tamara_penn_2008

TAMARA PENN

21 September 1942 - 23 January 2020

Tamara no longer lives among us, her influence will endure in the unending consequences flowing from her character and her deeds – she will endure in our memories and in our own acts.

The loss of Tamara will be felt deeply for a long time, but if our life is to go on, we need to find or create a time of closure for mourning and grief.

Thank you all for helping us bid Tamara a loving and last farewell.

Goodbye dearest Mom, Gram-T, Tamara.

Your memory will always be a blessing as we march forward to embrace life and love in all the days to come.

And as Tamara always used to say, I may not be there in person, but I will be there in spirit!

Tamara was not old according to today’s standards. Until just over 2½ years ago, she lived a vibrant, active life devoted to the people she loved and the things that mattered to her. Imagine what she could have accomplished if she only had more time.  But we need to remember her for all the things that she did do, and did accomplish.

Tamara was an educated, intelligent, woman with a strong mind of her own, who was interested in a wide range of things and was an engaging conversationalist. Like her mother, she was way ahead of her time when it came to holistic living.  Tamara travelled all over the world helping people change their physical and emotional health through alternative therapies such a Rebirthing, Bach Flower Remedies, Holographic Repatterning and Aroma Therapy. She loved nature, and art — her apartment is filled with her own innovative paintings and art, and she was a great cook. More than anything, Tamara loved her family and kept in touch with her relatives near and far.

Yes, Tamara was strong and strong-willed or you could say stubborn and argumentative – but she was kind and generous. She lived her life guided and driven by her principles and beliefs even in the face of great challenge and adversity. She participated passionately in social activist work like Peace the 21st and was dedicated to improving the quality of life of others.

MY LIFE

A small sample of what her world held...

Tamara was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on September 21, 1942 just as Yom Kippur was finishing.  She was the youngest of three children of Leibl and Shura Feldman who were secular Jews but celebrated all the main holidays.  Leibl particularly liked Pesach because of the kneidlach, and he passed this appreciation on to Tamara.

She ultimately studied fine arts at the Witz University in Johanesburg and later studied fine arts at The Betzalel Art School in Jerusalem.

She married Mervyn in 1965. Ryan was born the next year and Lisa came along two years later.  Even though life in South Africa was comfortable, the family was not happy living in a country that legislated apartheid.  Tamara wanted a better life for herself and her children and despite the fear of coming to a strange country the family moved to Toronto in 1974, one of the first South African immigrants to do so.  In spite of speaking the language, it was a great cultural shock.

Lisa remembers that when they first arrived they lived in an apartment at Church and Charles and Tamara was concerned that the kids would wander out the front door and she’d never see them again.  Eventually she overcame that, but the kids still had to wear red snow suits in the first winters.  She thought it would identify them easily. Tamara was always creative and artistic and loved to do art projects with her kids.  She was also a great cook—always trying new things.  If one of those things happened to be fantastic, the kids were out of luck because she never wrote down the recipes and would not remember how she had made it--so it turned out to be a once in a life-time experience. Funny thing is that both kids do the same with their inventive cooking!

Sadly, in 1980, right around Ryan’s Bar Mitzvah, the marriage ended.  That can’t have been easy, especially for Ryan. After the divorce Tamara knew she needed to do something so she started off by teaching ‘sprouting’ which she had studied with Dr. Ann Wigmore.

Tamara was always open to new things and never hesitated to be an innovator and an initiator.  She was a real pioneer in alternative therapies and got involved in reflexology, iridology, vibrational healing and rebirthing, and other holistic health systems long before they became popular.  She trained in the rebirthing process with the founder, Leonard Orr but in addition to her private practice, she has travelled all over the world teaching and participating in workshops.  Tamara has also appeared on radio and television.  She has positively changed the lives of so many people by helping them grow and change.

Tamara was always known as a person who was compassionate towards others. Her life experiences helped her become the incredibly strong and strong-willed woman she eventually grew to be.

Tamara was never able to give up her need to know what was going on and to be right (even when at times, she wasn’t).  It was so important for her to make a positive difference in the lives of others that she automatically shared what she knew and gave advice, even when it wasn’t always invited or needed.  But Lisa told me that her mom taught her a lot of important life lessons, among them – “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right” and “honour your word and make smart choices!”

Her home was always open to others and was filled with family, friends, laughter, good food, and lots of parties and celebrations.

Although her prolonged illness, especially this fall and winter was very painful for her family, they are sadly relieved that she is no longer suffering.  She will live on in the influence she had on her family and on the lives of people all over the world.

She will be sadly missed by her nieces, nephews and their families in the UK and her multitude of family and friends around the world. Special thanks to Drs. Myers, Meuser and Melnitzer and their teams; her wonderful caregivers and the caregivers at Bridgepoint; the volunteers who came to spend time doing art, paperwork and more; and the outstanding staff at Sunnybrook and Bridgepoint Hospitals who went above and beyond every day.

SPEECHES

Presented at her Celebration of Life - 31 January 2020, Toronto

Rabbi Eva Goldfinger - at the Cemetery

Graveside Memorial Ceremony
Celebrating The Life of Tamara Penn
Friday, January 31, 2020, 11 am
Oraynu Section, Elgin Mills Cemetery,
1591 Elgin Mills Rd. E., Richmond Hill
Officiated By Rabbi Eva Goldfinger

DATE OF BIRTH:  September 21, 1942                 
DATE OF DEATH:  January 23, 2020

When someone we love dies, the ancient biblical words of Kohelet/Ecclesiastes remind us of the transiency of life and of time:

Lakol z’man, v’et l’kol chefetz tachat hashamayim

To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heavens.

et laledet v’et lamut,
et lataat, v’et laakor natua

A time to be born, and a time to die,
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.

