April – The time of year when the trees and flowers start to bloom, nature comes alive and the sun starts to shine. But this year something I could only describe as the worst time in my life has happened. Even worse then my cancer diagnosis last September……I lost my Brother. On the 1st April 2015 I received the devastating news that my Brother, Ryan has passed on. My whole world had collapsed. How could this be? My protector can’t be gone. Not when I needed him so much.

In 1983 on a Sunny September morning (9.25am) my baby brother who weighed in at 8lb 7oz was born in Mile End Hospital. Little did I know this tiny person would end up being my 18 stone protector and didn’t he live up to that title? Ryan – as we all know him was a very gentle and loving child although like most boys he had his moments…..especially moments when he would be banished from my grandmother’s house because he was like a tazmanian devil breaking and wrecking everything in his path.  But I am sure our younger brothers and sister would say very different. Because like all Big Brothers, Ryan would torment the life out of them. I couldn’t tell you how many times he locked them out in the garden or dragged them down the stairs by their ankles but it was countless. And it was times like that I appreciated being the eldest.
Over the years myself and Ryan shared our own special memories – some that may be best not to mention as he is probably up in heaven praying I don’t open my mouth..but alot were funny and I am glad that I can hold those memories close to my heart.  Growing up in Bethnal Green in the early 1980’s we were basically Scan 22surrounded by bombed out buildings and abandoned factories and houses. We would set up camps which was brilliant it was like our own little adventures not to mention the countless games of knock down ginger and run outs which by the way mum covered most of Bethnal Green.  The summers were long and hot and we loved playing in the square outside my mum’s house playing with empty washing up liquid bottles which most the time Ryan wouldn’t wash out so he would squirt people with bubbles and the water balloon fights were huge. When Ryan was little we fought like cat and dog, but if anybody troubled him I was right there protecting him. Until he got too big to protect and the tables turned and it was him protecting me. And he did a really good job at that. As soon as people saw him they ran a mile but they didn’t realise he was such a gentle giant who wouldn’t hurt anybody.

When Ryan became ill with his Schizophrenia – over 12 years ago he didn’t realise what was happening to him, he did go through a stage of blaming others around him including myself but it was understandable….This was something new to him. He would hear voices which weren’t very nice and they were very evil in what they were saying to him. Ryan 281526_10150337557091620_4699156_ntried his very best to deal with this until one day he just couldn’t handle this on his own and neither could I so he ended up in hospital for the very first time. For years Ryan was in and out of NHS care but nothing seemed to be helping him with his issues. But one day he decided to read into Islam –  I feel this actually grounded him and made him into the man he become. He even went out to Morocco with his Brothers from the Mosque. Where he picked up Arabic.


Over 12 years Ryan was severely tormented by these voices and as his big sister I am extremely proud of how he dealt with it as I know I couldn’t do it. He found peace and assurance within the pages of the Qur’an and devoted his life to Islam in a way in which I have never seen anyone give themselves over fully to something they believe in. There was times when I would have a laugh and joke with him…especially when he would come to my house in full eyeliner looking like Alice Cooper but that was Ryan he didn’t care what people thought of him and his beliefs and I love him so much for that. That is why I fully respected Ryan and his choice to convert and call himself Benjamin Mohammed Logan which people later became to know him as and this is the name he will be meeting his creator with. When you have a suicide in the family it hits everybody hard but when there is mental health involved it makes things very confusing. As Ryan’s sister I knew that his faith and beliefs overcame any thoughts of suicide but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Ryan became so tormented by these voices that he felt this was his only way out. And I respect his choice. I could never be angry with him – he is my baby brother. And I know he is now watching over me and my family in our journey of grief. image And even though throughout his whole illness he never lost who he was. His heart never changed infact it became bigger. Everyone who ever meet Ryan always say the same thing “He was a gentleman – a gentle giant”. He gave when he never had and I was continuously telling him to stop spoiling my children but did he listen……he would buy Logan trainers and  PlayStation games but I know he did this because he never had the chance to have his own children and I am so glad I could give him the opportunity to be BEST UNCLE to my boys Logan and Blaze…..who both love and miss him dearly. The last few months my son Logan and Ryan became very very close. He would stay over on weekends and even made plans to attend the Mosque with him before he got readmitted to hospital. Although he did try and sneak onto the ward Ryan was on a few times thinking he could get away with being over 18. He got caught out! But I know Ryan would be very proud of him today – he reminds me so much of Ryan. I also am very thankful to the team at Mile End Hospital mental health department who cared for my brother for over 12 years. They did an amazing job and as a family are grateful for all the help they gave. Its not the easiest of jobs. They are an amazing team and they fought hard to resuscitate Ryan but he had already passed over to paradise With my son Logan I know Ryan is now at peace and watching over all of us. I know he is helping me in my fight against cancer and I know he is also giving my mum and family the strength they need to get through this. I will always be his big sister regardless of whether he has passed onto paradise and I hope that I have done him proud in regards to his beliefs as a muslim man. And I know he would have loved the fact that 2,000 of his Muslim brothers prayed for his safe journey to jannah (Heaven) as his big sister it was the least I could do for him to ensure his safe journey. I know Ryan is being looked after now by his Grandmother Sylvia and Grandfather Hugh as well as his very good friend Michael. He is in good hands.

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  1. Sam Sheridan says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your brother Hun, I can’t imagine what you must be going through especially with what your having to fight and deal with, I have the upmost respect for you, keep doing what your doing and stay strong, you will win this battle, big hugs to you xxxx


  2. Brigette says:

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to
    be really something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get
    the hang of it!


    • Its a hard topic to understand unless you have been in that situation yourself. I myself years ago hit a low where I felt I couldnt get out and suicide was an option but the fact I had children relying on me stopped me from doing anything silly. In my brothers case he was tormented with paranoid schizophrenia for over 12 years it was horrendous. He tried to control it but he could no longer do it and felt that suicide was the only way out for him. He wasnt thinking about the impact it would have on family it was more for him.
      I can never be angry for him for it he had a crap life and now he is at peace no lobger ill and hes now watching over me and helping me in my healing process xx


  3. Shanon says:

    I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he should also pay a quick visit this blog on regular basis to take updated from newest news update.

    Liked by 1 person

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