My longtime acquaintance, friend, and relative by marriage died yesterday in Granada, Nicaragua. The cause of death was an antibiotic-resistant blood infection.
Saskia was a very intelligent person. Fully fluent in four languages (at least--English, Spanish, Italian, and French), she had an excellent eye. She was a skilled photographer (old school), and had a successful career as a young woman as a fashion editor (an assistant at Vogue--she said her experiences there with Polly Mellen were the real basis of "The Devil Wears Prada"--and a more senior role with Details). She was very generous: her trademark was the quality of her gifts, which were carefully considered, sometimes way too expensive, and always included with a kind, loving note. She was a great hostess and a great cook.
Born and raised in Rome, Italy to expat parents--her Dutch father and American mother (and named for Rembrandt's wife)--she was a true internationalist, with friends all over the world. She hated the very idea of Donald Trump: At least she will not have to endure seeing him as our President.
I would not say she was a person of moderation, with the way that she loved--married twice, to a charming Frenchman and a handsome Spaniard--danced, partied, or, on occasion, hated.
Saskia was a person who lived life to the fullest extent. Though she died relatively young (early '50's), who's to say that's wrong? I am just sorry for her daughter, her sister, and others who loved her (one wonderful man was with her at the end).
Losing someone you know well makes you acutely aware of your own mortality. Live accordingly.