Et laharog, v’et lirpo
et lifrotz, v’et livnot,
et livkhot, v’et lischok,
et s’fod, v’et r’kod,

A time to kill, and a time to heal,
a time to break down, and a time to build up,
a time to weep, and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn, and a time to dance

but always... et leehov...  a time to love.

Death can be difficult when we are left to struggle with the absence of one we loved.  Centuries ago the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote: "In the presence of death, we must continue to sing the song of life. We must be able to accept death and go from its presence better able to bear our burdens and to lighten the load of others… Though we grieve the deaths of our loved ones, we accept them and hold on to our memories as precious gifts.  Let us make the best of our loved ones while they are with us, and let us not bury our love with death.”

Predeceasing Tamara are her parents Leibl and Shura Feldman, Mervyn Penn, the father of Ryan and Lisa, her sister’s husband, Issy Schamroth, who was like a brother to Tamara, and her brother Michael’s first wife, Wendy Feldman.   Surviving Tamara are her beloved children, Ryan with Jennifer and Lisa with Edward and her treasured grandchildren, Jeremy and Aviva, and Joey and Danielle {Dun-ee-el}. Also surviving Tamara are her siblings, Minnie and Michael with his wife Eileen {i-leen} and their families.  We extend our compassion and consolation to all of them, and to all who loved and admired Tamara, or whose lives were touched by her.  Tamara’s family who live in England visited her in the months before her death and as recently as mid December.  Tamara was thrilled that she could see them and say her goodbyes and made it clear to them that it was not required that they attend the funeral.  Tamara’s family in South Africa and Israel have been in regular touch.  Their caring and attention was so appreciated by Tamara.

Brukhim Habaim.  Welcome dear family and friends.  I am Rabbi Eva Goldfinger from Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism.  I had the pleasure of meeting Tamara numerous times after she became ill and came to adore her passion, spunk and love for humanity and our planet. I feel truly honoured to be participating in this memorial celebration of Tamara’s life, marking the too early ending of her sojourn on earth, and her relationship with all who knew and loved her—and love her still.

Tamara valued her Jewish heritage and culture as a secular and spiritual Jew, not as a religious one.  She and her family wanted her death to be marked with the same integrity as the way she chose to live her life.  This simple Humanistic Jewish ceremony will honour her and be respectful of her and her family’s wishes.

ON DEATH AND LOVE

Death, and the sorrow it engenders, draws us together, and reminds us that we are essentially one great family making up that enduring communion of humanity which shares the adventure of life upon this precious, yet oft troubled earth.

But there is also our connection with the natural world that sustains us with its varied gifts, and stirs us with its beauty and mystery.  As individuals, each of us is temporary, but, as a moment in the never-ending process of life, each of us is immortal. 

In an absurd universe there is no predetermined or right time for the body to die—just a time when ultimately, we all must do so—some earlier, some later.  Tamara believed that a person’s body dies but their spirit lives on.  When an elderly person dies we grieve, but we can accept more readily that a life has been lived and has drawn to its inevitable close. 

MEMORIALIZATION OF TAMARA

But Tamara was not old according to today’s standards.  Until just over 2½ years ago, she lived a vibrant, active life devoted to the people she loved and the things that mattered to her.   Imagine what she could have accomplished if she only had more time.  But we need to remember her for all the things that she did do, and did accomplish. 

Tamara was an educated, intelligent, woman with a strong mind of her own, who was interested in a wide range of things and was an engaging conversationalist.  Like her mother, she was way ahead of her time when it came to holistic living.  Tamara travelled all over the world helping people change their physical and emotional health through alternative therapies such a Rebirthing, Bach Flower Remedies, Holographic Repatterning and Aroma Therapy.  She loved nature, and art—her apartment is filled with her own innovative paintings and art, and she was a great cook.  More than anything, Tamara loved her family and kept in touch with her relatives near and far. 

Yes, Tamara was strong and strong-willed or you could say stubborn and argumentative – but she was kind and generous.  She lived her life guided and driven by her principles and beliefs even in the face of great challenge and adversity.  She participated passionately in social activist work like Peace the 21st and was dedicated to improving the quality of life of others.

After the burial we hope you will all join us in the meeting rooms on the main floor of Tamara’s building at 260 Heath St. W., where we will properly eulogize and pay tribute to her at the shiva reception.  There is some parking at the building.

ON DEATH

to the living -

Death is invariably a wound. Its name is grief.
Its companion may be loneliness.
Whenever it comes - whatever its guise,
Even when there are no tears -
Death is a wound.

But death belongs to life -
Just as night belongs to day
As shadows belong to substance -
As the fallen leaf to the tree,
As time to eternity,
Death belongs essentially to life.

It is not our purpose to live forever.
It is only our purpose to live.
It is no added merit that a person lives long.
It is only of merit that one's life is good.

Tamara strove to live life fully in a simple, productive and energetic manner.  In doing so, she experienced, both the pain and pleasure that life has to offer.  Then on January 23rd, Tamara took her last breath ending this part of her life journey.  She will be sorely missed by family and friends alike. 

CLOSING

Dear family and friends, though you may feel relief that Tamara is done with pain and frustration, you also feel deep sorrow.  We cannot share the best and worst in life in mutual experience and find the absence of one we love trivial.  The tribute of love is the pain of separation.

Although Tamara no longer lives among us, her influence will endure in the unending consequences flowing from her character and her deeds – she will endure in our memories and in our own acts. 

