Sunday, March 24, 2013

A very sad day

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.


  1. You found wonderful words, Knatolee. Thank you.

    I do only have tears, today.

  2. Beautiful testimony Knatolee! We're all so sad...Such a great loss...
    Can't stop crying

    At least, he spent the last 3-4 years of his life doing what he truly loved doing. That was my first thought. And he was so fabulous at it.

    He had a tremendous sense of humour. I can't forget the occasion when we started rhyming on his blog, on a comical issue, and everybody jumped in (different countries, different languages), and carried on for 2-3 days until we all had produced over 200 verses, of 6-8 lines each, some of them quite funnily outrageous. How exciting it was. I never laughed so much! Oh! Jams....I miss you so! Why did you leave us?

    1. He was amazing. I miss him daily!

  3. What a beautiful tribute. I know, from experience life is short and we shouldn't take anything for granted. I'm sorry for his families loss, XOXO

  4. Yes. Missing Jams a lot.


  5. Thank you :-)

    I will miss him too xx

  6. I sympathize with your loss, I still miss several talented bloggie friends who died far too young.

  7. I'm sorry for your loss. It's amazing how much blog relationships develop into valued experiences with others.

  8. Very sad. I didn't know him but, I'm sorry you lost your blogger friend. There always is an empty feeling when someone we have come to know dies.

  9. That is a sad news! Very sorry for the loss of your friend!

  10. RIP Shaun. It's reassuring, in some ways, how affected we are by the loss of 'cyber-friends'. Someone I used to follow died last December (after leaving a goodbye posting on his blog), and it was a truly heart-felt loss.

  11. So sorry for your loss, Nat.

  12. Truly amazing how the world has become so small through blogging... allowing us into the lives of people we might never have met otherwise. I visited his blog and his photography is amazing.
    Lovely tribute.

    1. How awful for you and all that knew him
      So sorry nat xx

  13. Very sad news. His poetry was so clever as I`m sure he was. Cyber friends can share stuff we never share with others and I know he was important to you. How wad.

  14. That IS a sad news. Very sorry for the loss of your friend!

  15. A wonderful tribute, Knatolee.

    Jams and I hadn't been in contact for such a long time - since my blogging stopped (virtually). He was a man of refinement, of passion, of poetry and of photography.

    A sad, sad loss to all who knew him but especially to those who loved him.

  16. Thank you for all your very kind comments! It's still hard to believe.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!