Dominic O'Halloran

26 March 2021


Siblings – ‘Forgotten mourners’ – by Maureen Slough:


In September 2019 I lost my sister Wendy to suicide.

Since her birth, from day one I was bonded to Wendy when she came into the family and my world.

This bond was special because the previous year my sister Lesley died at 3 months of age in a cot death (her twin had died at birth).

I said to me mother where is Lesley gone and she pointed up. My reply ‘’Can we not get a ladder and get her back down from the sky.’’ That is how I perceived reality at age 4. When Wendy was born my perception was that Lesley had come back and I was really excited; so happy with Wendy coming into the world as I thought she was Lesley.

We grew up together through the adolescent years. Not a total happy story (it was no fairy-tale). We used to fight over lipstick and clothes, she would wear my clothes and there would be killings. We were becoming women and striving to survive in this world and this shared competition bonded us.

We were also bonded because of a dysfunctional childhood and parents. I was bonded most to Wendy because of the nearest in age and we remembered later the conflict and the abuse endured on us innocent children. Our unique bond gave us the strength to get along and we laughed, and we cried together.

Despite our unhappy times we had some very happy moments. We had a bond glued together by our characteristic traits—We both loved nature and animals and we both loved gardening. We had totally different personality traits but shared one common trait –to mess and play jokes—she threw slugs at me once- I got her back- threw sheep shit at her. We were lovey dovey, like kids never growing away from each other and now looking back at the photos of us, I see this deep love and connection.

Since September 2019 I feel an awful void in my life, can’t put words to describe my grief. I feel not everybody understands. The saving grace for me was meeting FOSL members especially the siblings in the FOSL support groups that I have met and who understand. Outside that I feel! I feel my grief is not recognized; this sibling bond is not understood. Here is a letter I wrote to Wendy which was read out at the FOSL support group recently:





Dear Wendy,
Them last few weeks that you visited me made me very happy.  I loved picking you up at Whitegate as you got off the bus.
Then you got a second-hand car which was great and you seemed very excited. 
I checked out the interior and exterior of the car with glee.
But there was something profoundly different about you now, even your personality.
Your beautiful hair that was always immaculately kept
was now unbrushed and the sparkle that was once in your eyes was now gone.
We had lots of chats near the end and we spoke about so many things from our childhood and about abuse we had suffered. 
I always knew that like me you were scarred from our experiences at the hands our father the monster.
We had so many heart to hearts and I kept asking you “were you happy”.  And you would always reply “yes”.
I never believed your reply and knew something was really bothering you.  So I asked you the same question so many times hoping for a different answer and that you would open up to me.
Your sleeping and eating patterns were all over the place.  Sometimes you would sleep constantly and eat little. Then you would sleep less and eat lots.
The last day I saw you I watched your car leave until I couldn’t see it no more.  There was sadness every time you left.  I just didn’t want you to go.
I want you to know Wendy that I was privileged to have you as my sister. 
Until we meet again
Sleep well my beautiful butterfly.  No one can hurt you no more.

Love your sister Maureen. 🦋



Irreplaceable You:


A trillion stars shining in the

midnight sky

A beautiful sunset is easy on

the eye.

But all the beauty in the world

Can’t compare to you

Because you are

the one and the only

irreplaceable you.

Daffodils blowing in the wind

I watch them as they sway

Raindrops falling onto my

face on a rainy day.

But all the beauty in the world

Will never compare to you

Because you are the one and only

irreplaceable you.


  • Paulina Gavigan says:

    Maureen that is just beautiful. Im sobbing here. I only wish I lived closer to comfort you and talk but like Wendy I had my demons but thank god I’m still here. Wasnt my time. I didn’t have the closeness with Derek as you had with Wendy, the age difference was massive as I was given for adoption and only met him when I was 21 but I loved him dearly. Unfortunately he couldn’t go on and we lost him 29th September 2020. He left his 4 boys behind and his partner Mary. I’m always at the end of the phone and I will make a special effort to see you and you know you are always welcome in my home. We are friends nearly 40 years in July. I love you to bits 💓

  • Mary says:

    Oh Maureen I laughed and I cried reading that ,in lots of ways you were the twins that were left on earth 💞 more than just sisters that bond is forever as she looks over you have been an incredible sister and now a fighter ( braveheart) of gold 💛 sometimes I’m in Aw of you and you make me laugh , don’t ever loose that …Beautiful, sad but trimphumpt read …love Mary ❤

    • Maureen says:

      Thanks for your lovely comments. I never looked at it that way…..wendy and I being the twins left on earth…. That touched a chord with me. ♥️♥️♥️❤️❤️♥️Maureen

    • Deborah says:

      Beautiful and very sad at the sane time.Maureen The love you have for Wendy is so deep, a bond that will never be broken.💜💜keep writing there is healing in it.

  • Jenny says:

    A heart – wrenching story from start to finish.Sad but beautiful, everything including the letter and the poem.

  • Glen says:

    A beautiful story, like watching a film, so well told.

  • Annette says:

    Dear Maureen what a special bond you and Wendy shared through good times and bad, laughter and tears. The unique bond, deep love and connection will always live on in your heart and comes through in your writing. I wish I could pop over to Ireland and give you a hug. 💖

  • Alejandro Scomparin says:

    Simply beautiful and very touching story. I was very touched to read your lines. Above all, to know in more detail the history in common with your sister. With Paula, we send you a big kiss Maureen!!! We love you very much !!!!

  • Aisling Lyons says:

    Thanks for sharing Maureen. You had a wonderful bond with Wendy that was so strong I feel she is still present around you keeping you safe. 🥰

  • Vera says:

    Beautiful Maureen, a great honouring to Wendy. I loved it all especially the poem.💚 💚

  • nicola graham says:

    Beautiful, honest and raw Maureen, 🦋Wendy🦋 is so lucky to have you as her sister too. Big hugs💖💖

  • Eva says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Maureen. I love hearing you talk about Wendy and the special bond you shared.
    Sending you lots of love,
    Your friend,
    Eva x

  • Mrs Jane Spong says:

    Dear maureen, so beautifully written and thank you for sharing with the group. You’re broken bond is only temporary until you meet again.
    Sending you lots of love and hugs
    From Jane xx

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