The loss of Tamara will be felt deeply for a long time, but if our life is to go on, we need to find or create a time of closure for mourning and grief.  Each of us must determine for ourselves, when that time is.

What we need to do beyond the sorrow which death occasions is to dedicate ourselves to those things which really give life and to which Tamara gave as much of herself as she was able -- to family, to community, to caring for others, to love and compassion and yes, to fun and laughter.

Zecher tzadikim livrakha.  The memory of the righteous is a blessing.  May the memory of Tamara who was loved in life and is still loved in death, inspire us and give us hope. To honour her memory let us say ‘yes, to life and to hope’/l’chayim.

Lisa's Speech

I know that my mom would have so appreciated if we could all forget about the cancer, the elbows, the hip, the knees and all the things terrible, horrible, unfortunate events that led us here today and instead remember her incredible life.

On behalf of Ryan and myself, we want to thank you for being here today. If you’re here, you knew my mom, and you know that family and friends meant the world to her. She would have been so pleased to see her world come together to celebrate her life.

Tamara had great impact on everyone who became part of her life. She helped so many people in so many ways.

That life was lived with charisma, gusto, chaen, enjoyment and passion. She travelled to exotic places, ate incredible and delicious food, studied and learned what she could about the world, met and connected with amazing people from Native American Elders to Pilipino Healers to her care givers.

Everything she did - from dishing out unsolicited sage advice, to preparing a meal, to spoiling for her beloved cat, Venus, to spending time with her cherished grandchildren – she did from a place of love and caring.

Her life was filled with family, friends, creative and forgotten recipes, Bach Flower Remedies, Reflexology and Rebirthing, chatting with friends, playing games, creating artwork and so much more. And we all remember her for different and yet very special things – whether she was Gram”T”, a cousin or a friend… whether it was alfalfa sprouts, Alan Gardens, Shnookittypooks, a recipe, a gesture or a phrase, I hope that we always and only remember the good and keep a very special woman very close to our hearts.

I’ve lived in England for 21 years and have been back to Toronto many times. My brother has been here the whole time and her final months have been very challenging for him. We will both miss her terribly - and equally - and I can definitely say for both of us that we are glad she is pain-free and no longer battling. 

There’s a very special Robert Frost poem that I love and it applies to my mom in words I could never write…

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

My mom had  heart of pure gold.

I think only one who has lost a parent can truly appreciate the emotional hell one goes through. A friend who lost her mother a few years back said "the grief will never diminish, you will only learn to accommodate it". I will be accommodating it in a very special part of my heart. And with that, we say farewell to the great woman warrior that Tamara was.

Ryan's Speech (read by Jennifer)

Tamara was a big force in many of our lives but none more than in Ryan and Lisa’s.  A single mom since the early 1980 she struggled to keep things together and build a safe and stable home. Mom was an outspoken and outgoing personality. It was a difficult life being on your own in a country you did not grow up in. The stress of immigration and divorce in never easy.

She was a wildly experimental cook…and into new age concepts that would make even the most open minded raise an eyebrow. She was into sprouts and taught sprouting well before they were for sale everywhere and made our lunches with alfalfa much to our social embarrassment. She was into water purification 20 years before the mainstream…We even had an Organic farmers market on our driveway every two weeks before anyone knew what Organics was. But pioneers often get arrows in their backs and getting support on some these wacky ideas that are now mainstream was tough.  Kids are especially tough on their parents and Lisa and I were equal parts embarrassed and skeptical of many things that are now widely accepted.

Tamara lived life on her own terms. If she liked you, you knew it. If she did not, you knew it sooner. Elbows out, wearing chutzpah on both sleeve she certainly did things her way to the very end.

There is a saying at funerals which goes “On Happier Occasions” meaning we should see you at happier events. The thing is about gathering here today is that many of you have been here on many happier occasions. Over the years Tamara has hosted many special events including Jeremy’s Bris, Aviva’s baby naming, Lisa’s engagement, Jeremy’s Bar Mitzvah, Aviva’s Bat Mitzvah and most recently Tamara’s 75th birthday. I am sure she is very pleased looking down at this final party where we are all talking about her.

Tamara aka Gram-T was always so enthusiast about family gatherings, Pesach, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and more. She always knew how family was connected, who is related to who and what was going on in the lives of her cousins, nephew’s, nieces and their kids. She loved her children and grandchildren very much and was involved as a grandparent could be.  Soccer games, dance recitals, performances and any events where she could celebrate and participate, she was there.

In the last few years, she suffered greatly from both pain and a growing dependency on others that did not suit her well. She fought the easy temptation to do a lot of complaining and really made the best of some very difficult situations. She was helped by some many of you with your kind visits, help and other assistance. This is especially true for Gayle, Minnie, Michael, Jane, Beulah. Martin and Arlene, Peter and Debbie, Jeffry and Michelle, Paul, Stephan and Carla and many others who’s giving and kindness never went unnoticed. We thank you so much for your help and generosity of time and spirit.

She is at peace now… We shall all miss and remember her always.

Jeremy & Aviva's Speech

Jeremy:Thank you all for coming today, it means a lot to my family and we know it would have meant a lot to Tamara, our Gram’T’. The last times Aviva and I spoke with Gram‘T’ she reiterated how much she loved us, was proud of us, and how her friends and family meant the world to her.

Aviva: If there’s anything we know for certain, it’s that Gram‘T’ wanted this to be a celebration of her life and a happy affair, not that of sadness and remorse. I think that many of us here would agree that Gram‘T’ was at times was not the easiest person, but she always had endless love in her heart for others. She was kind, brave, courageous, strong, and most of all, loving. She was one of the most unique and amazing people we have ever had the privilege of having in our lives.

