Warm Farewell Note from Emily

The end of the summer brings a time of transformation, and as Five-Element Chinese Medicine refers to it, the fifth season, the season of the Earth element. This is when the fruits and vegetables are bursting forth with life, ready for harvest. There is an impending stillness and tranquility, as Summer so gradually turns to Fall. There is a similar bittersweetness that permeates my transition out of Family to Family.


Dr. Lisa as the witch, Emily as Dorothy and Nan as scarecrow. Halloween, 2011.

Over the years my job evolved, from sterilizing speculums in the basement to administrative work upstairs – and yet the essence remained the same. The essence of service.

An impact was made the first time I picked up the phone and it was a woman in the early throws of labor. These experiences ignited my call to become a birth doula.

An impact was made when I was touched by one of our dying patients for the first time. These are the big mysteries; this is the stuff of life. For almost five years, I’ve had the honor and privilege of supporting the patients at Family to Family, as well as the physicians in this rich and varied work. Our physician’s dedication, passion, intelligence and humility has inspired me in countless ways.

It is with the harvesting of the many gifts that I have gained and honed here at Family to Family that I now engage my work a birth doula and bodyworker in a bigger way in the world. It is with deep joy that I now offer these services with greater availability!

The physicians, staff and patients at Family to Family will always hold a particularly soft spot in my heart. I carry you all with me as I enter into this new chapter.

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.”

― Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1


Share this Article