PLATELL’S PEOPLE: How my big brother, who died of cancer, came back from the dead to comfort me

How brave of no-nonsense former City superwoman Nicola Horlick to reveal that her daughter Georgie, who died of leukemia at age 12, returned as “a palpable presence” to help her grieving sister.

And that Georgie told her little sister it was time to stop seeing her as a sickly, bald kid in a hospital bed and remember her as the wild red-haired big sister she’d been playing with. Nicola’s story struck a chord with huge numbers of Mail readers – including me.

My big brother Michael died of cancer nearly three decades ago.

By the end, he was a shadow of the dashing, sporty, funny guy I grew up with, confined to a hospital chair with an oxygen tank at his side.

A few years ago when I was very sick and feeling down, Michael came to see me long after his death.  He sat on my bed and held out his hand and told me everything would be fine and he was watching over me

A few years ago when I was very sick and feeling down, Michael came to see me long after his death. He sat on my bed and held out his hand and told me everything would be fine and he was watching over me

The day before he died, he gathered the strength to visit me at our parents’ house, his legs wrapped in bandages, on the blue shirt I bought him for Christmas, knowing he wouldn’t wear it long.

When he asked him why he had come when he was so bad, he said he wanted me to have happy memories of the family. “Please don’t remember me like that,” he said.

For years all my memories were blinded by sadness. I was haunted by images of him so desperately frail.

And yet, a few years ago when I was very sick and feeling down, Michael came to see me long after he died. He sat on my bed and held out his hand and told me that everything would be fine and that he was watching over me.

Just as he had been in life – whether it was chasing an unwanted lover or driving miles to pick me up from a party, he was always there for me before he died.

And when Michael comes to me now, as he still does, he’s not the sick brother dying of cancer, but the Michael I grew up with – strong and healthy with an evil smile, teasing me by saying: “Hold on Mandy, it’s not the end of the world.”

It’s not a dream. I’m wide awake. Michael sits there, as big and real as life, takes my hand and reassures me. It’s a feeling of comfort that you can’t imagine.

That is why I believe that those who love us visit us from beyond the grave.

Like Paul McCartney, who wrote Let It Be after his mother Mary came to him years after her death when he was a teenager, I take comfort in those words. When I am in troubled times, in my hours of darkness, my brother Michael comes to me, whispering words of wisdom, let it be.

When Michael comes to me now, as he still does, he is not the sick brother dying of cancer, but the Michael I grew up with - strong and healthy with an evil smile, teasing me by saying,

When Michael comes to me now, as he still does, he is not the sick brother dying of cancer, but the Michael I grew up with - strong and healthy with an evil smile, teasing me by saying,

When Michael comes to me now, as he still does, he is not the sick brother dying of cancer, but the Michael I grew up with – strong and healthy with an evil smile, teasing me by saying, ” Hold on Mandy, it’s not the end of the world

Ahead of crippling price hikes, energy giant Eon has sent customers a pair of socks to encourage them to turn down their heating and save money. Talk about putting your foot in it!

No-vax defeated by Oz

Excellent news that the Aussies have canceled No-vax Djokovic’s visa after he repeatedly broke Covid rules.

And a lesson for the UK where appalling border controls allowed 28,000 Channel migrants last year compared to the government of Oz, which doesn’t allow itself illegal migrants at all – even if they are multi-millionaire tennis stars.

Adele tastes the forbidden fruit

In the video for her new single Oh My God, an angelic Adele bites an apple and yells, “I know it’s wrong, but I want to have fun.”

Considering the singer has lost about half her body weight just by exercising and eating sensibly, this is probably the most fun she’s had in a long, long time.

In the video of her new single Oh My God, an angelic Adele bites an apple and yells: 'I know it's wrong, but I want to have fun'

In the video of her new single Oh My God, an angelic Adele bites an apple and yells: 'I know it's wrong, but I want to have fun'

In the video of her new single Oh My God, an angelic Adele bites an apple and yells: ‘I know it’s wrong, but I want to have fun’

Ulrika Jonsson, 54, praised the virtues of dating much younger men and said it was wonderful hanging out with a 26-year-old because he was too young to know who she was. Indeed, and he probably thinks the 1970s rockers Hall & Oates are a cereal.

