I was saddened today to hear that my dear bloggy friend Shaun Downey, aka Jams O'Donnell, died suddenly on Friday evening. Although I never met Shaun in person, I truly enjoyed chatting with him online (via Facebook and our blogs; his was The Poor Mouth) and he was a fine man. I regret not having had the chance to meet him in person.
Not only was he thoughtful and thought-provoking blogger, he was a wonderful, creative photographer. We often talked about his photography. He had just recently launched a new photography website, although you can see lots more of his wonderful photos scattered throughout his blog.
He was also a lover of cats and had a fine selection of adored kitties, including his newest addition, a young kitty named Jack.
On top of that, Shaun was quite the poet. He was the winner of my Hen Haiku contest and and also a winner in my Duck Limerick Contest. He has an excellent and refined sense of humour, and a real way with words. Truly he was a fellow artist: intelligent, thoughtful and creative.
We were more or less the same age and his passing was completely unexpected, and a devastating blow to his wife Shirley, his parents, sister, and friends and other loved ones left behind. I know my bloggy friends Claude and Andrew and Sean will also be missing Shaun very much.
It's amazing how someone you've never met in person can have such an effect on your life. Shaun lived in England, but I know he touched many people around the world. A light has gone out for us.
Our friend Andrew posted Shaun's pic on his blog today, and I am doing the same...
Shaun, thank you for the good online chats, and for all the laughs you gave us with your poetry, and the beauty you added to the world with your photography and your writing.
Life is short, sometimes far too short. Please hug your loved ones, and don't put off doing the important things in life. I am glad Shaun was able to spend so much time working on his photography recently, because I believe it was something that gave him much joy.
And I will end this with a smile, and Shaun's fabulous Hen Haiku that made us all laugh so hard when we read it...
Hens are in revolt
We sisters need roosters like
fish need bicycles
We are shedding more than a few tears for you this weekend.
I will miss you, Shaun.