Our Gorgeous
Darling Daughter


Dancing in the Light

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At St Pauls Grove Park
14th January 2000

OPENING MUSIC Con Te Partiro - Sung by Andrea Bocelli


The day I met Sarah, Peter and Ellie, I just knew I’d met lifelong friends.
It was so obvious to me that day that Ellie had chosen to be
with Sarah and Peter knowing they had such big hearts and would be able to give her
the unconditional love she knew and wanted to share.
That day, Ellie gave me moments I will treasure forever.
And not a word was spoken or needed to be.
I put pen to paper and Sarah would like it to be shared.
The day I met Elena and looked into her eyes
It was not a child that looked back at me
But a light, an ancient, so wise.
For she perceived and moved into the space behind my eyes.
She’d seen and touched my very soul
And I simply realised -
I had just met an angel.
An angel who, like all those that leave Earth in the knowledge of God, are at peace.
They have completed their time on earth.
Their actions and efforts on earth will have assured their rightful place in the life to come.
Even as we all must move through the experience that man calls death,
we know that our God is with, and within us and that we have nothing to fear.
There will be strength and guidance waiting to comfort and sustain us
through this great adventure of life beyond life.
We spend our years as a tale that is told; so soon they pass away and we move on,
for the spirit endures forever - from life, through physical death, to even more abundant life.
We pass through many stages of learning until, finally, we find our rightful place in eternal life,
progressing ultimately into perfect union with that which we know as God.
Our knowledge of the Infinite Spirit is a refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.
We have come together to pay tribute to and give thanks for Ellie’s life
and each one of us will have our personal memories of her.
So now may we begin our tribute to her by singing together our first hymn,
“Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace”.

HYMN Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love;
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord;
And where there’s doubt, true faith in you:
O master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved, as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope;
Where there is darkness, only light;
And where there’s sadness, ever joy:
O master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved, as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all men that we receive,
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

Peter - Ellie’s Daddy
Thank you for coming here, to share with us, the loss of our little girl.
I want to thank, our family and friends for their love
and amazing support through the past ten days,
which at times, has been unbearable.
I want to thank all the people we’d never have met
if Ellie hadn’t come into our lives.
I want to thank Martin Bax, for holding Sarah last Wednesday,
until I got there, and then when I got there, he held us both,
through the most difficult period either of us
have ever experienced, or ever will again.
I want to thank Cheyne School. For the last 18 months they loved our little girl,
they looked after her and they supported us in an extraordinary way.
Ellie went to school every day, except when she was ill.
I want to thank another angel - Iona who came into our lives
and transformed the past six months, for Sarah and Ellie and me.
I want to thank Kim and all her family, for loving Ellie so completely, as if she was their own.
Ellie was as much a part of their family as she was of ours.
We couldn’t have done it without you all.
This little girl here, who many turned away from in the street, or tried to ignore as they walked by,
taught me more about life and living than any other human being I have ever known.
From her tiny world she reached out and touched me
and changed my understanding of the meaning of this life - this life we all live.
Three months ago she woke in the night, crying because of the pain of the wind, in her tummy.
As I held her, I softly called out to her, “Ellie, Ellie - it’s daddy, it’s daddy”.
She stilled, and turned her unseeing eyes and looked, straight into my soul - then gently smiled.
In that moment, I understood. I understood, and said to her, out loud,
“This is it Ellie. This is it! This is what the life, is - to feel this feeling”.
The feeling, of being known, and being loved for who you really are.
That night, my little girl touched me and talked to me in the most profound way,
I could ever have imagined.
She showed me, that the essence of all communication,
of all the creativity, we try and achieve in this life,
is to bring us nearer to the feeling I had with Ellie - that night.
The feeling of truly being with another human being. The feeling of truly being loved.
All the words, all the talk, are only there to help us back to that feeling –
to the very place where my little girl lived. All I hope for now, is that I never forget that place –
that very special place, where my little girl lived.
Thank you Ellie, for taking me there.

Tom Hammersley - Ellie’s Godfather and Cousin
I asked Peter if I could say something here today.
This is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Ellie was my cousin and God-Daughter.
She was also the bravest little girl I have ever met.
Not in the way most might think, but for a little person who
started life with more problems than most,
she brought more joy to people
than any normal child.
I don’t think I should say Ellie had problems, she did,
but she also had an amazing gift.
A gift I haven’t seen any where else.
She had the gift to bring joy
to everyone close to her
by the simplest of gestures - a smile.
I didn’t have the privilege that Peter, Sarah and Iona had
of Ellie recognising my voice, but if I had
I would have considered myself
one of the luckiest people in the world.

