You will often hear us use the phrase ‘our sanctuary family.’ This isn’t something we use lightly; we feel we get to ‘know’ many of you through the stories you share and how you open your heart. Together we have built a home for elephants and welcomed them here to heal, to find joy, to love, and ultimately, to die. This journey creates a meaningful bond through the highs and the lows. A couple of days ago, we lost a very close member of our sanctuary family. She is not someone you would know from our mention, because she wasn’t the kind of person who wanted that kind of attention. There were a lot of details of her life she didn’t share with everyone, so out of respect for how she lived, we will continue to honor that in her passing.
What we will say is that she was sweet, quite charming, one of those people that brighten your day and somehow always remained positive. She generally didn’t share her own words because she felt others expressed theirs better. What she didn’t realize is that emotion leads to eloquence- when you speak from the heart, the words are always beautiful. What started as a casual acquaintance over molasses, became a friendship I truly enjoyed. She was extremely dedicated to the elephants and freely gave of her time to help GSE grow- setting goals and never failing to meet them- for the elephants. When Ramba was finally coming home, she said she lived her rescue, and she meant it.
One thing that brings us peace when elephants pass is that they seem to know it’s coming and seem to not only accept it but, at times, almost have an excitement about it. They say goodbye to friends in private individual moments, become lighter, more rumbly, come closer to their humans as if also trying to let them know. There is a grace to their death that makes it all a little easier. Our wish for our dear friend was that her last moments were filled with the same love, wholeness, and accepting. And maybe that she was welcomed with a rumble or two. We will miss her, we are grateful to have known her, and the elephants were blessed that she shared such a big piece of her heart with them.
Photo in her honor- sweet Ramba with her gremlin ears- her itchy scratchy belly ears.
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Dianna Johnson saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 4:45 pm
So very sorry for your loss of a dear friend and fellow elephant lover. May she keep an eye on our girl’s in heaven and may they also watch over her. Rest peacefully Elle’s Angel
Julia Eden saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 4:50 pm
My heartfelt condolences for this unexpected sad loss at GSE. May this kind elephant ? loving lady rest peacefully like her precious Ramba Bug ???????
Tammy saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 9:42 pm
Scott Kat and Sanctuary Team, so very sorry for this heartbreaking loss. May you find peace and comfort having shared in the life of such a wonderful kind giving ESB family member who cared deeply for all those beautiful Elephants that she kept us updated on. Now it’s her time to finally meet those who’ve passed before her that I’m sure were waiting at Heavens Gate welcoming her with glorious trumpets and adorable loving rumbles and of course big trunk hugs! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get to know to learn about these amazing Elephants. Rest in Peace dear friend forever remembered never forgotten God Bless
CyrAnn saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 4:55 pm
Ramba’s passing is still difficult to deal with, but I know she knew that her days at sanctuary would be filled with nothing but shear joy, peace and total contentment….
And to not ever be fearful again.
God bless you all for giving her that……….
Alissa Campbell saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 5:08 pm
Rest in Peace sweet lady, a BIG heartfelt Thank You for everything you have done for the elephants, and the GSE. I know you will be missed. Keep an eye on our sweet sweet Ramba and Guida, and all the elephants before them, love & peace!
Kelejan saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 5:10 pm
If there is an Elephant Heaven I am sure she will be truly welcomed and be with the elephants that mean so much to her. I am also sorry for GSE’s loss of a beautiful soul. R.I.P.
JC Tryon saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 5:14 pm
I echo Julia’s condolences and am saddened by her passing. From your description, she certainly was an elephant whisperer. I’m sure she is galloping with Ramba now… Maybe even making hay hats together. RIP dear ones.
Muriel Servaege saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 6:09 pm
We still have so much to learn from elephants. Rest in peace, dear one!.
Carol saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 6:29 pm
So very sorry for the loss of your friend. It comes so quickly after the loss of Ramba. May she RIP and be blessed knowing the love she shared for the elephants, especially dear Ramba.???
Vicky saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 7:06 pm
So sorry to hear about the loss of a fellow elephant lover and for your loss. I will say a prayer for this soul tonight-however I do believe that anyone that shares the love of all species will be at peace and hopefully have a reunion with those that she loves. My thoughts go out to all involved in the loss of this special lady.
Mark Skipsey saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 10:37 pm
What an incredibly caring , compassionate person your dear friend sounded.
She set goals and never failed to meet them…….A little like Guida. A little like Ramba.
Rest well special lady. You will be missed.
Carol Anderson saysJanuary 6, 2020 at 10:53 pm
Words come hard but the tears flow for the loss of your friend. Your grief is obvious. My sincere condolences to all.
Rosie P saysJanuary 7, 2020 at 3:10 am
At this sad time we can take comfort that this beautiful person made the world a better place. Any act of kindness and compassion will have made its mark on the world. Nothing, and certainly not death, can ever take that away. May you shine forever with the elephants you love and walk again with Guida and Ramba. Much love and heartfelt thanks. x
Sherry saysJanuary 7, 2020 at 9:48 am
God takes care of everything! How wonderful it always is to know someone who has a beautiful soul. Beautiful animals too.
Carole C. Grant saysJanuary 7, 2020 at 10:43 am
Mary was a coworker and dear friend for years and she informed and inspired many of us about the plight of her beloved eles. She will be sorely missed and our wish is that we will all continue her legacy of caring and fighting for eles! RIP Mary! We love you!
EleComposer saysJanuary 7, 2020 at 11:32 am
Carole, she was a steadfast ambassador for the elephants everywhere she went, everyone she met, wasn’t she. From all of us at GSE, our thanks to you and all of your coworkers at CORE for your support during the auction and over the years. Our hearts are broken over the loss of Mary, and broken for her family, and you who were her friends and coworkers. –Carolyn Borkowski ?
Cynthia White saysJanuary 7, 2020 at 2:33 pm
You will be so missed Mary. Im so deeply saddened by your passing. You had been a mentor to me in your fight to save elephants. RIP sweet friend. Heaven has indeed gained an angel.
Terry saysJanuary 7, 2020 at 8:44 pm
She was an amazing women … I am sending my heartfelt condolences to Mary’s family, friends, elephant advocate family around the world. She was an amazing – teacher and elephant advocate. I was honored to know this amazing woman even if only for a few short years. Rest in peace my dear friend ?
Adrienne Rojo saysJanuary 8, 2020 at 3:51 am
my condolences to you all. I’m sure she is happy, and I pray Ramba is close to her. Many thanks to you all
Liz saysJanuary 8, 2020 at 12:38 pm
Thank you so much for this incredibly moving tribute about my mother-in-law, who was also my close friend. Even though you sat at a distance from her, you somehow captured her spirit perfectly. The elephants and your organization gave her so much purpose and passion. We thank you for the amazing work you do all over the world for elephants, and everything you did for her. You have been a huge part of her life’s story. We hope she is resting with her beautiful elephants now.
EleComposer saysJanuary 8, 2020 at 1:47 pm
Our thoughts are with you, Liz, and all the family. She was so loved and is deeply missed. ?
Crystal Alexander saysJanuary 10, 2020 at 4:57 am
:’-( Big Sad Elephant tears. Her presence is missed.
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