Helen Venada attended the San Juan Island Worship Group from the late 1980’s until early July, 2014. The pain from the cancerous growth in her shoulder prevented her from attendance.
Helen had lost her life partner, Rob, just one year before as well as her job, her pet (the connection to Rob) and her health. Too much loss happened, too close together.
As a community, we supported Helen through these traumas as best we could, holding her in the light and monitoring her well being. She never really recovered from Rob’s untimely death.
Helen believed in the sacred aspects of Nature. Almost single handedly, she organized toxic waste clean ups through out the County and worked tirelessly to educate us all on the need for gentle walking on this planet. She attained a degree from Evergreen State College and became a Master Gardener. Helen loved soil, she loved worms, and wherever she went, she weeded.
Helen was born in New Jersey. She had one sister, who died in a terrible car accident. She married and had two children, Margot and Keith Winters, whom she adored. After her divorce and her life in a California commune, she found her way to San Juan Island, where she made an incredible impact on our lives and our community.
Helen would want privacy but more than that, she would want to know that we are moving forward and caring for Mother Earth. We miss her especially this first Spring, when she would have seen the wonder of nature bursting forth, and when she would remind us to live in awe of the wonders of which we are surrounded.
She remained a faithful attender for over twenty years. She was often a silent presence but when she did speak in Worship, we listened. She had a delicate and suffering heart, with few shields against the negative influences in our culture.
When her illness became too great, she moved back to California to be with her children. During her last months, she contacted Santa Rosa Quaker Meeting and received weekly visits from them. Every Tuesday, they would hold a small unprogrammed Meeting at Helen’s bedside. Helen joked how proud she was to have organized a Meeting of her own!
Helen died October 13, 2013 surrounded by her family. Her death was peaceful. We miss her very very much.
San Juan Island Worship Group