In Memoriam

Sheri D. DeRosa

Editor's Note: Sheri DeRosa, longtime program administrator for Woods Hole Sea Grant, passed away suddenly this year at 42. The immensity of her absence is felt daily. Former WHSG communicator Tracey Crago worked with Sheri for 15 years and was her close friend. She shares her thoughts here, in the form of a letter to dearly missed friend.

Dear Sheri:

I have a message and it is simply this: your friends miss you . . . we miss your smile, your giggle, the way you listened to us. And we miss those special parts of you that you shared more selectively, like gifts that we earned and treasured.

You left in the winter before the ospreys returned. The irony was not that the birds came back as they always do, but that their return was marred by mishaps. And you weren't there to keep us up to date, to celebrate each milestone.

This is something I think about: Remember how we'd get to talking about someone we hadn't seen in forever and then they would either show up or call? I like to think it works for you still, only in reverse, and that you can tell how often you are thought of, with love.

Just as, in life, you had gift giving down to an art form, you continue to bestow your gifts, in memories that we savor. We spend time with you that way: reliving the moments until, like clouds at the beach, the pain of reality comes along and spoils the purity of a perfectly formed memory.

You have left us and we go on. Please know that there will be a place - the space in our hearts occupied by your friendship - that will remain empty. Reserved. Thank you for making it yours.

Love, Tracey