Update: The Astraea Ellie Conant Fund closed on June 30th after six months of fundraising and after an amazing glorious float in her honor rode down the middle of the NYC Pride Parade. At the time of its closing just over $18,000 had been raised in her memory to support LGBTQ youth in Korea.
I know many people who read this blog made contributions and I thank you for your kindness, and support and for helping to change the world in Ellie’s memory.
Recently I wrote a post entitled “Death Ed.” for a dear friend, a chosen sister who was facing a terminal illness.
She died early New Year’s Day, peacefully, in the arms of her amazing partner. We received the call as we were eating ttok mandoo guk, the traditional Korean New Year soup that she had taught us to make.
It is nearly impossible to describe Ellie to those who have not met her. It is also nearly impossible to explain to those who do not know us how it is that we became a family. Her own words are more effective than any of my own.
She helped to raise my children. She helped me care for my sick and dying mother.
She fed my Korean children the food her Korean mother fed her as a child and taught them to cook it for themselves.
She was there on our worst and best days as a family.
She understood my children in places that I will never comprehend, but will always respect.
She made me laugh my ass off even in the darkest times. She stepped up for me, and permitted me to do the same for her.
She changed people’s lives who met her one time, for ten minutes and never ever forgot her.
It has always been easier for both of us to give help and harder for us both to receive it. But somehow we learned to ask and accept and receive help from each other.
And because Ellie was such a supportive soul, and so encouraging about this blog:
I will take what we learned together and ask my What a Shrink Thinks community to help us make sure that this loss generates care and consolation for others:
Before her death, Ellie spent time thinking about her legacy, the causes and the people on this planet that she most wanted to support – projects that would serve as extension of her core values and passions. She decided that her memory would be most honored by caring for LGBTQ youth in Korea. With the help of Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice we are able to direct donations made in her memory toward a shelter in Korea for LGBTQ youth, as well as other projects.
Please help her extraordinary and nurturing spirit continue to work for change, compassion and liberation in this world.
Please share this post and follow this link to the Astraea donations page, and be sure to indicate that your donation is in memory of Ellie Conant.
Donations will be accepted through June, 2016–both the month of Ellie’s birth and the annual Pride celebration she loved so much. How fitting that we support her in spreading Pride into the world.
To my beloved adoption community:
So many people have reached out to us to ask how they can support our children through the loss of their dear dear Imo.
This is how:
Our bonds as a family were forged & solidified there, it is an annual community/family reunion for us and we hope you will all help us to keep Ellie’s generous spirit present at the conference so the kids can see that she is not forgotten.
She left us with so much , and I hope that we can extend that abundance to others.
With a full and grateful heart,