love lay down beside me and we wept

By Helen Murray Taylor

A rare and lyrical memoir about the author's time in a psychiatric ward and her road to recovery

Monday, 27 March 2023

My mum

Dear friends,

I've been a bit quiet here and on social media for the last few weeks. As some of you know, my mum died recently and it has been a very sad time with a lot of readjustments to make, both practically and psychologically. I didn't know whether to mention it here or not because it feels odd talking about it publicly, but given how many of you knew her, it wouldn't have been right to have said nothing.

I'm not going to say a huge amount though. We had a lovely farewell to her at the funeral among family and friends, and we've shared our stories, our tears and our giggles (my mum was a proper giggler; that's where I get it from!). But what I do want to say here, because it is so relevant to my books, is what an amazing job she did as my chief unpaid, unofficial, uncomplaining PR/crowdfunding manager, firstly for The Backstreets of Purgatory and latterly for love lay down beside me and we wept even though by then she wasn't very well. She told all her friends about the books, brought in loads of pledges and a big audience for my reading events for Backstreets (although I suspect when she heard some of the language she rather wished she hadn't!), and used her connections to help me arrange a successful event in the local library. She wanted to help in whatever way she could, to the extent that in one of our last Facetime conversations, she was pressing me to accept whatever funds were required to get love lay down over the finish line. I didn't take her up on the offer because it didn't seem quite right, but I was really moved by how much she wanted to make things easier for me at a time when things were so difficult for her.

I'm going to cross-post this on my Backstreets page because she was so involved with that book. Apologies to those of you who will get the update twice.

Here she is, serving Tunnock's teacakes at my Montrose Library event back in 2019. It doesn't feel quite real that she has gone. 

Helen xxx

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Valeria Vescina
 Valeria Vescina says:

Helen dear, so very sorry for your loss. Your mother was clearly such a lovely and loving human being!

posted 29th March 2023

Laurie Donaldson
 Laurie Donaldson says:

so sorry to hear about your mum, I remember her as being welcoming, lovely and very friendly X

posted 29th March 2023

R. Gould
 R. Gould says:

I'm so sorry for your loss, Helen. Your mum sounds lovely, and you've written a beautiful tribute to her here.

posted 29th March 2023

Melanie Burch
 Melanie Burch says:

Oh Helen, I am so sorry to hear of your loss, but pleased that you decided to share your news and moving tribute to your amazing mum here - how wonderful to hear of your mum's tireless support and determination to get you over the finish line. A lovely tribute to your mum to get this new book out into the world. Take care, Mel x

posted 29th March 2023

Neville Hewson
 Neville Hewson says:

Sorry to hear this sad news.

posted 3rd April 2023

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