Jeremy: There are countless lessons, life stories, and memories that Gram‘T’ shared with us over the years, and we would like to share some of them with you. Sometimes they were repeated, sometimes they really made no sense, some of them were downright wrong, but sometimes they were exactly what you needed to hear, and sometimes they were lessons that we will carry with us forever.

Jeremy: Family was always the most important thing to Gram’T’. The emphasis on family was consistent though our time together. She cherished Friday night dinners, and always was the happiest being together for Shabbat. She always told us stories of her life in South Africa: going to the family farm in Margate. Wherever we went in the world, Gram’T’ would tell us of a cousin or family member there and explain our family tree.

Aviva: She would often brag to others about what we thought to be minor accomplishments, and always told us that it’s a grandparent’s job to brag about their grandchildren. I know that she loved me, my brother, and our cousins unconditionally and that she is still loving us, and will always be loving us from wherever she is now.

Jeremy: Gram‘T’ was unique. According to her, there is no other Gram‘T’ in the world, she’s the only one. She didn’t want to be called gramma or nana, and bubbie just wouldn’t do. Gram‘T’ was going to be Gram‘T’ and that’s just the way it was going to be.

Aviva: Gram’T’ loved taking me and Jeremy to the Allen gardens to look at nature, and she could always name just about every flower in the building. We would sit on the bench in the cactus room, eating soaked almonds, drinking Ceres juice boxes, and listening to stories about her life in South Africa.

Jeremy: Gram’T’ was also a very insistent woman who knew what she wanted, and the word ‘no’ was not often in her vocabulary.  One time, at Canada’s Wonderland, when she didn’t want to get on a ride with us that required adult accompaniment, she convinced a young couple to take us with them. She only ever wanted the best for us.

Jeremy: Gram’T’ loved people. She would always stop at the ground floor of her condo on her way up from the parking garage to say hello to the concierge and proceed to tell us a mini-life story of whoever was on duty. She knew the name of every nurse, physiotherapist, personal support worker, caretaker and doctor whoever looked after her, and bits of their lives.

Aviva: Gram’T’ always wanted to stress to us that her love for us was completely unconditional. She would often remind us that no matter what time of the day or night if we needed anything - she would be there for us. Although she is no longer able to be there physically, I know this to still be true

Jeremy: Gram’T’ was thoughtful, she would always give us articles and newspaper clippings that she thought we might enjoy. To this day I regret not reading a lot of them.

Aviva: Gram’T’ was a woman of many sayings:  “Family is the most important”

Jeremy: In reference to gaseous bodily substances: “If it doesn’t pay rent, it’s gotta go”

Aviva: For our love lives: “Marry a nice Jewish man”

Jeremy: and “Marry a nice Jewish girl, or guy if that’s your thing”

Aviva: For when we were in pain: “Remember to breathe” and “Do you have rescue remedy on you?”

Jeremy: Or if you were coughing - “Hands up”

Aviva: Any time of the day: “Come let’s take a picture to send to London”, but of course, never without first putting on lipstick, and “Someone’s fiddled with my phone again”

Jeremy: Gram’T’ was the queen of goodbyes, saying it at least five times as we were walking out of her home or having “just one more thing” she wanted to give us.

Aviva:You have given us more than you could imagine. Your memory will live in our hearts forever. We love you Gram‘T’

Joey's Speech (read by Jeremy)

Good afternoon. Unfortunately, I could not be here to stand with you and cry with you today. It has really been a journey for me, with my grandmother - or as she preferred Gram-T.

I have vivid memories of her warm heart, her kind eyes, and the loving expression in her face. I cannot describe the wonderful things she has done in my 12 years of life in great detail or how much it means that this important person has departed from our lives. She was an amazing grandmother - always pouring positive thoughts into my head and reminding me of the good things.

The last time I spoke to her in person was when we were in Toronto about a year ago. I found out that it was her request to see me and my sister while she was still in a good place. I so wanted to come to Canada to see Gram-T while she was still with us, but cherish the memories of spending time with her when she was doing really well.

I have several other very happy memories of spending time with Gram-T; when we went to Cornwall together in 2013, or when she proudly took us to her ‘Market’, or when she sent mom and dad to Cambridge for the weekend so she could have us all to herself. In all honesty, Gram-T was very special to me, she really lit up my life - and she did it across the several thousand miles between us.

Thank goodness for technology – I had many great video calls with Gram-T over the years and she always enjoyed seeing the differences in me as I grew.

My final memory – the most gratifying, happy, touching and the most heart breaking memory is that I was lucky enough to be able to video call Gram-T in the last few hours of her fulfilled life. I want to let everybody here know how honoured I am to be part of the final phase of my beloved grandmother’s life.

Danielle's Speech (read by Aviva)

I’m sad that my Gram-T is gone, but I am glad she doesn’t have to  suffer anymore. I will never forget her and she will always be a massive part of my heart forever and ever.

She was such a unique and special person and I’m lucky that she used to say I looked and acted so much like her when she was a little girl.

We’ve had so many great times together before she went, I didn’t want them to stop. She visited us in London and we visited her in Toronto, but it was never enough. My memories will keep me going when I think of her…

Whenever I would talk to Gram-T — she understood me and understood how I felt. We had a special connection and she was the best Gram-T EVER. I loved that she always bombarded me with positive vibes and open minded thoughts, which was amazing.

