There’s some confusion about how and why bestselling writer of “Passages,” Gail Sheehy, 83, died day before yesterday, August 24th.
Her daughter, Maura, said in her New York Times obituary that Sheehy went to visit her boyfriend in Sag Harbor, contracted pneumonia, and died, possibly of COVID-19. She tells me this morning: “We have no confirmation of Covid. She tested negatively for both COVID and antibodies when she arrived at the hospital and we are waiting for results from another test. It may just be a very bad, very virulent pneumonia. She had a bad pneumonia a year ago that took a long time to recover from. It happens.”
But it was just a week ago, on August 18th, that Sheehy posted a blog to Psychology Today‘s website called “How I’m Beating COVID Isolation with a Dog and a 95-Year-Old Boyfriend.”
Sheehy writes that she’s living on Central Park West, while her bf Robert Ginna is in Sag Harbor. She says: “when I can, I visit my “boy” friend in a safe, socially distanced, compliant way. I go by car and stay for the weekend. And when I can’t visit, we speak on the phone.”
She also notes: “It has been my great delight to take a jitney out to Sag Harbor on summer weekends and bunk in with Robert, going to a nearly empty patch of the beach and kicking off our shoes and sharing sandwiches and beers under an umbrella. We always took [her dog] Chollie with us. He loved chasing birds and running down to dip his nose into saltwater…We are elders who have been confined to home since the pandemic became belatedly acknowledged, but we have been able to partake in this tradition.”
But obviously the title of the blog post was tragically met with reality in the last week. What a tremendous loss.