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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 14 July, 2020
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'I know you'll be very sad but I'll always be with you': Woman wrote letter to sister before dying from Covid-19

“Yours is the hardest letter to write, how can I put into words how much I love you.”

IMG_1496 Susan and Lorna O’Neill. Source: Liveline

A WOMAN HAS publicly shared the letter her sister wrote to her shortly before she died from Covid-19.

Susan O’Neill (64) from Dublin died last Wednesday after contracting the virus, and was buried on Saturday.

Speaking to Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio 1′s Liveline this afternoon, Lorna O’Neill read the letter on air. 

Susan had been receiving treatment for cancer before she died and Lorna was unable to see her in person for some time.

The last time Lorna saw her sister was outside her bedroom a few weeks ago when she was dropping off shopping at her home. She said not being able to hug Susan was very difficult. 

Susan wrote Lorna a heartfelt letter for her to read after her death. Susan’s daughter left it in Lorna’s glove compartment in her car for her to find.

Liveline letter Susan O'Neill's letter to her sister Lorna O'Neill. Source: Liveline

Lorna said Susan had asked her if she wanted her to write her a letter. She “told her there was no need” to as she knew her sister loved her, but Susan wrote one anyway. 

She wrote: “Yours is the hardest letter to write, how can I put into words how much I love you and how grateful I am to have you as my sister.”


Source: RTÉ Radio 1/SoundCloud

Susan described the time she and Lorna spent together as “precious”, saying : “There’s nothing to compare to sisterly love.”

She wrote: “I know you will be very sad when I’m gone but I’ll always be with [you], and you will get through this…

“P.S. I cried writing this letter, I expect you to do the same reading it. :)”

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Lorna said she and Susan were “extremely close”, and she plans to frame the “beautiful” letter. 

‘Unbelievable’ support at funeral 

Lorna said her family was dreading Susan’s funeral due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place, especially in relation to the limited number of people who could attend.

Lorna said about 200 loved ones and neighbours lined the streets near Susan’s home on Balally Drive and the church on the day of her funeral, clapping as the hearse drove by. 

She said “the love and the care that we felt from all these people that had made this effort” was “just unbelievable”. 

“The love just lifted our hearts and it really got me through it,” Lorna said, thanking everyone for their support.

She encouraged listeners to do this where possible at funerals as it meant so much to her family and will also mean a lot to others who are grieving during the pandemic. 

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Órla Ryan

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