When I found out the sad news of her passing on Thursday, last week, I was shocked and saddened. I love you, all of you, especially Gram-T, who is in heaven and resting in peace right now.

Gram-T, if you can hear me, all the way up from heaven, I love you, miss you and care about you so much.

Freda Kemp's Speech

Coming soon...

Lynne Jenkins' Tribute (read by Rabbi Eva Goldfinger)
At night when I look up at the evening sky I see a thousand stars. Some are dim and can barely be seen while others are strong and bright and shine in their glory. For centuries the bright stars have been the guide and compass that others have followed on their journeys because no matter what happened on earth, the traveler just had to look up and the bright stars were still constant, comforting and always there.

People are like stars I believe. In our lifetime we meet thousands of people on our path. Many, as my friend would say, are dull and just another brick in the wall and we do not remember them because they have not been that interesting. Others are like those bright shiny stars that sparkle so strong they make others look dull in comparison. Tamara was like one of those bright shiny stars and once you met her, you would not forget her.

I did not know when I met Tamara that she would be the one who not only saved my life, but changed my life for the better. I am bipolar and the medical profession had me on so many drugs that I was like a zombie. I had just about given up when someone told me about a Rebirther named Tamara. I had no idea when I went to her for some sessions that I would heal so much that I came off all my drugs and changed my eye glasses three times for lesser prescriptions within a very short period of time. She was the no nonsense parent I had never had. She was wise, loving, firm, and challenged me in ways I had never been challenged before. She was the bright star in the sky that was always there, always constant and could always be counted on. She was my mentor, my guide, my friend and my associate.

I was so impressed by Tamara and how natural and creative she was that not long after my sessions I went with her to California and trained to be a Rebirther . I came back and quit a stable Government job and set myself up to be a Rebirther and thanks to Tamara and her guidance that was when my life began.

Tamara was not like other people. She just did not think outside the box, she lived outside the box. She was so full of life and curiosity that nothing slipped by her. Her energy when you first met her would bowl you over. Tamara loved life and was always looking for natural ways to heal herself and others. She was not only a Master Rebirther but also an expert in Bach Floral Remedies and taught both subjects as well as other seminars such as the birth canal for many years. She inspired many and healed numerous troubled souls. Tamara not only taught all over the world but also brought in many unusual healers such as the Philippine faith healers. Nothing escaped her notice, energy socks, herbal drinks, bio feedback machines, energy mats and crystals. She also knew or had gone to every natural health care professional in Toronto and knew who had the goods and who did not. Nothing escaped her notice.

Tamara had charisma and character the likes of which are not common and she could charm the socks off of you. I think the greatest compliments I can give Tamara is to say she was real, authentic, genuine and loving. Tamara was not only a mother and grandmother, she was mother earth herself and a universal mother. She loved and cared for all who passed and many are who they are today because of Tamara.

Words are inadequate to describe this gifted woman and how she helped to raise the consciousness of this world and those she helped along the way. All I can say is that when evening comes, I will be looking at the stars, Tamara, but I will be seeing you.

TRIBUTES

Sent in by Family & Friends from all over the world - add your tribute.

Minnie Schamroth and Michael Feldman

We have lost our beloved sister Tamara. It is some comfort that she is no longer having to bear the pain and suffering she endured bravely for many, many months.

It feels so strange that she is no longer there, as she was always so full of life, and full of fun. She will be much missed by us, by Ryan and Jennifer, by Lisa and Edward, and her four much loved grandchildren. She will also be missed by a huge range of people she engaged with in her own unique and unforgettable way. She had a great capacity to enjoy people and to enjoy life in all its aspects. She was a thoughtful, considerate person, with much knowledge about the world. She was always very quick to offer interesting solutions to any difficulties, to any anxiety or pain that she encountered in others. She had a wonderful repertoire of remedies for just about anything, and she loved sharing her knowledge and experience. It was important for her to try to alleviate pain and distress wherever she found it, and the willingness and love with which she gave advice for just about anything was legendary.

I think there were many people who were enriched by the way she listened and spoke with them, often out of her own experience of anxiety, disappointment and suffering, and I think we were all enriched by her wonderful zest for life. I think she had struggled to deal with some of the frustrations in her early life, and seems latterly to have found a mature, philosophical outlook, more tolerant and forgiving (most of the time!). She was drawn to ancient, spiritual wisdom, in which I think she took comfort, and which she wanted to share with others.

Tamara was completely devoted to her children, Ryan and Lisa, and to their children Jeremy, Aviva, Joey and Danielle. I know they will all miss her enormously, but I am sure that the way she enriched and deepened their experience of people, and of the world, will always remain with them. She will also be greatly missed by her immediate family in London with whom she always felt very close. She shared her joys and suffering with her older sister Minnie in particular, and gained enormous and loving support from their long conversations, especially in the last, difficult months of her life.

She was a wonderful, big presence in all our lives and she will be greatly missed.

Beulah Esakov

Tamara came into my life 55 years ago when she married my cousin Mervyn. Little did I know then the impact she would have on me. We never lost touch no matter how far apart we lived and in the freezing Toronto weather in February welcomed us to Canada and eased us into our life in our new environment.

Our families celebrated Jewish holidays and family simchas together as well as helping each other get through sad times. Tamara always arrived with baskets and pots laden with food.

Family came first in her life. She treasured her family history and kept in touch with relatives all over the world.

Tamara made thing happen and was always positive. She had a strong personality and diverse interests - some which she tried in vain to make mine.