Vicki Brown - Close friend of the family
I would like to say a few words on behalf of myself and Ellie’s Aunt - Clare Nash.
When Sarah and Peter asked Clare and I if we would like to say a few words today,
we both wrote down our thoughts independently and I have combined them.
It’s no coincidence that they are so similar,
and everyone I have called to tell about Ellie has echoed them -
how clear and special the messages she sent to us all.
My seven year old daughter told me that Ellie didn’t need to become an Angel -
because she already was one before she died.
As Clare so aptly said to me “was it an accident she looked like an angel”?
This little Angel brought us a very clear message. The message of love.
Ellie reminded us all of what we so frequently forget -
Of what is important in life. Ellie taught me the value of a smile.
Her smile could light up our lives in a way nothing else could touch.
The simplicity of her being, uncomplicated by the aspirations of the material world
that cloud all our lives made that love so much more visible and tangible.

She taught us the meaning and importance of unconditional love.
The essence of true love. To love your children for who and what they are - with no expectations.
We are born with the ability to do this but it can be so easily lost.
Ellie refused to let this happen and carried on teaching us the joys of life - the joys of her smile,
the joys of bath time with Peter, the joy of being alive.
Although she is no longer with us in person, her spirit and her legacy of love will remain and hopefully grow.
Finally, I would like as a mother myself and, on behalf of Ellie to pay tribute to Sarah and Peter.
No-one could have loved Ellie more, given her more, and learnt more from her, than Sarah and Peter.
Ellie was truly a gift to both of them. But they were also a great gift to Ellie.

Ellie was born on a snowy February morning, and in those early days,
Sarah’s lullaby to her was this next song that’s going to be sung by Sarah’s girlfriends.
It is so Ellie - pure and white, clean and bright.
It has been heard again many times in recent months in the Settelen home,
with Ellie’s nanny Iona, who sings all the songs from “The Sound of Music” beautifully, joining Sarah in a duet.

EDELWEISS Sarah’s Girlfriends

Edelweiss, Edelweiss,
Every morning you greet me.
Small and white,
Clean and bright,
You look happy to meet me.
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever.
Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Bless my homeland for ever.

Dr. Martin Bax - Ellie’s Paediatrician
From John Donne’s “Devotions”

The church is catholic, universal and so are all her actions.
When she baptises a child, that action concerns me,
so that child is hereby connected with that head,
which is my head too, engulfed into that body, of which I am a number.
And when she buries a child, that action concerns me.
All mankind is of one author, and is one volume.
When one man dies, a chapter is not torn out of a book,
but translated into a better language and every chapter must be so translated.
Some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.
But God’s hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again,
for that library where every book shall lie open to one another.
No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent,
a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the Sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as of a manor of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

Brian Walker - Ellie’s Grandfather
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

There is a young man here today who has climbed mountains and ridden cycles miles,
in order to raise funds in support of Ellie’s needs.
Many of us will remember the wonderful fundraising concert he organised too.
Peter and Sarah and Ellie met this very sensitive,
creative and caring young musician and singer through Kim and her family.
His love for Ellie had him bring together many musicians and singers,
who gave their time willingly and freely to give a concert that will long be remembered.
Ellie provided the inspiration that led Phil Thurston to write “Ellie’s Song”,
and he sings it again for us today accompanied by Ian Ritchie, saxophonist,
who played on the original recording and at the concert.

ELLIE’S SONG Written and Sung by Phil Thurston - Ellie’s Friend
Accompanied by Ian Ritchie on Saxaphone

Walking through my mind all alone
So brave and strong, still all alone
Endlessly thinking of my life ahead
From now until then. What’s next?
You are the future of me
Don’t turn away
The love you give to me is precious.
Inside I cry for you
When I smile it’s just for you
Everyday I look around inside, thinking.
I visualise the world as a beautiful place
I smell the air and hear the birds singing
I feel the gentle breeze upon my face
The people walking past, so fast.
You are the future of me
Don’t turn away
The love you give to me is precious
Inside I cry for you
When I smile it’s just for you
Everyday I look around inside, thinking (rpt)
This world I’m in is hard - yet you’re there
Love is all around me
What more could I ask of you?
Next time you look at my smile you’ll know I love you.

