BERENDS--Polly Berrien.

Our beloved Polly Berrien Berends, 77, died on Sunday, February 12, in Putnam County, New York. Born in Chicago, Illinois, to Curtis and Mary Reid Berrien. Polly was a successful writer and sculptor and practiced as a pastoral counselor. Polly wrote, "Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it." Her best known books include Gently Lead, Coming to Life, and Whole Child/Whole Parent, and numerous children's' books including The Case of the Elevator Duck and Ladybug and Dag and the Night Walk. Throughout her life, she found peace and spiritual fulfillment - what she called "a connection to the beyond- personal" - enjoying the lakes and woods in Hastings-on- Hudson and Putnam Valley, and New Hampshire. She deeply loved her family and friends. She is survived by her son Jan and his wife Marsha, her son Andy, her granddaughter Sylvia, her ex-husband Jan Berends, her brothers Curtis and James Berrien and their wives Janet and Mary Jane, many nieces and nephews and her dog Gracie. It is impossible to fathom the infinite number of lives that have been - and will continue to be - blessed by her insights. A memorial service is being planned.

Published by New York Times on Feb. 19, 2017.
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11 Entries
While child whole parent was my guide when I was a young mother and always my gift to those close to me
March 11, 2021
While child whole parent was my guide when I was a young mother and always my gift to those close to me
March 11, 2021
Remembering good times at Union Seminary, prompted by letters we exchanged after that and good times we had or imagined. Missing can go on, or be sparked by knowing how much you lived and wrote so well/
John H. Cooley
John H. Cooley MD
October 15, 2020
Polly seeing your obituary, made me sad, as I new you loved the house I loved for its surroundings and privacy to be creative. Both my husband loved the house we lived in for 20 years. RIP.
Robert and Christa Rohrich
May 31, 2018
I was looking up your name to write and ask you if I could come and speak with you for my sabbatical project and to tell you how so very deeply you have impacted my life and ministry. You saved me from post part depression with your book Coming to Life and WCWP has been a second bible in our home. I am sure that we have gifted at least 50 copies to friends who became parents. My heart is aching that I will not have the chance to talk with you. I will pray that you will guide my sabbatical study "and a little child will lead us" I will be listening for your voice--singing the song of the seeing being---deep peace to you...and all who loved you...
Beth Grimshaw
March 13, 2017
Polly, you were a beneficial presence on this earth for sure. What a treat to have known you and shared a love of truth as well as Dutch husbands named Jan and two fine sons! I cherish the vision of you being greeted with the joy and praise befitting a life well lived! Love, Ann
March 8, 2017
March 2, 2017
March 2, 2017
Am missing you dear friend. Your legacy is beautiful-- your sons, your writings, and your very presence passing through this earth. "Life is full!"as we used to say, laughing at the mundane and seeking the Divine.
Heather Brodhead
March 2, 2017
It feels deeply sad that I have lost my oldest cousin. I was always very proud to have a published relative. I remember her explaining to our Christopher who was only seven at the time that she was his first cousin once removed. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity "as an adult" to know Polly more deeply when I was a freshman at Barnard College and we were both living in in NYC. She was so nice to me in that period and cooked me many dinners. I will always remember how much she loved and admired our grandmother Nana. I am sad her beloved dog outlives her.
Susan Eastman Tilsch
February 19, 2017
May mercy and peace and love be increased to you during this sad and difficult time. Jude 2.
February 19, 2017
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