I loved her Yiddish jokes - her accent was perfect and I always felt she should have been on the stage. She was creative, colourful - could be biting, sweet, loving but always caring. She surrounded herself with people from every walk of life and developed special relationships. Tamara was at one with nature and very spiritual. She was in charge of her life and lived every day to the full.

I loved her and will miss her in my life.

Ralph and Karen Lewis

Our heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family on Tamara’s passing. Like everyone I’m sure, we’re feeling a mix of great sorrow at losing her and relief for her that her suffering has ended.

From what we saw, Tamara displayed impressive courage and dignity in the way she endured her progressively deteriorating health and all the discomfort it brought. She also seemed somehow able to maintain a philosophical outlook through it all, in her conversations with those of us who were not privy to her day-to-day struggles.

She was a very dear friend to my mother and the two of them felt a strong long-term bond of love, caring and mutual respect.

We will remember Tamara as a warm, generous, good humoured, principled person full of life, passion and interest in the world, people and ideas. She was a non-conformist who marched to her own drum with a clear sense of her own values and beliefs. We had a soft spot for her (with all her unconventional beliefs and practices 😊) and feel privileged to have known her. We’ll miss her and remember her fondly.

Joann Lowell

Dear Heart Tamara... thank you for your bright and beautiful love and light that we here on earth have had the sweet blessing to know. ~*~

I remember the first time I met you 20 years ago as you served as the National Representative for Canada for the International Breathwork Foundation. You were one of Canada’s pioneers as you brought Breathwork into so many people’s lives in eastern Canada and around the world. I remember sweet times with you in Toronto and precious times shared at the IBF Global Inspiration Conference. How feisty and marvellous you were when you got up to perform at the Talent Show... a deLight! 🌟The Ancestors are blessed to have you join them now... while those of us loved ones you leave behind miss your bright presence here on Earth. Go gently, go joyfully, go with love my friend on your sweet journey back Home.❤️🙏🏽❤️

Diane Hall

I found two lovely snapshots of your Mom in my Friends’s Album: one was an afternoon of wine/scarf tying at Anca’s and the group photo was taken of the Social Committee at one of our many social events. Your Mom was an active member and contributor to that Committee. She cared about the people, our condo and our little community. She will be missed!

I first met Tamara in the pool in the summer of 2011. She introduced herself and invited me for dinner on her balcony (the first person to invite me into her home). It was a delicious meal, as I recall, and we talked about Africa because I had lived and worked in W. & E. Africa (Tanzania) for six years. When going through her kitchen, I hope you retrieve some of her delicious recipes: tapenade, cranberry sauce, fruit compote for cheeses, soups, cookies, etc. She was a wonderful cook and always the gracious hostess.

I am so very glad that three of us trekked through the snowstorm last Saturday to visit her at Bridgepoint (Paul, Jane and myself). My last visit with her. We even had lunch together downstairs and had a lovely conversation about all sorts of things, including Harry and Meghan. She was upset with her short hair because she thought it looked too masculine, but I told her it was quite chic. We all thought she looked remarkably splendid with the smart new haircut, lovely fuchsia robe and newish slippers. She was quite engaged and had all sorts of opinions on what we were discussing -- her normal self. 🙂

I am very sorry for your and Ryan’s loss but happy Tamara is no longer suffering. So much pain and for so long. She died with dignity and on her own terms, surrounded by those she loved! She did it "her way". She was quite the lady, always spoke her mind, and when she really disagreed with something or thought it was just wrong --- her favourite line was “that’s just rubbish!!”

Kim Berman

Thanks to Cindy for passing on our deep condolences and thoughts on the loss of your beloved Tamara.

We will hold you all in our thoughts and prayers as you say your final farewells to her on Friday. May her spirit continue to inspire and guide us all.

She has a special place in my heart; although I hardly knew her, I inherited her painting easel when I was a little girl of 12.

That gift inspired me to become an artist!

Alan Schamroth

However you cut it, Tamara’s death is painfully sad. Yes I know she was suffering and in pain and is now as peace, yes I know she was hypersensitive, a tad self-absorbed and critical , but equally she was adoring and proud of her family, yes I know she was enthusiastic about her left field thinking, but equally she was respectful of my scepticism.

I shall miss her greatly.

Simon Lichman

Of course I’ve been following Tamara’s battle and I’m so sorry that her illness finally overcame her. She always struck me as such a fiery tiger when it came to how she led her life and protected her loved ones. I had been in the middle of an email in my mind but for various reasons didn’t manage to get it down in time to send to her for which I shall always be sad.

I came into the family with my own desire to forge real relationships as well coming from the perspective of Rivanna’s great love for you all and my life has only been enriched by our family group and individual friendships.

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that I have strong and abiding memories of many moments with Tamara, two of which I’d like to share.

I think that I met her for the first time when we came to Ryan’s barmitzvah (although we might have already met in London). We drove up from New York with Rivanna’s three Aunties lovingly bickering, as only siblings can, in the back seat of the car and was welcomed in Toronto as warmly as everyone else in the party. I loved the celebrations from the before parties, the shul, the main reception and Ruth’s 21st birthday party in (I think) a Chinese restaurant. All as might be hoped for and expected, but as I was to discover, being around Tamara would include the unexpected, the special, the flourish and highly individual touches that her presence would temper any proceedings with a depth of feeling and atmosphere.

And so it was at the barmitzvah. I had been suffering from wrist and ankle joint problems and despite being in the midst of barmitzvah arrangements etc. Tamara took me off to ‘hear all about it’ and by the end of our conversation had called her friend Maggie who recommended a lovely book called, I Hear The Owl Call My Name, and consulted her spirit guide. The message was interesting and in of itself whether I “believe” in the spirit-guide thing or not, but what most moved me was Tamara’s engagement in my problems and her taking the time to really offer help from within the breadth of her experience and knowledge of healing.