Iona Sutherland - Ellie’s Nanny
God’s Lent Child
I’ll lend you for a little while, a child of mine, God said
For you to love the while she lives, and mourn for when she’s dead.
It may be six or seven years, or forty-two or three,
But will you, till I call her back, take care of her for me.
She’ll bring her charms to gladden you and, should her stay be brief,
You’ll always have her memories as a solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked this whole world over in my search for teachers true,
And from the folks that crowd life’s lane..... I have chosen you.
Now will you give her all your love nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come to take this lent child back again?
I fancied that I heard her say, dear Lord Thy will be done .
For all the joys Thy child will bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter her with tenderness, we’ll love her while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay.
But should the Angels come for her much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.

Brian Mitchell - Ellie’s Godfather
Excerpt from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran
Then Almitra spoke, saying,
We would ask now of Death.
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd
when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

PRAYER - led by Gaynor
Perhaps each of us differ in how we approach God,
and it follows that each of us has a different concept of this power.
Whatever you conceive your God to be, may I ask you to join with me in prayer:
Eternal and ever-present God of love, in whom we live and move and have our being,
we come to you in prayer, seeking strength, help and consolation.
We know you are always directing all things to the fulfilment of your purposes,
that your love is manifesting through all the varied experiences of our life,
and yet we need to seek your strength when our faith is weak
because our understanding of life is still imperfect.
May we come to realise, through a greater awareness of the Divine Spirit within each of us,
that whether we live or whether we die we are your children.
Help us, then, to realise that death is the gateway to a continued life.
For those that suffer the loss of Ellie’s physical presence,
we ask that the knowledge of spiritual truths will sustain them in their time of grieving.
Knowing that the bonds of love still unite them,
may they not grieve as those without hope
but come to realise that their loss is Ellie’s gain.
As our thoughts of love go to Ellie,
may the knowledge that she is progressing be a stimulus
so that we become more fully aware of our divine heritage.
We give you our grateful thanks for all blessings bestowed upon us
and for the light of truth revealed to us.
To you we offer our love and praises in spirit and in truth, now and forever.

This next song “You are my love”, is an old favourite of Sarah and Peter’s.
It’s words express all that Ellie has been in their life. She was their life but her magic works on.
This song we shall hear in a moment was uppermost in Sarah’s mind the morning after Ellie’s death.
She told her friend Vicki, who determined to find a track and proceeded to contact record shops almost across Britain.
Eventually, the gentleman in a second hand record shop in Weybridge told Vicki he had one old copy.
Coming from the telephone to answer the doorbell, she ecstatically told the fish man who’d come with her fish,
of her delight, but anxiety in having to see to the children and with so much to do
she didn’t know how she could get to the shop to pick it up.
The fish man responded by telling her not to worry, he’d go for her.
Such is the power of love, and yet again,
Ellie had given another person the opportunity
to experience an unconditional act of kindliness.
So it’s due to Vicki’s fish man that we listen to
“You are my love” by Liverpool Express.

MUSIC - You are my Love - Liverpool Express
You are my love
You are the one that I adore
You are my love
You are what I have waited for.
Oh, you are my love
Oh, you are my love
Oh, you are my love.
You are my day
You change my winter into spring
You came my way
And then my heart began to sing
Oh, you are my love
Oh, you are my love
Oh, you are my love

Peter - Ellie’s Daddy
When I Go From Here
Ellie couldn’t talk, but she did have a voice that could crack rocks, so powerful was it.
Here are a few words that our little Ellie might have said one day:

When I go from here,
I want to leave behind me a world that will be richer
for the experience of me.
I want the creatures - the animals and birds - to be a little less afraid of human beings,
because they have known me, because I have blessed them, and loved them and,
far from doing them any harm, have done them good.
I want to leave trees that are rustling with my thoughts;
trees that have heard me speaking to them when we were alone together;
trees that, one day, long after my form has disappeared, shall still in some mysterious way,
cherish in their very beings their secret knowledge of me,
so that others who shelter from the rain or who seek shade under their branches,
shall catch the peace that went out from me.

I want to leave the whole of Nature nearer to the whole of man.
I want to store up riches in the wind, and to leave blessings travelling upwards to the stars.
I want to leave my peace in the grass.
I want the tears that I have shed for the sake of high love to come again in the dew.
I want to leave Nature richer for having known me.
I want to leave my fellow man more sure that there is a Divinity that shapes his ends.
I want to leave him with a wider vision and a greater sense of purpose.
I want to leave him with the knowledge that death is nothing, and that life is everything.
I want to leave behind me a deeper sense of God.

