May 06, 2016 at 07:24 PM


By Sarah House

For eight years, Chuck was an estate manager for a large piece of property on Montecito. When he became too weak to carry on, he moved into Sarah House for hospice care. For years, he had pursued Thrift Store treasures. Now from the corner of his bedroom, he sorted through his many collections: 1940’s appliances, colorful dishes, and albums of vintage properties. Each had a story and he was delighted in the telling of it. As the time of his death drew near, his family arrived from the East Coast. Daily they would sit in our living room, surrounding Chuck “holding court” from an enormous overstuffed chair. Often his mother and sister would sit with one of the staff in the small office, pouring out their grief as they faced the inevitable loss of their son and brother. Chuck’s family had already returned home when he died. Staff were quietly holding his hands at the end. As we prepared his body to be taken to the mortuary, bathing him one last time and dressing him in his favorite clothes, one of his beloved Pavarotti arias played on his small stereo. It seemed a fitting farewell to this dear friend.

Posted in Resident Stories.


To all the wonderful staff at Sarah House, words cannot express the gratitude I have for what you all did for my grandma and my entire family. You helped me look at death as a beautiful journey that grandma was on, it really helped us get through a very difficult time. I would not have wanted to be anywhere else but there in your serene environment. I feel very fortunate that we got to be there with her.