In memory of Elfie

On Thursday 28th January, my mother Elfie Rosenberg passed away after a 10-year long battle with a T-cell lymphoma.

That night, I texted all the friends who had been kept up to date with her deterioration:

“Our wonderful Elfie the angel and light of our lives has left her body and is free from suffering.  Long and healthy life to you and yours….Bless you all for being part of all our lives.”

In a non-traditional send off, we waited for one of my daughters to return from overseas to have the service.  It gave us time to prepare.  My sister Denise Hilton made a magnificent presentation of photos accompanied by the music that punctuated our life with Mum.



I want to share with the Almanac community the following part of my memorial speech.

“She (Mum) alone decided it was time to go.  And I will add that we had had all the discussions needed for us to be on board, we had filled in the ADARDS sheets where people expressed their wishes for their treatment at the late stages of life.  She’s let us know and all her medical people know.  Denise and I had power of attorney and medical power of attorney.  She expressed until the last days her determination. “Why am I still here” to medical staff. As she would come out of sedation and once again be tormented by her itch, her glare said it all and she was made comfortable.  It was incredibly quick, the time between her deciding enough and her last heartbeat, just as she wanted, she was unwavering…

We needn’t be scared of death, at whatever age.  It is natural as every breath we take.  It is always only for our anointed time, so I can say, on behalf of Mum, have a blast.  Enjoy every minute. Enjoy the people in your lives. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do.  Do only what brings joy in your life or change your thinking and find a way to make it joyful; art, writing, football, travel, work, she did it all, as I now do it all. Do as much as possible with the ones who you love.  Don’t take crap from anyone. Speak up about the crap if that helps, and get help to fight the crap if you need.

Talk to those close to you about what you want when your time comes. Treat death as just another experience and do it your way. Love and love fully. Live and live fully. Hug the person sitting next to you. Just breath love in. There’s plenty of the negative out there in life – the only answer is love and its permutations.”

Above is a photo of Mum joining in with our St Kilda madness, and below a cartoon I did of her that she boasted about to all her friends.  She wrote a book about her life, “Serry and Me Kindertransport and Beyond” and I include a chapter telling the story of her town and her escape (linked here: Chapter4_Serry and me).  We are happy to share the whole book as a PDF if you leave your email address or contact me at mine: [email protected]


A long and healthy life to all Almanackers, and to the wonderful John Harms and his team that make this site possible.



About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Not sure what Yvette means by ADARDS sheets but I used this website to download the Start the Talk documents.
    It’s a hard talk … but worth doing it.

  2. Dear Yvette,
    I’m sorry about the death of your mother.
    Thanks so much for sharing part of her spirit and part of her story with us.

    It’s obviously with thought and care that you highlight some of the difficulties around end-of-life decisions.
    Thanks for raising them here. Thought-provoking stuff.

    With perspective this brings I’ll aim again for an affirming attitude to life and all of its possibilities.
    Thanks Yvette, Go well.

  3. Love the sentiments in your memorial speech, Yvette. “Love and love fully. Live and live fully.”
    Nuff said. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  4. Interesting read Yvette. My mother died this morning so it’s certainly topical.

    I’m unsure what speeches we’ll make at the funeral. Firstly we’ll talk with priest, my mother
    was a good catholic and plan her funeral around the requiem mass..
    Have you read the work of Dr Karen Hitchcock on the elderly and death? It’s worth perusing. The French philosopher Badiou is also worth reading. Death is a finality, but amidst the sadness of loss, we must celebrate the life of the one(s) who have given us so much.


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