m sure that your sister Julie would, and is so proud of you. Her memory will always live in your heart and mind. Sending sincere condolences, comfort ease and love to you, your family and Julie’s friends.
    Take care of You , and I hope you have the support you need.
    Go Softly.

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