Wednesday, February 17, 2016


When I started this blogging thing, I didn't know it would bring me such friends, or such sorrow at their passing, as it has.

About five people known through this medium now, I think, have died since I began; a couple of them have quite broken my heart. Ellena is one. She was always a quiet, discreet, self-effacing presence, but a rare and special one. Her writing on her own blog, too infrequent, was remarkable, giving as it did glimpses, flashes of the light and shade across her hinterland, and her own unparalleled courage and sweetness. Visiting here, she always, without fail, shed her own, surprising, light, observed the detail, remembered the anniversaries, made the connections. I shall miss her.

I come back here, and shall continue to do so, for the friends I've found here.


Zhoen said...

Condolences, sorry i'd not found her sooner.

Catalyst said...

I missed Ellena but share your sadness at her passing. I was looking through a file just today and was a bit stunned at how many obituaries of friends were there.

The Crow said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, Lucy. I visited her blog for the first time today after reading Robbie's post. She wrote well, seemed to be a very caring person.

Beth said...

Ah, Lucy, I hadn't heard. I'm so sorry.

Jeff said...

Terribly sorry for the loss of your friend—but how lovely that you got to know her through this funny old medium.

Lucy said...

Thanks all.

Z - you are one such friend.

Cat - Indeed. As far as blogging goes, I guess the demographic tends to be an ageing one; in none of the cases of people I mention were their deaths entirely surprising really, Ellena was ill, we knew, but I suppose it's something to do with the engagement that blogging involves, that they're people whose lives one shares a little bit, and who want to communicate.

Crow - looking back over her blog, I thought that if I were reading it for the first time, it wouldn't necessarily make a lot of impression. But with all long term blogging friends, of who you are certainly one, I suppose it's the general sense of presence and knowing someone that builds up. Also, English was not her first language, which made her way of expressing herself in it all the more interesting. And she was indeed very kind.

Beth - glad yu stopped by, she sometimes stopped at yours I think.

Jeff - she had been ill, we knew, and her always quiet presence was quieter still. It is a funny old medium, and the ways in which friendships are formed unusual. But it reminds me that I mustn't forget to check in here and do the rounds.

Roderick Robinson said...

That's it! But I forgot to mention she was fun too - a quiet subversiveness that tickled me time and time again.

I wrote a post called Sublime Mosquito which I have totally forgotten. Here's Ellena's comment:

Looked the word up and read that every minute that passes, 83,000. couples round the world are bonking.
Good news!

Eccentric punctuation but a wealth of meaning in those last two words. That's Ellena.

Lucy said...

Robbie, yes! We were talking about her this morning and saying the same thing, that she was funny too, and I'd omitted to mention that, like the time when Tom went to England, and I said he'd been given dispensation to leave his hermit's cell, and he visit Natalie and there were some photos of them giving each other a squeeze, and Ellena commented

'And, Lucy, if I were you I would make sure to attach a 'pull-back' string to Tom prior to opening the cell door, to prevent kidnapping.'

I really envied her her quirky use of English.

Rouchswalwe said...

Yes, one of my favourite funny Ellena comments:

I spotted this Black Spiced Rum on the shelves on Saturday and was told that it's 'new'. Impressive label - 47.3% - drink responsively it says through my magnifying glass.

the polish chick said...

my condolences for your loss. yes, this is an unexpected treasure trove of friendships, isn't it?

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Yes, I was deeply touched by Ellena. Her quirky way with words, her wonderfully askew, funny and generous way of looking at the world. I would have loved to know her in person,just to sit with her, listening to her talking about her life. How very sad that she is gone.

christopher said...

I would say, "get younger friends." But not this time. I have a younger friend who is quite at risk these days. Instead I will remark that it sobers me to notice that people of my age and younger are passing now. There seems no way to prevent this, so what I do is aim at peace among the storms. I hope for you the same, dear Lucy. You are one of my longest time friends here in this strange electronic light. I myself have made the cut, am over 70. I am no longer young by any standard. It shows if you check closely at how I move and such.

marly youmans said...

So sorry, Lucy. Death is not our friend, the proud thing! Lovely that this made people remember her humor.

Lucy said...

Thanks again, all, and I really will be back here properly soon!

Marly - thanks for stopping by. I was wondering, do you know anything of Vicky/Zephyr? She seems to have completely disappeared off the radar, we normally hear something from her at Christmas but didn't, I'm rather worried but not sure where to go next. I do have her snail mail address so perhaps should send a line.

Trish said...

Dear Lucy and hello to everyone who commented

I've just begun to read Lucy's blog and came across this post. I'm Ellena's eldest daughter Trish (also known as Pasha in her blog).

Tears immediately ran down my cheek as I read all the beautiful and kind words written about Mom. She did have a unique and innocent style in her writing and you've all managed to understand her essence. Ellena would have been flattered, happy and somewhat surprised at all this warmth and understanding. Mom was modest and humble, somewhat struggling with her writings, and often believed it could be better. She never fully saw how her stories were delightful, detailed from a curious perspective with a dream like narrative style.

In each of us there is another self that we do not know. It's unfortunate that we need other people's eyes to accept and embrace a part of ourselves that we'd rather criticize. Mom's passing is still painful but it's also been filled with many gifts - jolts, re-awakenings, and gratefulness.

Thank you to everyone who followed Mom in her written adventures.

Lucy said...

Trish, so glad you stopped by and saw this.