Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In Memoriam

My dearest friend Sally passed away on October 28th – my 40th birthday. I’ve been struggling with what to say about her. I haven’t found a way to describe everything she was in my life but I can tell you that she was brilliant and talented. She lived life to the fullest and had more enthusiasm for fun than anyone I have ever known.

She was my partner in crime, my sister by choice, my confidant, my drinking buddy, my travel companion, and so much more for 15 years. She was in her 50’s – I am certain she would not want me to say her real age and so I won’t.

She had a sudden aneurism. Words cannot describe how awful I feel right now. There is a hole in my heart.

I just got home last night from her funeral in Tennessee. Her mother is an amazing woman with so much love to give that just sitting in the same room with her is like being hugged. Even though she is enormously sad, she is grateful for the time they had together. They had an incredible friendship, the likes of which I have never seen between mother and daughter.

I am also grateful for the time I had with Sally. She taught me so much about so many things. At her funeral service I stood up to share about my friendship with her and in part I said, “Knowing Sally was like having sunshine in my life not knowing I had been in the dark. It was like having music in my life not knowing I had been in silence. I am a fortunate woman to have had her as a friend. I will miss her forever.”


cynth said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Sally sounds like an amazing person.

*Rae* said...

I am so sorry for your loss your friend Sally sounds like a wonderful person & I am sure she is looking down on you

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about you (a lot) during this difficult time. I've got a guest room and 4 kids ready to torture you if you want to come visit.

Robert said...

Last Saturday December 1st there was a memorial service held at The English Church in Amsterdam in honor of Sally. This eulogy, one of seven, was read by me, Rob, Sally's boyfriend. I was present when she got sick and stayed with her till the last moment.

Amsterdam December 1st 2007

The first time Sally and I met, was in 2003 at a wedding party, on which occasion she asked me to dance. I clearly remember that moment, but there was no follow up , so to say.
The second time we met, was last year on November 19th at a party given by my friend Roni van Minden, who more or less, arranged for us to meet. And it was a match; we really got along great from the very start. Her wittines, charm and smile did it for me.
She was zo full of life and introduced me into “her” Jordaan, where she was so happy to live. For her it was the best place on earth.
The song “Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten” she knew by heart.
We where happy together and had a lot of fun and wanted to do so many more things in the future.

Her mother, Dottie, was everything to her and she managed to call her every single day where ever she was. Even from China, which she visited last April to give some lectures in Qingdao. Her travelblog, which is still online, is prove that she enjoyed every single moment of her trip.

For some months she was suffering from a “frozen shoulder”, which was painful and bothered her a lot. For this she had physiotherapy a couple of times a week.
We still went in August for a short vacation to France, where we just had a wonderful time.

She was such a positive and vibrant person always with a big smile and
was loved by everyone who knew her. It was heartwarming to see all the flowers and cards that were placed in front of her house by her neighbours.

I miss all the things we had and did together, but above all I miss HER.
There are not enough words to express how I miss her presence.
She gave me so much and changed my life, which will never be the same as before and I will cherish every single moment we had together for the rest of my life.

Now almost 5 weeks after Sally passed away, which is so hard to believe, the frase “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”, which she always used when she went on a trip, has more meaning for me than ever before. I think of her every day and in a way I feel she is still near me.

Sally was a special person and an inspiration for all of us. Let us remember her beautiful smile and may her spirit stay with us forever.