My thoughts are with two remarkable women
Last month, after the death of Sinéad O’Connor, the following letter appeared in the Telegraph, sent to the newspaper by Philip Woolcock.
I was greatly saddened by the death of Sinéad O’Connor. She was a very different person behind her fame.
In 1991, my 20-year-old daughter, Louise, was suffering from terminal cancer, when she received a phone call from Sinéad out of the blue.
Sinéad had heard of Louise’s illness from some source, probably the press, as we were raising funds for our local hospice. My daughter was a great admirer of her and loved her music.
During this long call, Sinéad invited my daughter to travel to London to spend some time with her. Needless to say, Louise was thrilled.
A few days later, she met Louise at Euston station and, to cut a long story short, Louise had the best week of her short life. They dined, they drank, they danced – but most of all they laughed irreverently. Sinéad was at the height of her fame at this time and found it highly amusing that, when they were out, people were asking for Louise’s autograph. Louise returned home exhausted and happier than I had seen her since her devastating cancer diagnosis.
It didn’t stop there: this lovely, compassionate woman always stayed in touch. She sent Louise wine and flowers and letters right up until her death in 1992.
On Louise’s last visit to London, Sinéad gave my daughter her platinum disc for her song Nothing Compares 2 U and dedicated her Christmas record Silent Night to her.
During all this time, Sinéad never sought any publicity for these acts of love and compassion. Today my thoughts are with two remarkable women who, I have no doubt, will be somewhere still laughing, dancing and singing.
Enormous thanks to Philip Woolcock for allowing this letter to feature at Letters Live last weekend, where it was read on stage by Ferdinand Kingsley to an audience of thousands. It was a very touching moment.
The past few weeks have been hectic as we prepared two Letters Live shows at Wilderness Festival. Please forgive the slowdown, and thanks to everyone who managed to join us. Normal service will now resume.