Tributes to Sally

Excerpts from Sally’s eulogy

The loving was easy with Sally – I loved her totally, utterly and completely from the moment she was born, with a depth and intensity that will never be diminished. In her later years, bonded by our mutual distress and her extreme vulnerability, if it is humanly possible, I loved her even more.

Musical, sporty, creative and an animal-lover – that’s my daughter Sally.

Music was a passion. Each new instrument, violin, treble recorder, clarinet, piano, and each new musical piece, was a challenge to conquer, the harder the better for Sally. It gave me great pleasure and made me a very proud father to see and hear her play the violin at the many Hymers’ concerts.

Sport was exactly the same, badminton, football, cricket, rugby, ice hockey and latterly running and boxing, each one providing a challenge to be the best she could be, and in her mind, that was the best of all.

She was a pain sometimes sure, but she was the best friend you could ever ask for; she told you when you were being an idiot, or when you looked terrible and she fit into our house like one of the family.

Over the years, wasted time with Sally was easy; ice skating, baking, exploring and even hamster shopping, but you were always glad you’d wasted your time together.

Sally was not just my friend, she was a sister to me and I am so grateful for every moment I shared with her. For every time we laughed, cried and bickered. From the moment I met her I knew she was going to very special to me.

A mental health diagnosis does not define a person. It describes a range of symptoms and behaviours, based on conflicting medical opinion and dubious criteria which are then given a name, or a “label”. Regrettably, the application of flawed labels with their inherent prejudice, both cause stigma and have dire consequences regarding access to treatment for those seeking help. Sally bore witness to this.

Without doubt, if Sally had experienced a life-threatening physical condition, she would have been admitted to hospital, but, as she so poignantly told me the previous week, “Once you have a mental health condition and are given a “label” – you are a second class citizen and treated as such”.

Comments from Sally’s friends

Sally was an indomitable spirit – truly brave, a bright star, here to teach us what courage is.

Sally was different. From a very young age we could see that Sally’s intellect was something extraordinary. To be academically gifted as well as to be gifted in music, sport and art is very rare indeed.

You will always be one of the most inspirational people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Sally was always the one that put a smile on everyone’s faces and always played her heart out when we had a game.

Sally, you were always smiling and you always told me the truth, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear! I will always remember your beautiful smile and I will treasure your friendship forever.

A bright star, full of courage.

Keep thinking of your smile Sal and that infectious laugh. You could always make me smile even in the grimmest of times.

Well Sally, I really miss your inappropriate behaviour and having you around. You will always be in my heart.

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