The second “moment” of contact with Tamara’s inner spirit was during her visit to us in Jerusalem, also many years ago. I took Tamara around the Old City and had a wonderful time, just the two of us. I showed her the “usual” things and some of my own personal favourite places of interest and power (such as the Coptic Monastery on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre). She was interested in buying beads so I took her to bead shops including my own favourite. I had known the youngish guys running this shop for several years but had never gone beyond the vendor/shopper bonhomie of people who genuinely like each other as people! Tamara started looking at beads explaining what she wants, looked and looked and then explained that she also wanted to buy something special for me and Rivanna according to our birth-signs and other parameters she felt significant. As she turned the beads over and over a conversation developed between her and the vendor and suddenly the whole shop seemed to belong to it’s own world entirely separate from the bustle of the shuk outside. She found the beads she wanted, I think amber for Rivanna carnelian for me, and we said goodbye, the shopkeeper clearly shaken and yet delighted by the intensity and “realness” of the interaction.

I will miss Tamara very much. The thought of seeing her was always exciting and I treasure our time together as I will treasure the memory of those times.

Itzhak Pomerantz

I loved Tamara. Since I first met her when she was 12 and I was 6 in Johannesburg, our ways crossed in different places over the world at different ages, in Israel, in California, in Toronto and in London – and each time was a cheerful reunion.

She believed she knew much about life and was always willing to share her concepts to help others.

Kimberley Walsh

God bless you my friend. Saturdays will not be the same without you by my side. Your passing has left a terrible Void. I hope you understand just how much you were loved and appreciated. Until we meet again dear friend. hugs Kimberley and Sarah Walsh - (the wookie) xoxo

Dora, Ruth, Abe, Denise, Joyce, Neville, Bernard & Isarae and families

Our deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your Mom, Tamara. We grew up with her and found her to deeply committed to her family and interests and at the same time a lot of fun to be with. We glad that we were able to speak with her in the last week of her life when we reminisced about the good old days as school kids and young parents. She was devoted and very proud of her children and grandchildren. We wish you strength and long life and special memories of a lovely lady.

Christiane Schull

I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Tamara's passing. She was a loving Light in this world and always kept the Light on for anyone who crossed her path. She was a powerhouse, a deep mystic, a shaman, a wise elder, a healer and through her, I learned so much. I am filled with deep joy at her memory and sadness that she will no longer be amongst us. But I know she is with us - a new star in the sky - her Light beaming, beaming, beaming, never to be extinguished.

Robyn Lewis

I've known Tamara (the baby sister of my friend Minnie, with whom I have been inseparable friends since Nursery School. Twenty three years ago my husband Eric, my mother, Phillis and I emigrated to Toronto. Tamara welcomed us, and extended her loving hospitality and she and I have been inseparable friends ever since. Our children all adored her.

Tamara was a light to many, cared for and counselled innumerable people in need of spiritual care. I am so grateful she was in my life.

Gayle Tomlinson

I met Tamara approximately 13 years ago, and over that time our friendship grew. Every day we would be in touch either by phone or by text. Sometimes we would just "hang out" together.

When Tamara got sick I was with her all the way right up to the end. Nothing else was important. I just wanted to be there to help Tamara through her illness. This is what unconditional love is. Tamara was my special friend and soul sister. Even though she is not in her physical body she will always have a special place in my heart.

I love you Tamara. Gayle

Paul & Julia Shoniker

Tamara was an inspiration to all who knew her. She was thoughtful, generous to a fault and completely forthright and honest.

Tamara fought the good fight right until the end.

We will always remember her courage, love of family, determination and acceptance.

We will meet again in the Light. Thank you for walking the path with us.

Christina Richa Devi

Thank you my Warrior Sister on the journey of forty years plus and forever more ...
Rest in Peace and know you have been and are always loved. The Memories will go on and fortify those of us you left behind and remain in spirit connection and gratitude,

SHALOM!

Joe & Kate Hemi

No words can express our feelings and thoughts at a time so unbearably painful.
Tamara was a friend to my sister and always was concerned about her well being.
A caring person.

Gunnel

Rest in peace Tamara

Jose SaoBras

It is always difficult to see the loved ones depart, but never leave our hearts.

Mary Goodyer Lukasko

I shall cherish the wonderful memories compiled over the years, we were so in-tune.

Eva Panta

Dear God-Super-consciousness. Thank you for your presence in my life as Tamara: for the love, friendship, learning, truth, simplicity honesty and love. Thank you for the happy memories of travel and experiences together. thank you for forgiving mistakes and turning them into l learning experiences.Please hold Tamara in the arms of gentle loving angels, heal and rejuvenate her soul and help me remember and recognise her through infinity. Thank, you, thank you thank you. Eva Gizella

Lorne Gould

So sorry about her departure, but hopeful that her journey onward will be a joyful and transcendent one...

Elly Katzman

To Ryan and Lisa: I will always cherish my memories of times I spent with your mother. She was a very special person. I wish you and your families long life.

Ira Rosenberg

My deepest condolences.
Tamara was a very sweet lady and a great personality in the building.
I will remember her fondly.

Barbara Ann Gillies

I will miss you my wonderful teacher, healer, mentor & friend. Many found memories of travelling, pot lucks, workshops & of course ReBirthing. We will meet again sometime I am sure.

Judy Newman

Tamara was a wonderful and caring person. She was involved actively in the life of 260 Heath and will be sorely missed. My sincerest condolences to all of her family. May she rest in peace.