Now stripped of all military functions and royal patronage, we learn that of Prince Andrew’s 106 charities, nearly a quarter (24) were patrons of golf clubs. Can the nation survive now that it is in permanent trouble?

Lily James says she felt liberated by donning a pneumatic suit for four hours to mimic Pamela Anderson's gorgeous bosom in her upcoming movie about the Baywatch star.

Lily James says she felt liberated by donning a pneumatic suit for four hours to mimic Pamela Anderson's gorgeous bosom in her upcoming movie about the Baywatch star.

Lily James says she felt liberated by donning a pneumatic suit for four hours to mimic Pamela Anderson’s gorgeous bosom in her upcoming movie about the Baywatch star.

Lily is pumped up to play Brawatch Pam

Lily James says she felt liberated by donning a pneumatic suit for four hours to mimic Pamela Anderson’s gorgeous bosom in her upcoming movie about the Baywatch star.

Oh, get over yourself girl. Most of us can achieve that in one minute with a Wonderbra.

Actor Sean Penn says he’s frustrated to live in a world where, with gender roles now so challenged, there’s a noticeable “absence of masculine behavior.” “I’m in the club that believes men are hugely feminized. I don’t think, to be fair to women, we should become them.’ No wonder Sean is in love with every thinking woman.

Digital fashion victims

Selfridges is the world’s first store to sell a range of digital dresses for up to £100,000. You won’t get the dress, but for a starting price of £2,000 you can buy a digital certificate of ownership and use it on the 3D ‘Metaverse’ to dress up an avatar of yourself. So a not-really-there dress. Sorry, Selfridges, but the blood-curdling Heidi Klum got there first.

What a disappointment to see Chinese ‘spy’ Christine Lee, 58, an ordinary middle-aged mother from the West Midlands who says MI5 ‘hidden in plain sight’ as she infiltrates the highest echelons of British government. Stupid of me, I was expecting a Chinese version of the exotic dancer spy Mata Hari.

‘Sir’ Tony and ‘Lady’ Blair came forward to dine at a posh members’ club in Mayfair, despite a million people demanding his knighthood be removed because of the war in Iraq. The photos showed Cherie’s head bowed, hopefully out of embarrassment for the part she was playing – personally calling female Labor MPs to get them to support the war.

+++Westminster Wars+++

Absent from Boris’ mea culpa before PMQs, Chancellor Rishi Sunak 225 miles away planned to move next door to No. 11. He doesn’t stand a chance. At just 5ft 6in tall, little Rishi may be untidy, but we haven’t had a PM this short since the 5ft 4in Spencer Perceval in 1812. And he was murdered!

Seated behind Boris as he apologized and the former Prime Minister Theresa May, whom he removed from office, wore a Thatcher-style royal blue suit and matching facemask – no doubt to hide her grin.

Sending email invitations to a rule-breaking drinking party? The incompetence of the Prime Minister’s advisers is staggering. As my journalist father warned me to start as a junior reporter, never write anything you wouldn’t want to appear on the front page!

Jamie’s Sour Taste of £1.75 Million

Even those of us fond of Naked Chef Jamie Oliver became bitter to learn that, following the collapse of his restaurant empire, his holding company had recouped £1.75 million while his suppliers still owed millions.

Given your personal fortune of £240 million, Jamie, it looks like Naked Greed.

Our beloved Jonathan Van-Tam, famous for his football analogies explaining Covid, is leaving his job as England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer and returning to Nottingham University.

May I humbly speculate that JVT’s career will be a game of two halves. First as a national hero, then as the star Strictly turned on.

He would never do it. I’m a celebrity because he’s had to swallow too many unspeakable things to support this government.

Channel 5’s All Creatures Great And Small has captivated American audiences, and Rolling Stone magazine called it “incredible balm.” Samuel West, who plays vet Siegfried Farnon, says “it’s strangely revolutionary to make a series about people being nice to each other.” Would definitely go to Alan Sugar and his vipers nest on The Apprentice.

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