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A death in the Lovefraud family

Donna Andersen and Tracy Andersen — one of my favorite photos.

Tragedy is part of life. Tragedy recently struck my family and me. My sister, Tracy Andersen, passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly.

Tracy frequently helped me with Lovefraud, and if you’re a long-time reader, you may have seen her name. She posted many stories for me. She was a talented graphic designer, and she created many pieces of art for Lovefraud, such as the “Spath Tales” logo and “Senior Sociopath Survey” ads.

Tracy was 55 years old. For the past 14 years, she was living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Although life was getting more difficult for her, she was still on her own and still functional. She was not in a wheelchair. She was not bedridden. So her death was a complete shock. In fact, we still don’t know the exact cause — it wasn’t the Parkinson’s.

Our family received an outpouring of sympathy and offers of assistance from our relatives and Tracy’s multitude of friends. All of it was authentic — there weren’t any sociopaths trying to take advantage of our loss.

Sociopaths and death

How do sociopaths respond to death?

First of all, they do not really experience grief. I’ve heard many horror stories from people involved with sociopaths. When the targets lost a loved one, a typical sociopathic reaction was, “She’s gone. Get over it.”

Secondly, they view death as an opportunity for exploitation. My sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, typified this reaction.

Montgomery’s wife before me, Gale Lewis, died suddenly at age 42. Here’s what he did:

  • He convinced Gale’s parents to give him money. (He been pressuring Gale to ask them for money during their entire involvement.)
  • He called a former girlfriend in California and told her his wife died — why didn’t she move in with him? (He was living in Gale’s townhouse.)
  • Within about a week of her death he posted a personal ad online, claiming to be a widower but his “grieving was complete.” This is the same ad I eventually responded to — having no idea that she had passed so recently.
  • When I met Montgomery for the first time, he used the death of his wife as a pity play to get me to feel sorry for him.
  • After a few weeks of dating, I visited Montgomery where he was living, in Gale’s new, well-furnished townhouse. He spread his arms and said, “All this will be yours.” It wasn’t true, because her estate went to her parents. But at the time, he convinced me that he was financially successful.
  • While I was married Montgomery, he was still online looking for women. He sent Gale’s death certificate to one of them, to prove he had “no wives hiding in the closet.”

I am thankful that there were no such sociopathic shenanigans after my sister’s loss.

Eulogy

I gave a eulogy at Tracy’s service, which was attended by many, many friends and family. In her honor, I’d like to share it:

On Thursday, February 23, Tracy stopped by and had dinner with my husband, Terry, and me.

She looked great. She had just gotten a massage, which had loosened the tight muscles in her neck and legs. Tracy had recently joined a gym, and she was excited about the possibility that the exercise and massages would help her feel better physically, in spite of her Parkinson’s disease.

Tracy took an after-dinner nap, said goodbye and drove home.

A few days later she was gone.

Tracy’s life started out full of promise. Many of you here today knew Tracy from high school, where she was a great student, captain of the dance squad and prom queen.

She went to Seton Hall University, where she studied film production — quite a few of you are her friends from college.

During her career, she worked for multiple companies as a video producer, production manager, graphic designer and web designer. She was talented and efficient, and did a good job. Many of you know this first hand, because you worked with her.

Tracy valued her family and friends, and tried to stay in touch with everyone. She was fun, energetic and always ready for a road trip.

Fourteen years ago, when she was only 42 years old, Tracy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s, as we all know, is a serious illness with no cure. But the truly remarkable thing about Tracy is that she never complained about the hand life had dealt her.

If anyone had good reason to feel sorry for herself, to live in a state of “woe is me,” it was Tracy. She never did that. She was like the Energizer Bunny; she just kept going. As long as she could, she kept working and socializing with her multitude of friends.

Throughout her adult life, Tracy wanted to be the best person that she could be. She described herself as being “honest to a fault,” and in any given situation, she wanted to what was morally and ethically correct.

Personal development was very important to her, and she continued to seek growth, even as she dealt with her illness.

Tracy believed that there was a reason for her Parkinson’s, and it had to do with helping others.

She used to say that when the angels were giving out life assignments, she raised her hand to take on Parkinson’s. Her dream was to compile information on treatment options, so that other people could readily find resources.

Tracy believed that we are all put on this planet to make a contribution.

I have Tracy’s laptop. I’d like to share the last document that she wrote. It was time stamped February 25, 2017 at 6:09 PM.

Here’s what she wrote:

 

We are ALL Responsible for our quality of life.

We don’t need to be US vs THEM.

We are all responsible for the world in which we live.

It isn’t only the job of government.

We don’t need to worry about tax cuts.

It doesn’t matter who won the election.

We have the opportunity to come together regardless of whether you voted for him or her.

We each have to take responsibility of changing our world for the good.

We can’t just say “fix this” to our government and sit back in our easy chairs and judge whether they do a good job without giving them any help.

As Michael Jackson said “I’m starting with the man in the mirror”

If I’m going to make a difference – gonna make it right

If you want to make the world a better place, then take a look at yourself and make a change.

I’m starting with the man in the mirror.

That’s what Tracy was thinking about shortly before she passed.

As we all search for meaning, I don’t know why Tracy left us so suddenly and so soon.

So I suggest that we look for meaning not in her death, but in her life.

Tracy cared deeply about family and friends.

With every project she took on, she did her best.

Tracy was conscientious and always tried to do the right thing.

She was independent and optimistic, and determined to live her life her way.

I know I’m speaking for myself, my family and all of you, when I say that Tracy will be sadly missed.

 


Comment on this article

27 Comments on "A death in the Lovefraud family"

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Maybe you can find a way to pay tribute to her.

Donna Will you be having a memorial service for your sister?

Donna, sincere condolences to you & your family. What a tragic loss of a beautiful person inside & out.

Such a wonderful, loving and evolved sister must be a huge loss for you, Donna. I see that you do what your sister encouraged in her list – you are indeed making a difference. What a tribute to Tracy.
My sincere condolences.

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