Ellie Perkins Will Be Missed!

April 28, 2003

By Glenn Gramigna

There are probably few experiences more devastating than to turn on the 11 pm news and find out that one of your best friends, the most caring, skillful, loving person you know, has been brutally killed -- and at the hands of her own son.

Yet, this was what happened to me tonight when I learned that 54 year old Ellie Perkins, loving wife, devoted mother, accomplished artist, successful businesswoman, and spiritual counselor,...had been stabbed to death in their Amherst home by her 28 year old son Jeremy, a sufferer from the unspeakably destructive disease of schizophrenia.

At first you simply can't believe it -- Surely she must have only been injured. There's got to be some hope of recovery -- But, there is none.

The only thing to be done now is to make sure that the true story of Ellie's life isn't lost amidst all the horror of this profoundly deranged act.

First of all, it should be said that this unfathomable tragedy represents the temporary end of one of the great love stories of all time, between Ellie and her husband of 30 years, Don. Despite three decades together, they still loved each other like newlyweds. One can only imagine the pain being felt right now by him and their beautiful daughter, Danielle.

Also, people should know that Ellie Perkins was a gentle, courageous, compassionate, funny, lighthearted and very idealistic person who believed that people's past traumas and upsets could and should be dealt with through spiritual means, never through the use of drugs or duress.

At the same time, she was also an effective businesswoman who built a profitable enterprise over a 25 or more year period by selling her hand painted glass art paintings at local malls, at the Renaissance Fair, and even over the internet.

However, I feel that she would want to be remembered more than anything for her work as a spiritual counselor. She believed that people were basically good and could be helped to smile and prosper again by learning to become more aware of their spiritual essence, by becoming more aware of the infinite love with which they were created.

She lived those beliefs and, in her own way, she couragously died upholding them. The thoughts and prayers of everyone who knows the Perkins family are with them tonight.

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