Ossie died shortly after Sir Richard. Ena was devastated, and needed to get away. Friends, notably Tilak Gooneratne she would later say, who had also married into a Civil Service family, arranged for a Commonwealth Consultancy and she worked for a year and a half in the British Virgin Islands. Geoffrey Bawa, the architect who had developed a remarkable collaboration with her after he had designed a house for her in Colombo, had rented that house as an office for the many projects he undertook for the new government of J R Jayewardene, most memorably the new Parliament but also Ruhuna University.
When Ena came back, she retired to Aluwihare. She had set up there a Batik workshop, one amongst many that fed the flourishing business of Ena de Silva fabrics. When she went away to the Virgin Islands, she had handed the firm over to a nephew of her husband, but he had run it into the ground. She was unable to resurrect it, caught as it was in the throes of a messy divorce between her nephew and his wife, but she decided to do what she could for the Aluwihare Centre, which had provided gainful employment over the years to the villagers, including several relations.