The next Monday, August 22, with her two daughters-in-law, Emma and Mary, Ellen left for Colorado, where she expected to spend a few weeks in retirement and rest and rejuvenation.
Several days were spent in Boulder, where lived the McDearmons, Emma's parents. Ellen spent most of one day writing out the circumstances connected with her husband's death (MS 6, 1881) for use in the In Memoriam pamphlet being prepared at Battle Creek. In this statement she dwelt quite fully upon their experience during the two weeks previous to his death, especially their praying seasons and conversation that showed that James had some foreboding of a change and that he was prepared. Ellen closed her statement with words of appreciation to friends in Battle Creek and those who assisted her:
Especially would I acknowledge with gratitude Dr. Kellogg's skillful care as a physician, as well as his kindness and sympathy as a brother and friend, in my sickness and bereavement.