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Ellen Merer | Retired Pharmacist

On the 11th February 1924, I arrived 2-months early to a disappointed family who wanted a boy. I was born in the most prestigious hospital in Vienna, Austria, and wasn’t meant to survive, being premature. Being stubborn from the day I was born till the day that I die I proved them wrong and after being in an incubator for 6-months and brought up on peasant's milk, I am now telling my story at 93 in Sydney, Australia.

I'm not afraid of death. I'm ready. I think it's a mystery and all shall be revealed. Some people waste their lives fearing death.

When I think of dying, I look at my orchids. They last for a long while and then the flowers start to shrivel up and fall off. Then I look at them again, and the next one shrivels up and falls off. So in the end, there's just one left, which is going to fall off as they're tired. They've given their beauty and they've had their life, and it's finished.

My belief is that energy doesn't get lost and whatever the supreme power is, it's like a light, like the sun. And depending on how good or bad or how we've wasted our life, that part of energy that's not used up, goes back to the original energy. And that makes perfect sense to me.

The only thing is that I think it would be nice to have some caviar and go dancing as I won't be able to do that again.

- Ellen Merer

Editor's note: Two-months after writing this letter, Ellen died. She is deeply missed, however, as she said: "I'm not afraid of death. I'm ready". Wherever she is now, I shall wish her spirit is dancing again - and indulging in a little caviar X

[Ellen Merer 11.02.1924 - 18.09.2017]

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  • Exquisite picture both story and photo lovely Ellen - Rosada Hayes (Facebook)
  • These are the most wonderful photos and stories - sierramalevich (Instagram)
  • What a light shining back. I enjoy your photography in response to the letter - the two talk to each other - Fern Smith (email)
  • Thanks Ellen. Thanks Tina. Energy cannot be created or destroyed- only transferred to one form or another. I love Ellen's letter. We are all orchids. - Susan Marie (Facebook)
  • Lovely - Stevie Lindsay Ross (Facebook)
  • Stunning deep moving thank you so much to share this story - Sarah Malone (Facebook)
  • Wonderful - Emily Highfield (Facebook)
  • So beautiful - Peter Banki (Facebook)
  • I was your only employee for many many taught me so much about life..I thought of you often and always will...thanks for the memories - Colleen Sutton (email)