the end of Sally’s story 1946 – 2011

Sally (and Mac) in 2006.

The email came yesterday:

“I’m sad to greet you with the news that my darling Sally died in her bed at home on Thursday morning, August 18, 2011, ending her fourteen-year spiral into dementia.   We’ve taken Sally back to her beloved University where she’ll contribute to research into neurodegenerative disease, and we’ll go from there to her favourite swimming rock at the cottage – so there’ll be no formal funeral.  I’ll contact friends soon about a memorial gathering here at the house.
     … mac

Sally in Belize

Go well dear friend, gentle, kind Sally
lover of art,
cooking [diploma from le Cordon Bleu in Paris]
bird watching…

young schoolgirl in Malta.


Not fair, not right
your one life cut so short.
I’m thankful I visited you in June
I’m not sure what you saw
through all that fog.
When you opened one eye
and stared
as I kissed you goodbye.
I hope it was me.

Sally and Mac in the woods

I know you can hear me now,
I also know you’re not alone,
that my Mother’s already part of the welcoming committee
up there, offering words of comfort to new arrivals like
you, while charming folks like Amy Winehouse, and Betty Ford,
and that gives me comfort in my grief.

Cheerio Sally, I look forward to seeing you
in my dreams.


About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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22 Responses to the end of Sally’s story 1946 – 2011

  1. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Oh Rosie, I’m so sorry you lost your friend to such a terrible disease. It’s hard to know what to say, but my thoughts and prayers are with you. It looks like she had a fulfilling life full of love so I hope pleasant memories will be of some comfort to you. Many blessings to you, my friend…

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you Barbara. Sally was always interested in everything around her. I don’t remember ever seeing her outdoors without a pair of binoculars around her neck.

      Mac’s the kindest most thoughtful husband who devoted himself the last few years, just to making Sally comfortable. I wish I didn’t live so far from him. I hope he stops by, and that reading everyone’s kind comments will be a comfort to him in his grieving, and help him see he’s not alone.

  2. magsx2 says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss, you have written a lovely tribute to your friend, my thoughts and prayers to you and your friends family.

    Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. ~Emily Dickinson

  3. Peter Robin says:

    Dear Rosanne

    I’m very sorry to hear that your friend Sally has passed away, it must be a very difficult time for you and so soon after your mother too.
    Have you known her for a long time?

  4. Oh such a sad post, but a lovely good-bye! Sally sounds like she was very well loved and that’s the surest sign of a life well lived.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Betty,
      I remember you telling us about your friend who had early onset Alzheimers and also died young, so you know what Sally – and Mac – went through…

      Sally and Mac were so well suited and happy together. I loved going to their cottage and following them through the woods as they identified birds and plants. One year I remember them trying to stop the beavers from eating the water pipes, another year they covered themselves from head to toe and went outside to remove a wasp nest outside on the deck, but whatever it was we always ate well 🙂

  5. souldipper says:

    So sorry that you are facing another loss, Rosie. If her mind wouldn’t allow her to see you, I trust her soul did! Thank you for telling us about her and how she was well loved. What a blessing that she was able to go while in her own bed.

  6. dearrosie says:

    Amy I love your comment, “If her mind wouldn’t allow her to see you, I trust her soul did.”
    I didn’t think of that. I’m sure her soul heard me and that’s why she opened one eye and looked at me.

    It is a blessing to be able to go in one’s own bed. She was lucky to have a loving spouse like Mac.

  7. Cindy says:

    I am very sorry for your loss, Rosie.

  8. Rosie, I am so very sorry about your loss. Happy to “meet” you but sad about the timing. Thoughts and prayers are going your way. My grandmother and my aunt had Alzheimer’s – tears are drip, drip, dripping on the keyboard for your friend, her husband and family, and for you because I know how difficult it is. This post is a lovely tribute to your friend.

    • dearrosie says:

      What a pleasure to welcome you to my humble home Amiable Amiable.
      I’m sorry to hear your grandmother and aunt had Alzheimer’s.

      I hope the researchers at Sally’s University discover the genetic link or whatever it was that fogged her beautifully creative mind at such a young age, so in giving science the gift of her life she’ll be helping others who come after her. I know she would have loved that.

  9. bronxboy55 says:

    If there are beautiful ways for life to end, dementia certainly isn’t one of them. I hope both Sally and Mac are at peace, in their separate ways, after their long struggle together. And I hope you are, too, Rosie, after another loss. May the scales tip back soon and bring you some joy.

    • dearrosie says:

      You do have a way with words Charles. Thank you most sincerely.

      To leave this world suffering with dementia can be lonely and frightening, and almost like a jail sentence of solitary confinement, but Sally wasn’t alone, because Mac was there for her, and with her the whole long journey.
      I hope he’s going to take care of himself now. He’s ignored his health issues for too long.

  10. Lynn says:

    My dearest friend,
    I am so sorry… for another loss…. so soon.
    Dwell on nice memories….it helps….a little…maybe a lot?
    Hug you,

  11. Val says:

    Oh Rosie, you poor thing losing not just your Mother but your friend so close to each other in time. My sympathies to you and to Mac and their family. Hugs.

  12. Priya says:

    Dear Rosie,

    Sally had the sweetest smile and an amazing peace-like quality to her, didn’t she? It shows.
    Mac must be in despair. I hope he finds peace here. And I wish you a state of mind in which you remember Sally just the way you want to.

    Much love.

    • dearrosie says:

      Priya I send you million thank yous, and many kisses across the miles for writing a comment here, and today, when you’re coping with your own grief over the sudden death of your favourite uncle, a man who was only in his 50’s and so enjoying life.

      I know that you really understand Mac’s despair and his search for peace. I hope he finds comfort here, as I hope you too can find peace and comfort in your grieving.

      As for me, I choose to remember the Sally I knew at the cottage by the lake, laying by the dock sharing titles of books, or binoculars around her neck running to identify a bird she’d seen fly by, not as she was last month.

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