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December 12, 2007


Jenn Givler

Sheila - {{{HUG}}}

I actually see an angel in the first photo as well.

If you look to the right of the flame, there is a mark near the top that looks like a halo. And if you look under that, you can almost make out hands and arms in prayer position.

You've captured something truly amazing there - truly awe inspiring.

Thank you for sharing Sam with us. It has been wonderful to get to know him, and about your lives together over these last few weeks.

Much love to you,


Dear Sheila,

I'm so sorry to hear of Sam's passing. Even when you know a person's days are numbered, it's suc a shock when it happens. What a comfort and blessing to have this sign and reassurance that Sam will always be near in spirit. Thank you for sharing the pictures, the story, and the possibly life-saving informhation about swallowing.

Big hugs and love,

Sheila Finkelstein

Thanks, Jenn and Sharon, for your sympathy, hugs and love.

It took a couple of minutes, Jenn, and I do see the image to which you are referring.

And, Sharon, it's interesting. Sam seemed so far from "numbered" days. As a matter of fact, he had been doing remarkably better on a medication he had been put on and we're guessing that somewhere along the line he probably aspirated, getting food down the wrong path, and got an infection. And, he never choked, at least in my presence.

A friend whose husband has Parkinson's Disease was told by their doctor that more Parkinsonians die from choking than anything else.

In Sam's case, from what I could see, his muscles simply weren't strong enough at the end to process the saliva and take deep enough breaths to breathe on his own. Also, he did not pass the swallow tests when he was first admitted to the hospital.

Much Love,

Peggy Kemp

Dear Sheila,

I have missed your lovely photos and commentary, and have been hoping that you were just on a long vacation. I'm so sorry to hear of Sam's sudden passing. I felt like I knew him a little bit through your writings about him. Thanks for sharing the info about the swallowing exercises.



Sheila, like Peggy, I have missed your emails recently, and reflected how our daily lives change during crisis. Truly, your Sam won a place in this heart, as in many readers', as a result of your newsletters and photos, and his own comments on many of them. His wit and wisdom will be missed by us all. Widowed myself 23 years ago, I can promise you that Sam's flame will indeed light your way from here on. It always seemed so peculiar that the very person whose comfort I most needed was the dear one whose loss I was mourning. Before long, though, spirit's closeness crossed the gap and warmth returned to my every day. May you find it so too. ~Kit in Canada


Im saving your email in my "dont throw this away folder" Sheila, it was your message of advice at the end about swallowing problems. people come in and out of my life for various reasons, and many with disabilitating illnesses and syndromes so I am sure it will be passed on when the time is right to people who would value the information the last picture of the candle light reminded me of an angel with outstetched hands
so lovely to have you popping in my email box again
love and blessings

Dean Evans

Dear Mrs Finkelstein,

So sorry to hear today about Sam. I just want to say though that I think he was a blessed man. Through the years he lived with the disease that would steal him away,you were certainly the strength to carry him. You were always active and seeking to find a way to help him though the latest and best medical care he could get. You were a noble warrior in this fight and in the demonstration of unconditional love in marriage, you have indeed won the victory. Now may God's grace abound to you and your family. May his peace fill your hearts.

Dean Evans, PA
VA Medical Center


Hi Sheila,

I too was sorry to hear of Sam's passing and you and your family's loss. I read everything from every link you have hear and it was all very beautiful. I was moved to tears more than once. What a beautiful life you shared together.



Angela Skene

Sheila - thank you so much for sharing so tenderly the passing of Sam. I loved seeing him waving at me in the flame - yes, his light is eternal. Part of the tenderness that I feel with his passing is the respect and admiration that I feel for you, Sheila, in your loving care for him. Of course it wasn't easy, and I'm sure there may be some...."if only I...". From my limited perspective I am moved touched and inspired by the loyal, committed, loving care that you provided right to the end of 47 1/2 years! Quite a huge accomplishment, I'd say, and a substantial contribution given.

Thank you for your sharings,
Angela Skene


What a beautiful tribute to such a beautiful Soul. I only talked to him a few times when he was nearby at home or in the car when we were on the phone talking, and yet I could always feel his loving, gentle nature. He seemed so loving and patient regardless of the struggles that went on around him from time to time. I could feel him smiling through the phone lines and through your words.

My favorite phrase you shared once when you were having a challenging moment together and you were not being as kind as you wanted to be. He told you he did not like that channel or told you to "change the channel" and it still makes me smile even today, whenever I think of it. I imagine I will use it and share it with others when the conversation is not to my liking! I am sure it will bring a smile to other's faces as well! We will keep passing along and sharing Sam's words of wisdom!!

I can also clearly see the Angel in the top photo with her Halo. It is my favorite! In fact, whenever I softly stare at the photo, it moves, the candle glows! It also looks as if a Spirit left the candle and was walking into the room and you can see the lighted steps left behind!

I know Sam's loving energy and memories will forever live with you and fill everyday with more and more joy and happiness! It was just his wish and way of Being!

Endless Love, Morgine


I hope it is not presumptuous to say that I felt like I got to know Sam quite a bit through your generous sharing of your life together. It is only human that we will miss him, but, truly, his light will shine forever.

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