Today I learned of Eileen's death, and I am grieving.
Yesterday afternoon, before I knew this sad news, I'd sat down at my computer to write an essay about Eileen as "an extraordinary oncology nurse" for a contest sponsored by Cure Magazine. And yesterday evening the greeting card I'd sent her a week ago appeared in my mailbox, returned to sender. And then today, when I was trying to find where to send the card and her name was not listed on the SCCA website, I looked for her on Google. Her obituary was the first thing that came up. Even though I am nearly a year late in learning the news of her passing, I feel I was lead to the information by more than mere coincidence. Eileen, if you are listening I want you to know that you are dear to my heart, that I love you, and that the world is a little bit lonelier without you in it.
In 1998 I came to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for a bone marrow transplant. Because I had a related donor, I was placed in the Orange Team, under Eileen Rossman's supervision. Over the next 5 months Eileen offered guidance, council and even defense when treatment plans got complicated. At a sturdy 5'-10 (or more) she was a formidable defender. She was also the only person on earth who could keep me calm during a bone marrow aspiration. She told me to think of my healing color and image myself in a relaxing place. And when she took the sample she was sure and quick. No one else had her skill. Her strong voice was confident and assertive, but also pleasant. Her smile was almost constant and she laughed easily. I felt like a little chick following a mother hen, or a kindergartener being led by a trusted school teacher. I loved her for it too. And years later she was always happy to see me return to Seattle, making time in her busy day to visit with me or buy me lunch. I can't image Seattle without her there. It's hard to accept that she is gone. I'm sure the comfort she gave me was magnified many fold by giving the same to hundreds of patients she helped over the years.
Because of her profession, Eileen knew better than most that life is uncertain and that, unfortunately, life isn't always fair. Eileen didn't get the long life she deserved, but her life was well lived. I am honored to have had her in my life.
I worked at SCCA for a few years as a nurse in LTFU. While I didn't know Eileen very well, I knew her well enough to recognize a nurse that was a strong advocate for her patients. I knew that if I ever needed care at SCCA, I would want to be on Eileen's team.
I sincerely hope that, in her battle with glioblastoma, that she received the same level of advocacy and care she provided her own patients during her long career. If there are advocacy teams in heaven, I know she's on one!
Keeping you all in our prayers ..Dick and Dot Green and Mike and Claudia Iles
Sorry for your loss, her life sounds like a real blessing for not only your family but many others.
So sorry for your loss. It sounds as if she lived a full and happy life. It was wonderful that she was given loving care by relatives in her time of need. Thank God she is now resting in peace. ??
Ron and Diane Orme, Christ the King Parishioners, send our heartfelt condolences to our friend, Fr. Dick, and his family for the loss of Eileen. Our faith tells us she was truly loved by Jesus, serving and helping many in her nursing profession, and now she has been called home to our Lord. We pray that the many memories of Eileen that you and others hold dear will bring joy once the loss of her presence has been healed in your hearts. We all live in hope of the promise of being reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us. God Bless you all.
Oh my, I just heard this afternoon! Joan, Judy, Richard, David and all the family, so sorry. She was such a giving, exuberant person. Always eager to help another person. I have good memories of kayaking with her on the lakes around Seattle. One summer, early 90's, while attending Seattle Univ. she let me crash at her place. I recall how dedicated she was to her nursing, such a caring person and loved life!
Blessings & Peace to family and friends.
MaryJo, and entire family. So sorry for your loss. I can completely relate unfortunately, Ray pass on April 7th. Now at least they can both Rest In Peace.
Condolences to the Rossman family. We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers for you all during this most difficult of times.
My prayers for her friends and family
She in heaven , I will pray for her roger
I didn't know Eileen but I heard many stories about what an amazing, kind, giving person she was and how loved she was by you all. My condolences for your loss.
What a special person you are..there are many here who we're Blessed to know and love you, Eileen. Being your cousin makes me proud. RIP my dear girl..and may God Bless you ...Always in our hearts Eileen! Love and prayers Sherry VL
My thoughts and prayers are with the Rossman Family. So sorry for your loss!
Our thoughts and prayers are with Eileen's family during this difficult time. We send our love.
Matthew and April Walworth
Matthew and April Walworth
Joan I wish I could attend the service. Even though I didn't ever meet Eileen, I know how very much you loved her. Sending my deepest condolences.
As a young high school student I backpacked with Eileen and my Aunt Louise in Switzerlnd. Although 30 years ago I remember it like yesterday. From the day we met in Calais to the hikes on the Rigi, Pilatus, to Grindewald and Gimmelwald. Eileen was truly a special person, her hearty laugh and generous spirit were special. Although I haven't seen her in many years she was the type of person with whom you could visit, not see her for a time and then when you did see each other again just pick up where you left off. Her interest in others and her curiosity in life made you feel special. God Bless. Eileen you will be missed.
I didn't know Eileen but I know Kristin Rossman (niece) spoke highly of her and loved her tremendously. All who knew her in this life were truly blessed. My condolences go out to all of Eileen's friends and family as I know she touched so many of your lives. May she rest in peace.
I know you will be missed by all sweet Eillen ! You were a amazing women so full of life...I am happy your home with God our Father and your Mom and Dad...God has gained a Angle! My condolence to all The Rossman's
God Bess you..Thank you for the great job u did as a nurse...I love you...The Bleskinger Family! ????
Rest in peace my friend, until we meet again.
Rest in Peace dear Eileen, until we meet again and oh what a party that will be! Thank you for your life long friendship!
We are sorry to learn of the passing of Eileen, but are grateful for her service to our country as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Country.
The National Peace Corps Association