Friday, March 29, 2013

Thanks for being, Jams

Words of sorrow and solace (from strangers) – however deep from the bottom of one's heart they may come – often, if not mostly, do sound shallow (for those who 'lost' a beloved one).

That is why I do rather wish that soon the moment may come when the memory of this and that episode, of a glance, a touch, a certain little gesture or quirk will conjure a smile on the lips of those who love [sic! present tense] him dearly ...  so that they may gain new strength ... for life.

I am glad that amongst many tears I shed during the past week, while re-reading this and that I found myself smiling, chuckling and sometimes even laughing. 

'The Poor Mouth' and 'Omnium', both blog names reminiscence of and homage to Flann O'Brien, met in 2007, and since we ... but I don't want to bore you.

To cut it short: Jams – I never called him Shaun – became a friend; intelligent, witty, generous, multi-talented and blessed with an honesty that would let him call a spade a spade whenever he'd feel the wish and the necessity.

I do like thinking of my friend Jams having a pint of plain with Flann O'Brien [and perhaps a second with Father Jack whilst Ted (not Father Ted, obviously) is reciting an episode of 'The Master and Margarita']; discussing with Sergeant Pluck the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a bicycle, whilst feeding Mimi with cheese; taking phantastic photos while strolling around in his new surroundings without feeling any pain in his knees, let alone longing for Garra rufa to nibble skin of his feet; organising a weekly poetry contest the winner of which will be rewarded with a bicycle-esque looking William Topaz McGonagall-statue and ... ah ... oh well ... enjoying his new alltemporaries with what he uses to call drivel, and now and then sending love to his not-wife Shirl, a smile to his Mum and Dad, a twinkle of his eyes to Tim, Li, Elahe and amongst others ... well ... to you and to me.

Today (March 29, 2013), seven days after he died, is Jams's 50th birthday.

All I know is that Jams O'Donnell Esq. will always be part of Omnium.

Thanks for being, Jams. Sláinte .

PS: To give but one example of the fun we often had, follow the link to Rich Poetry at The Poor Mouth's and from there to The Tayside Tragedian on the Bard and 73 comments.



  1. A beautiful tribute, Sean, to a friend whom many of us will miss.

    As another admirer of Myles, an image of Jams/Shawn comes to my mind; I see him as an eternal Ringsend cowboy, having wonderful western adventures in the true Irishtown which is beyond our limited reality ...

  2. Thanks for a good memorial. I enjoyed reading his blog, and hope it remains available for others to read. I wish I'd had the opportunity to meet him in the flesh. My poor effort at a memorial is here Death of a blogger | Khanya.

  3. I feel I should say something but I really don't know what to say...

    I miss visiting Jams.

  4. Tears...Tears...Tears...Oh! Jams. Damn it all!

    I'll say a few words when the smile comes. Although you've said it all, dear Sean. Merci!

  5. No words of condolence can encompass the pain of losing someone close to us. Only our shared understanding that none of us are here permanently allows for those messages to be accepted and, perhaps, appreciated.

    I offered my own brief comment on Jams' last post as a message of love to his family. The photograph he posted, the one that turned out to be his last, was achingly poignant. Although I didn't know him at all, except through his blog in the last couple of years, it was my impression Jams would have described himself as an atheist. I respect that belief even though my own opinion on the matter is that we still don't (and may never) have enough information about the subject to draw any final conclusion. My hope is that he was surprised by a cloud of angels welcoming him home - followed by a pint of plain with Flann O'Brian and his dear uncle who died last year.

    Losing Jams so suddenly should serve as a reminder to us all to treasure one another. I'm glad to have known him and I'm equally glad I have years worth of posts to review. I love the The Tayside Tragedian on the Bard you linked to.

    Thanks for posting this lovely memorial, Sean.

  6. That's a lovely tribute, Sean. I'm so pleased to see all the heartfelt words people have to say about Shaun.
    My tribute missed out on a lot of things that I could have said because I was compelled to post it pretty much as soon as I heard of his untimely death. 49 is too young to die, especially if you happen to be such a fine fellow with a social conscience, a good sense of humour, a beautiful collection of photos and a generous and kind nature.
    I do miss him.

  7. I keep looking everywhere for Jams' precise, witty, one-line-comment on people's posts. With his no-nonsense mind, he always caught the essential of what had been said. How I envied his quick understanding and his brevity!

    I miss you, Jams!

  8. You found such beautiful words, I am still crying...

    When I was out with my camera yesterday, I was thinking of Jams. I knew he would have loved the place.

    I was thinking of what he would have seen there and how he would have interpreted it.

  9. Beautifully said, Sean. I miss Jams too – his wit, honesty, no-nonsense musings on politics, art, cats and humans and other creatures that benefited from his photographic talent. Gone too soon, but not from our memories.

  10. That was lovely, Sean. He is so missed. He commented on a photo of his parents that he hoped they would make it to their diamond anniversary in 2014; it is so sad that Jams went first. :( And so close to his birthday! He was just ten months older than me.

  11. From Shaun's sister, Joanna Manning: "Dear family and friends, just to let you know, Shaun's service is this Friday at 2.40 PM at South Essex Crematorium, Corbet's Tey. Only family flowers. If anyone would like to donate to charity in Shaun's name, we have chosen: Cats Protection League, Amnesty International, MIND. Thanks to all for support and love."

  12. I only discovered today that Jams has left us. I'm shocked and saddened, and will miss his witty and supportive comments. RIP.