No snappy title this week, or clever things to say: I heard on Tuesday morning that little Ellie Wilkinson had passed away overnight, after two and a half years battling a mitochondrial disease. She wasn’t quite four years old, and yet during her short life she had an enormous impact on the community here in Mallorca.
We took this little girl and her family into our hearts, and it’s no surprise that many people are feeling very emotional at the moment, myself included.
I wonder if we are all experiencing a mixture of feelings? I feel sadness for her family, relief that Ellie isn’t in pain anymore, love for my own kin, gratitude that my little girl is healthy, and frustration that I couldn’t do more to help. But I just can’t contemplate how Ellie’s parents, Candice and Jason, are feeling at the moment. I wouldn’t know where to start.
Where can we find some comfort? I don’t know much about going to heaven and angels, I won’t speculate about that, but I do know about the influence that little girl had on our community. We’re a funny bunch normally, we have our spats and fall outs, just like one big hulking ugly family really. But many of us were inspired by her. Children shouldn’t have to experience pain and Ellie had to deal with a lot of physical pain in her short life. Who wouldn’t want to try to alleviate that? So, we joined together to help. And in doing so we were also able to find a way to cope with our feelings about the tragedy of her situation: we felt that we were doing something useful. Fundraising, raising awareness, contributing to a raffle, praying, sitting with her overnight to give her parents a rest, helping out at her home, we all tried to help in our own individual way.
We’re simple creatures really; we look for reasons as to why things have happened, to give them some meaning, to finesse an explanation where perhaps there really isn’t one. We want life to be fair, but it turns out that it isn’t. Is there something, a legacy, that Ellie will leave behind? What has she taught me? To try to be humble, to be more grateful, to see the funny side in things as frequently as possible. She’s reminded me that life is precious, and short. What about you? Whatever you are doing with your life, are you doing your absolute best? Make an effort for Ellie’s sake, to live your life to its fullest potential because she didn’t get the opportunity to.
Ellie’s funeral is at 10am in Calvia on Saturday, her parents don’t want anyone to wear black. Such a sad colour. I can imagine there will be a lot of people at the service, all wearing a dash of lilac: Ellie’s favourite.
I hope the sun makes a special effort and shines extra brightly that morning.
Published in the http://www.euroweeklynews.com on 27th January 2011
There is a collection for funds to give to this remarkable family to try and ease some of the stress from them – heartbreaking times ahead, without having to worry about the financial burden of it all. If you would like to donate something then please do. You can make a bank transfer to the details below.
Contact & Donation Details:
Direct Transfers to Ellie’s Fund:
ELLIE BROOKE WILKINSON
Numero de Identificacion Bancaria (NIB): 0216 6918 480707046371
Internacional Banking Account Number (IBAN): ES22 0216 6918 4807 0704 6371
Bank Identification Code (BIC): POHIESMM
Or leave a message here if you want to donate in another way.