Syd McCusker (1955-2008)

Syd_3 My sister Syd died on September 25. Not even a really bad photo can conceal how vivid she was. 

Syd lived in Victoria, a place that didn’t seem to me ever really to suit her.  It’s a place filled with hippies, retirees, and bureaucrats, people  sure to provoke her impatience.

As a wife, mother, and gardener, she had a gentler side, something softer and more spiritual. 

And just when you began to think that this was the real Syd, you’d find a magnet on her fridge that read:

"Jesus Loves You."

Then a picture of the Italianate Christ (the one with the flowing hair, soulful eyes, and pious expression).

And below:

"everyone else thinks you’re an asshole"

What a magnificent sister.  I always felt a bit dozy by comparison, a bit slow on the uptake, a little too credulous.   She was the least little little sister. 

27 thoughts on “Syd McCusker (1955-2008)”

  1. Lots of familial loss lately all around. My heart is with you and your family as it is with all the others. This was a moving tribute to your sister and your relationship with her. I hope, as I always hope in these situations, that you will find the time to celebrate life and memory and family as a way to move forward from loss.

  2. Grant (and Pam) –Very sorry about your sister’s sad passing. It’s a fitting tribute that she receives a heart-felt TBSATIOAAE celebration of her life from her big brother.

    Fondly and with sympathy,

    The Dingwalls

  3. I am very sorry to hear about your loss Grant. I am sure Pam will be very much missed. May she rest in peace. Sincerely, Wance.

  4. Oh, Grant, I’m so very sorry. Wishing you and your family all the strength necessary to make it through your mourning.

  5. Dear Grant,
    I never dared to write a comment even if I’m a huge afficionado of your blog and articles. But,
    I really want to express my sorrow for you and your family and say that you have my condolences.

    Yasha

  6. I’m very sorry for your loss, Grant.
    But it sure sounds as if, wherever she is, the management has their hands full just now!
    Kindest thoughts to you & your family.

  7. Grant, I’m so very sorry for your loss. You’re right that Syd’s spirit comes through in her picture in a wonderful way. Knowing you, even a little, makes me think that her life might be expressed in some small way by a poem I love from Jacob Trapp.

    The moment of realization!
    A man pursued by a tiger
    Leaps over a cliff
    and clings to a vine.
    The tiger’s hot breath above him,
    The man looked down,
    trembling.
    to where, below,
    Another tiger crouches,
    waiting.
    Two mice,
    one black, one white,
    Begin to gnaw at the vine.
    Nearby,
    a strawberry ripens.
    The man swings himself over,
    And lets go with one hand to pluck it.
    “How delicious!”

    With love, Steve

  8. So sorry for your loss, Grant. Pam was very obviously an inspiration to you, as she must surely have been for others. My sympathies to you and your family.

  9. I am missing my friend today, for no particular reason, as I often do. Maybe it’s because Christmas stocking season is upon me and I crave her amazing ideas and suggestions. I still feel the urge to pick up the phone to take comfort in that particular sense of humour. She enriched my life without question.I discovered your blog today and her picture made me cry. She’d call me a “stupid head”, but the twinkle in her eye would say she was glad we were friends. She will always be very much a part of me.
    Nan

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