XXXX. – September 18, 2019
To my family and colleagues in Australia and the United States of America.
Elaine and I set off from home to our Church at West End in Brisbane last Sunday afternoon and before we had gone 2 of 30 miles, I changed course for the local emergency hospital. Elaine was admitted and examined and within 45 minutes was in an ambulance headed for the Intensive Care Unit at Mater Hospital in Brisbane at 90 kph. My daughter Sandra and I kept vigil by her side, talking with her on occasions between nurse and doctor attentions, and on Monday and Tuesday we sang her favourite song “The Rose”. Elaine died at 9:30pm Tuesday 21st September following a mostly conscious journey with pain management attended by her magnificent doctor specialists and nurses and the faith of a saint in adversity.
I have now returned home to an empty house and I know I will need help and seek it. Sandra, Karen and some friends and I are planning a funeral/memorial probably for next Wednesday one week from today at the West End Uniting Church and intend to send her urn of ashes to her brother Raymond Goff in St. Paul MIN for a later placement with her parents graveyard in Cable Wisconsin. This was her wish.
I am blessed with wonderful family and friends and 33 years of companionship with Elaine; a woman of extraordinary accomplishments and the best Christian Theologian and servant in the Way of Jesus I have ever encountered. A professional teacher and practitioner of Facilitation.
~~ Ray Richmond. Cleveland, Queensland, Australia
Dear Ray, Joe and I are deeply thankful that the global connections — from you in Queensland, Australia to Sharon in Seattle, WA, to Jann in Linsay, CA, to the O:E colleague listserve — have allowed us to join with you and so many others in experiencing the shock at learning about Elaine’s sudden passing; then the decades-rich flood of memories of our lives with hers and yours; and after the deep sense of loss and grief, in time, the affirmation of her whole, full completed before the Mystery, as a promise of our own at our time of ending.
We treasure our earliest times with you and Malina in Singapore at the 1969 ITI, and then in the Sydney House in 1970-71. We treasure our later times, as well with Elaine and Dick in Chicago, long after we knew you in Australia. Then what a wonderful mission you and Elaine launched and carried forth in Australia. All of us who spent time in your wonderful homeland give thanks for that opportunity, and are grateful for those of you who have carried on being the church, on behalf of the innocent suffering, the marginalized, and the forgotten ones. We hold you very close, in our hearts (with great thanks) and certainly in our prayers for your peace and solace. With love and respect,
~~ Marilyn and Joe Crocker
What words can we use describe our journey of the past few years with our beloved(s)? My heart goes out to you knowing the feeling of missing such a huge part of your life. I recall saying to Fred over and over, “I know I can do well after you are gone, but I will miss you more than you imagine.”
I experienced some relief and release following Fred’s death. His illness was long and intense. He and Elaine are now beyond any suffering whether from actual pain or the struggle of being totally dependent on others for their care. My healing candle is lit for you, Elaine, and your families and friends.
I am sooooo glad that you were able to be here for Mariko and Sam’s wedding. And, how happy we were to see you in person after a few years had gone by.
~~ Nancy Lanphear
My heart is with you as you go down a path travelled by many of our colleagues and friends recently. Thank you for sharing your and Elaine’s story much as Nancy shared the final hours of Fred’s journey. These are precious, poignant moments to be recorded and remembered. I am so glad we were able to spend time with you at the time of Miko’s (Robertson) wedding in June. Both of you gave your all to making that a wonderful event filled with rich stories and song, rituals and symbols. Blessings, and gratitude for Elaine’s wonder-filled life,
~~ Carol Crow