Friday, 4 May 2012

Oonagh Mary Gallagher Born: Feb 15th 1928 Died: May 3rd 2012

Apologies for the absence of posts but my mother in law, Oonagh, passed away yesterday.
Although she had been diagnosed with dementia two years ago she retained her elegance right to the very end.

                                       Oonagh was the most stylish woman I have ever met.

Whether it was slacks and sweater, mother of the bride, lunch out or Sunday lunch with the family; she always looked immaculate.

 I was always in awe of her elegance and one of my greatest thrills is that, despite having lots of expensive jewllery, in her later years she nearly always wore the cultured pearls I bought for her from the Peal Market in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

                                               It was one of the few things I got right!

I have to be honest, we didn't always have the easiest of relationships.
After all, I had taken away her youngest son.
It wasn't until I had sons of my own that I realised how painful that must have been.
She has had a difficult few years and in many ways her passing is a great relief to those who loved her.
Now I like to imagine her, not as she ended her days, but back in her heyday  in that great ballroom in the sky - finally reunited with her husband.


  1. Oh hun my sympathies to you and your family. My aunt had dementia and passed away last year. I, like you, remember her as she was not how she ended her life.

    Hugs to all.

    X x

  2. Jane I am sorry to hear this.
    What a lovely post you have written for her - I am sure that wherever she is she knows her son in well taken care of.

  3. Very sad news, but a lovely tribute to her x

  4. My sympathies to your family. Such lovely photographs.
    Ah, mothers and sons... it can be tricky for the woman who comes along and "takes" the son away. You have written about the situation with great honesty and grace. xxxx

  5. It is obvious from the photos that she knew how to dress. I know how relationships with mother-in-laws can be and though her passing sounds like it is a bit of a relief, I suspect you'll miss her. My condolences.

  6. Thank you for taking the trouble to comment.Terri - we will miss her dreadfully. Everyone who met her remembered her. She had a great sense of humour and we will remember the happier times.
    The reason it is a relief is that dementia robbed us of her true character.
    Although there were flashes of lucidity they became rarer and rarer.
    The day before Oonagh died my husband was feeding her.
    He said: "I love you very much mum."
    "I love you too," she replied.

  7. This is a lovely tribute to an elegant and lively lady and how wonderful that you had such a good relationship with your mother-in-law. Sending my condolences, as I too am grieving. My lovely mother died in March aged 92 years. I find that looking through all the old black and white photos of her heydays is a sad but beautiful way to remember her.Cx

  8. My sympathies to you and your family, Jane.