Letter to Ellie - from Sarah, Ellie’s Mummy
My Dear, Sweet, Darling Ellie,
How can it be, Ellie,
How can it be?
That I am standing here
And you no longer in my arms.
In my deepest soul,
from the moment of my birth,
I knew that you would be given to me.
You were my life,
You were my love.
I lived for you, breathed for you, cried for you, laughed for you,
fought for you, screamed for you and rejoiced for you.
My lap is cold without you.
My arms that encircled you so often, now ache with emptiness.
My cheek longs to nestle into the soft blonde curls on top of your head.
My lips yearn to give you a squeaky kiss on yours.
I long to see your dimply cheeks and your toothy grin.
My life seems empty and meaningless without you and
I miss you, with every fibre of my being.
You were the only little girl I know who loved my singing.
You were the only little girl I know who could listen to me with your eyes.
You were the only little girl I know who would let me pick your nose!
And you were the only little girl I know who spent so much time snuggled against my heart.
I am immensely proud, grateful and humble that you chose me to be your mother.
You were charged with a phenomenal task, but you had a secret weapon -
you were given the golden key to unlock my heart.
You were my greatest teacher.
You were my greatest healer.
You burnt with an intensity so bright,
Yet far from blinding me, you gave me sight.
Through you, I learnt real compassion, patience,
the utter contentment of just “being” and living for the present moment,
and above all, unconditional love.
For you, I came out of myself, to perform life without a mask,
at the deepest level of myself.
What greater gift could anyone have given?
So, my darling baby.
I will listen for your song in the wind.
I will look for your smile in the sunrise.
I will watch for your dance in the birds in flight.
Fly away, little angel, fly away.
You are now free.
Free to sing the song of your soul.
Free to dance,
So dance, little angel, and show us the way,
as you’re dancing, dancing,
dancing into the light.
I love you.

When Sarah gave me the distressing news of Ellie’s loss,
that space behind my eyes filled with the impression of Ellie,
beaming that beautiful smile, and dancing in the light.
It seemed to fill the painful void I could so easily have felt.
I knew that Ellie had learned to dance in the light
because of the unconditional love she was given from Sarah and Peter.
She danced with Peter in the bath each night and with Sarah,
all around the house, and it has come time for her to return the gift.
As we sing this next hymn “The Lord of the Dance”,
you may sense the sound of Ellie’s tapping feet.

HYMN - “Lord Of The Dance”

I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I dance in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from Heaven
And I danced on the earth -
At Bethlehem I had my birth.
Dance then wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance said he,
And I’ll lead you all
Wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.
I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance
With the devil on your back,
They buried my body
And they thought I’d gone
But I am the dance and I still go on.
They cut me down
And I leapt up high
I am the life
That’ll never, never die
I’ll live in you
If you’ll live in me
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

May I ask you now to join with me in quiet reflection as we listen to Ellie’s bedtime music.
Your loving thought and personal prayers will so help Ellie to move onwards and upwards
to that clearer atmosphere of infinite spirit journeying towards God.

COMMENDATION - The Reverend David Wilson

BLESSING - Gaynor Mooney
Beyond the body, beyond the sun and stars
past everything you see and yet somehow familiar,
is an ark of golden light
that stretches as you look
into a great and shining circle.
And all the circle fills with light
Before your eyes.
The edges of the circle disappear
and what is in it is no longer contained at all.
The light expands and covers everything,
extending to infinity for ever shining
and with no break or limit anywhere.
Within it everything is joined
in perfect continuity.
Nor is it possible to imagine
that anything could be outside,
for there is nowhere
that this light is not.
The light that Ellie is now.
We can all thank Ellie for being -
for she possessed that rare quality
of being able to bring the power of love into our lives -
with no spoken word needed.
A new cycle has begun for her now and we wish her God speed.
We love you, Ellie, and thank you
for the joy we’ve experienced through knowing you.
Until we meet again in that dimension where the angels tread.

MUSIC -“ Isn’t She Lovely” - Lyrics and music by Stevie Wonder
Isn't she lovely
Isn't she wonderful
Isn't she precious
Less than one minute old
I never thought through love we'd be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn't she lovely - made from love.




With the trees as sentinels we leave this mortal frame, while flowers, like silent watchers,
keep their guard. Summer suns and winter snows will come and go, and sometimes
our memory will turn to this place, but we know that life never ceases;
we know that death is but the doorway to a larger life.
To Nature, then, what Nature loaned,
but the spirit is free to continue
its eternal journey.
May the peace of God,
the knowledge of His Love
and the realisation of His presence
be ours, now, and for evermore.

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