Sadly, my sister Margaret died on Monday 13th May 2013. I didn't want to write this into my blog when it happened but I thought about it and then I felt it was right to put the following.

One of the sad facts about life is that from the moment we're born we start a journey towards our death. My own family is my second family which has become my priority in life. My first family was the family group started by my mum and dad. They began life together at a very difficult time after the Second World War. They, like I did, started their relationship without really realising where it would end.
My dad was the son of an Irish immigrant who came to Liverpool to start a new life and the family was Catholic. My mum was Protestant but converted to Catholicism. This was not an everyday situation at the time. In the years following the war mixed marriages were still a little difficult for some people. There were places where you had signs saying 'No Irish'. That must have been awful for my grandfather. He had enough on his plate as he had lost his wife when my dad was six. That was awful for my dad as well.
There wouldn't have been any state help. There were no social workers and my grandfather must have had a difficult time bringing up his children.

My mum had come from London to live on Merseyside and didn't really know anyone apart from my dad. That must have taken a lot of courage. They must have had a very difficult start to their married life together. My elder sister, Rita, came first followed by me and then Mary who is a couple of years younger than me. This left a young 23 year-old-mother with three children and a young man of 30 as a husband who had just left the army. He had to struggle to keep us and I know he did numerous jobs often working day and night to eventually save enough money to get a nice house. They brought up the three of us in this difficult environment without all the support systems people now enjoy although the Family Allowance was developing as part of the Welfare State and we did get our Cod Liver Oil and free school milk. I feel very lucky that I had parents who looked after us and struggled to give us a good start in life. Both Rita and Mary left home in their teenage years and I flew the nest around 17.

This must have been an emotional period of time for my parents. I didn't really realise this at the time. My mum and dad then had my sister Margaret when I was about 14 and then Anne completed the family about two years later. I didn't really get to know my younger sisters for a long time as I was developing my own life and they were then a new family unit.

Both Rita and Mary have had extremely successful lives and are fluent in French after they have both lived in France and developed their careers away from their native England.

Margaret and Anne were both incredibly talented young ladies and my mum and dad seemed to revel in their development and were intensely proud of them both- as I have become over the years. Anne has had a brilliant career in Education and is a talented pianist and linguist.

Margaret was a talented guitarist and I remember taking her along as a guest artiste on one of my gigs for the Old Age Pensioners. She was so shy and I had to explain that she didn't speak English to the audience! However, she played a very nice folk guitar. She also got her degree in Languages and had worked in Education alongside bringing up her family with her husband Lee. They have three lovely children. Sadly, I didn't see them as often as I would now like to have done but we have all spread out in different directions and it is impossible to see everyone on an ongoing basis.

We communicated on Skype whilst Margaret was ill and I was saddened to see how much pain she was in. I could only eventually communicate on Skype by messages and her communications indicated that her health was deteriorating. I feel without Skype messaging I might not even have realised how bad things had become.

I feel lucky to have had good parents and I feel lucky to have had four highly talented sisters. Yes. I still feel very sad about what has happened but what is the point of having a faith and then not believing in it when a death occurs? My faith is now being tested and I just hope and pray that Margaret's family will be given the strength to cope with their sad loss. I think Margaret had suffered greatly and it is most important to remember she is not suffering now. I know what I believe happens next. I hope Margaret is meeting my mum and dad again. If my beliefs are right that will be a strong possibility. If I am wrong at least I have found my religion, warts and all, a comfort in sad times.

I don't necessarily think any one religion is the only way to have a life after death. I really cannot even comprehend some parts of what I believe in. It just doesn't always make sense but does the Universe make sense? There is a greater being than any of us and I only have to look at the power of Nature to know how insignificant I am on my own.

The death of my sister, Margaret, prompted me to write this article and I dedicate it to her memory and the memory of our parents Tess and Jimbo who gave us a great start in life.

Author's Bio: 

Vince works a Teacher, Broadcaster and Podcaster with a great presence on the web. He has a Bachelor in Arts degree after studying Recreation and the Community. He also has a Philosophy in Education Degree with special reference to Student Centred Learning. He has a Certificate in Education and Diplomas in Journalism and Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy. He works through his website www.vincetracy.com writing a Daily Blog @www.vincetracy.com/blog9 and creating daily podcasts@ www.vincetracy.com