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In Loving Memory of Eugene (Gene) Ensz


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#21 Helen

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:20 PM

Shelley,

Very sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.

Helen



#22 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 12:10 PM

I want to thank everyone for their kind condolences and sympathies and thoughts, from the bottom of my heart. 

 

Many of you know that Gene and I worked side by side for many years in running the ISN.  Occasionally, he would finish up his work a few minutes before me, but he was so thoughtful that he would still sit at our desk, reading his book, just to keep me company.  He ran everything behind the scenes so it is taking some doing for me to get up to speed on them.

 

But one thing I want to mention is his legacy of happiness.  He was just about the happiest person you've ever met!  He greeted every day with joy in his heart and always had extra smiles to give to everyone he encountered. He was incredibly ill the last six months of his life (so many serious things wrong nobody could hardly believe it all), but his attitude never faltered. Even on his very last day, the nurse asked him how he was feeling, did he want any pain medication?  And he replied, no, that's fine, that he was feeling, "Marvelous!"

 

We had a lot of time to ponder the inevitable, of course. He kept insisting that he just wanted me to be happy, come what may.  For the longest time I really wondered how that would be possible, without him.  Then I remembered his frequent saying, that happiness is a decision.

 

And I must say, under the circumstances, it was very hard for me to make the decision to still be happy, once he passed away.  That sort of decision requires a lot of work, as well.  I had to very diligently work on my attitude, examining every thought to see if it was helpful and happiness-sustaining, or not.  I had to take very good care of myself, and not so easy since he was my primary caregiver!  But self-pity over that wasn't going to help me, either.

 

I can't say this has been a walk in the park, and I wouldn't wish the circumstances of grief upon anyone. But I can say that now things have settled down, and my overwhelming feelings are gratitude for having the great good luck to have 33 years, 3 months, 2 weeks, 1 day and 15 minutes with one of the most fabulous men to ever grace the planet earth.  I have been blessed with love and more happiness than most people have ever known.

 

I know everyone here also feels sad about his passing. I am sorry for your experience of loss and sadness in this as well. But what he wanted most, for each and every one of us, was for us to be happy.  And to make the decision to be happy, regardless of our circumstances in life and despite all our losses and hurts.

 

So now, you don't need to worry about walking on eggshells around me. It is okay, even helpful, to joke around and get back to the issues that concern all of us.  And really, a few jokes wouldn't even hurt to get our groove back again.  I know how it is to think, oh, I shouldn't mention my little concern in the face of something so much more serious.  Hogwash.  If you so much as stub your baby toe, we want to hear about it . . . and besides, Gene would have been among the first to make a joke about it, too!

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.