Lovina Eicher On Losing Sister Susan

Since mid-January, Lovina Eicher’s sister Susan has been in the hospital battling serious health issues. In her most recent Lovina’s Amish Kitchen column, she shares about her sister’s passing. It’s frankly heartbreaking:

Yes, the good Lord has knocked on our door again … Those words are from a song cousin Ernest wrote after losing his mother and brother in accidents years ago. Those words came to my mind tonight.

Our hearts ache again as we laid dear sister Susan to rest beside Mose. A spot in between was reserved for daughter Susan, hopefully many, many years from now. After four weeks, sister Susan lost out to the battle. How it hurt to see her in those last hours of her life. Just two of the family were allowed to go in at a time to be with her in her final hours, but at 7 p.m. we were told we needed to leave until 7 a.m. We begged that they would consider at least one person staying with her during the night hours so she wouldn’t be alone. After no consent, we went to the motel to sleep until we were allowed back in at 7 a.m. Shortly before 6:30 a.m., the doctor called to tell us she passed away.

Oh, to be able to be with loved ones when they need you would be such a blessing. At a time like that, your loved ones by your side would be a great comfort. Although Susan couldn’t talk much, she mouthed the words “I love you” to sister Verena before we left. Tears were rolling from her eyes, making it harder for us to leave her.

I am not sure why the family was not allowed to stay with Susan in her final hours. Her previous columns do not mention COVID except for noting that a test came back negative.

Lovina’s family has suffered great loss recently, including the death of her daughter’s husband Mose in a road accident just two months ago.

Lovina finishes her column on a lighter note:

Uncle Emanuel will be 91 on Feb. 17. He and my Dad shared the same birthday, with my dad being a year younger. Uncle Emanuel and Aunt Leah (Mom’s sister) came to the visitation of sister Susan, traveling the two-hour drive with their children and spouses. Sister Emma asked Uncle Emanuel what the secret is to his long life and he said, “Eat coffee soup every morning.” We had a laugh about that. Grandma Graber was in her 90s when she died, and she, too, ate coffee soup every morning.

Coffee soup, if you are wondering, is a simple dish consisting of coffee, milk or cream, sugar, and toast or crackers. Kevin Williams notes (post no longer online) that Lovina’s mother used to also add cheese and potatoes to this dish. I’m not sure I’d jump at the chance to try this one (especially the cheese-and-potatoes version). But if you’re interested, a recipe can be found at the top link.

Condolences and prayers for Lovina’s family.

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    1. alber baker

      susan's beloved sister

      “go rest high on that mountain.”

    2. carol

      Prayers for The extended Family and Lovna

      Losing loved ones hurts, Hospital policies should have exceptions made!!! Hope folks in that area write letters to the Hospital Adm. or newspapers! I believe that this was unacceptable ~~ unless there was some health care issue!
      Prayers go out from Oregon to this extended family …. losing not one but two, family members, is beyond comprehension. Life doesn’t seem fair … God never promised an easy life if we follow him, But HE did promise to walk every step with us and to comfort us!
      Oh what a Promise, Oh what a Blessing.
      May He surround them giving them comfort and peace, as Only HE can ~

      1. Margaret

        Totally agree with your assessment

        I’ve never heard of a hospital not making an exception. Unless the people were loud and obnoxious, which wouldn’t seem so in this case. If the hospital had any inkling at all they should’ve called the family to be at the bedside

        There’s no mention of Covid…that might be why they were told they had to leave. Even so, leave that choice up to the family. All of us have been taking precautions for months. Most of us have some inkling what PPE is by now, unless you’ve been living as a hermit…

    3. Loretta Shumpert

      Such sadness

      I follow along her columns as I did her mothers. So sorry to read this. Erik, I have seen mention, (for a couple years now) of a cookbook that Susan and her sister Verena did. I cannot find a copy; it crossed my mind that it was for family only, but think that if that were the case, Lovinia would not have mentioned it. Can you find out more about this? I searched using the last name Coblentz as they were unmarried.

      1. Amanda Bates

        Info on cookbook

        This was at the very end of Lovina’s actual post. Hope it helps!

        “Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.”

    4. Marcus Yoder


      It mention’s a cousin writing a song. I don’t know which side of the family this is, but Lovina’s dad Benjamin Coblentz’s siblings were very musical.All kinds of guitar’s accordian just mention some. Benjamin was the only one who stayed Amish.
      Marcus Yoder

    5. J.O.B.

      This made me cry. The pain of losing a family member a year ago came back to me. I think I understand what her family is feeling. It does hurt. But at least she is surrounded by a loving family. And that helps.