Ellen took her last breath around 5:40 p.m. this evening. Her death coincided with the start of two gatherings of communities deeply important to her. Here in the Quaker Intentional Village-Canaan, we were coming together in the Farmhouse for the start of our semi-annual retreat. A few miles away at the Quaker conference center Powell House, midwives were gathering for the annual weekend retreat of the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives. This weekend will see many tears mixed with storytelling and sharing of memories. We welcome your Ellen stories and memories here on this blog or by snail mail to Eric at 229 Bradley’s Crossing Road, Stop 19, East Chatham, NY 12060.
12 thoughts on “Time to fly”
Thank you for the constant updates in this time of shifting for all of you. Love and love to all at the QIC and especially Eric and the boys. ❤️
This passage from Little Women has stuck with me all my life:
“With tears and prayers and tender hands, Mother and sisters made her ready for the long sleep that pain would never mar again, seeing with grateful eyes the beautiful serenity that soon replaced the pathetic patience that had wrung their hearts so long, and feeling with reverent joy that to their darling death was a benignant angel, not a phantom full of dread.
“When morning came, for the first time in many months the fire was out, Jo’s place was empty, and the room was very still. But a bird sang blithely on a budding bough, close by, the snowdrops blossomed freshly at the window, and the spring sunshine streamed in like a benediction over the placid face upon the pillow, a face so full of painless peace that those who loved it best smiled through their tears, and thanked God that Beth was well at last.”
Ellen let go with the same spirit, grace, and determination with which she fought that hard and horrible battle. Now, at least, she can be at peace. Wishing the same kind of strength to all those who love her, and who now have to figure out how to forge a new path through life without her.
What a beautiful day to fly! As a hospice nurse I often use that metaphor with my patients…
Holding you all in Light and Love-
from Spee’s cousin Margaret
Thank you, Margaret. The metaphors of a journey and flying have been so strong…
Ellen was so fortunate to be in such conscious loving hands for so many years. While death is inevitable for all of us, and her family and community have been living in anticipatory grief for such a long time, the finality can be still be so painful. You are all in my heart in your season of grief. 🙏
The whole MANA family is thinking of all of Ellen’s beloved – we hold you close in our hearts right now.
Here’s an old photo from 1991 of Ellen in her office at Del Rey. If the link works… https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14853132_10208960230514933_5610879003010649383_o.jpg
Love it! Thanks for sharing.
I and everyone at NACPM send our love and deepest condolences to Ellen’s family and friends, and to everyone who was privileged to be touched by her.
I was so touched by Ellen the last time she was able to present at the MANA conference on her research on EDD. It was a delight to finally meet the daughter who Kathryn obviously took such delight in. Though one might think such a presentation would just be all fact and evidence, for me, Ellen’s spirit brought so much more to the short time I had the privilege of being in her presence. Kathryn your MEAC sisters encircle you in arms of comfort and serenity through this time of letting go.
Thank you, Kristi