Mary-Kay Perris

Tamara was a great person - so kind and compassionate. We would connect on and off over the years and she was always a joy when we go together. Bless you Tamara - you are flying with the Angels now!
Hugs and Love, Mary-Kay.

Jasmine

I had the opportunity to meet Tamara when she came to Bridgepoint in December 2019. Instantly, we sparked a bond that turned into hugs, laughter, inside jokes and exchanging life stories everyday when we were together. Tamara made a huge impact on my life and I will never forget her. She was always looking forward to see me on shift and I feel her absence strongly. I feel blessed and honoured to have been alongside her on her last days. A beautiful soul she is & all who knew her, loved her. Fly with the angels my sweet Tamara.

Please accept my condolences Ryan, Lisa & members of Tamara’s family.

Margaret Mead

Now and always Tamara is with me in my heart. From the first day we met we came together as sisters and every day we laughed we remembered we were alive and very much loved. Tamara where ever you are I am laughing in my heart with you by my side. I love you dear wonderful friend, always have and always will. In this lifetime and in our next. God bless xoxo your sister from a different mother...

Gino Di Serio

In the few years I have known Tamara it was a blessing to have met her. May your soul soar throughout all the universes in perpetuity in peace, balance and correct conduct Tamara. Blessings, Gino.

Reeva Solomon

Deep regret at such a strong presence being gone. I got the notification too late on Friday from Beulah

Jodie Little

Tamara , you will be sadly missed but you have left behind so much that i will always remember you and the memories will be close to my heart.

I learnt so much from you as a child growing up , growing seeds in a jar , which are now my favourite , trying new foods even if i couldn’t pronounce them and trying new things that i would never have done in my own. .Tea with you was also something i will remember forever. You gave tea a meaning of its own, it was learning about life and what it had to offer. I may not always understood what it was you were talking about but i always listened. Tamara, a women of so much knowledge and strength, love you always.
Lisa. Ryan growing up in your home there are so many stories , we had a great time.

Shawn & Noga Freeman

Dear Penn Family.
Noga and I are very sad for you all. Look forward to seeing you all soon on happier occasions.

Lynne Jenkins

Tamara and I were both Natural health Care Professionals and trained and taught together many times for over 40 years. Tamara was always inquisitive and ahead of the times and always looking for how things could be done naturally. She was as they would say today "Be the change you want to see". She taught me so much and gave so much to the community. We were both strong women and sometimes batted heads but it never lasted for long and the love and respect for each other always brought us back on track. Tamara faced her illness with such grace and dignity it was a true inspiration. She did not feel sorry for herself, was not angry or even depressed. She took it all in her stride and met each daily issue with good humour and acceptance. One day Tamara took my face in her hands and began singing "I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places" which took me by surprise as this was a song that had been sung in an adjoining room when my mother was passing away. It was then I understood that there are things that we do not understand and that there is a force greater than us guiding our lives and looking after us. And yes, dear Tamara. I will be seeing you.

Kobus Burger

Rest in peace dearest Tamara.

You were one of a few international breathworkers and rebirthers I had the privilege to work with in South Africa. I remember your passionate love and support. And your generosity of spirit. I'm still holding onto the gifts you shared with me and the enlightening emails from Canada. May your spirit soar. 💖

Richard Ward

Very sad to hear that Tamara has passed. She will be missed by many people whose lives she helped to improve.

I first met her when she did workshops in my Toronto store The Reiki Store in the 90s.
Many Blessings to you Tamara and sweet journeys.

‎Surin Toor

I recall meeting Tamara while reading a book about the partition of India . She recounted her family connection with Ghandhi, how her grandfather had worked in the same law office. We became friends, she would call me to drop her car for repair and we would go hug the old oak tree in the village together. She would love telling stories of her grand children and tell me how proud she was of her son. I will miss her. My love to her on her journey and to all those she has left here 🙏

Elaine Baker

The past couple of days, while personally have been good, have brought sad news. Two people close to my Dad passed. It seems like everyone is joining him. Yesterday I found out about our sweet cousin Tamara. I will miss her so much. We were close and we saw so many things the same. She was a healer and helped so many people. God Bless Everyone. xoxo

Colleen Sandler

Dearest longtime friend... I am remembering our youth in South Africa very fondly. Rest in peace. May your memory be for a blessing.

‎JoAnn Lowell‎

Dear Heart Tamara... thank you for your bright and beautiful love and light that we here on earth have had the sweet blessing to know. ~*~

I remember the first time I met you 20 years ago as you served as the National Representative for Canada for the International Breathwork Foundation. You were one of Canada's pioneers as you brought Breathwork into so many peoples lives in eastern Canada and around the world. I remember sweet times with you in Toronto and precious times shared at the IBF's Global Inspiration Conference. How fiesty and marvellous you were when you would perform some crazy comedy at the Talent Show... a deLight! 🌟The Ancestors are blessed to have you join them now... while those of us loved ones you leave behind miss your bright presence here on Earth. Go gently, go joyfully, go with love my friend on your sweet journey back Home.❤️🙏🏽❤️

Marlayna Marks

Tamara may your journey home be delightful and free to roam the galaxies. Much love to you on this path back home.

Georgi Georgi

Thank you Tamara for the difference you have made in the world and in my life. Thank you Lynne for being there for Tamara over the decades. You are an invaluable friend and a blessing to anyone who has the privilege to know you! - Dear Lynne! ~ This is my RSVP for your 100th birthday in 20 years when we are going skydiving in Nevada!!!

Ron Tabachnick (formerly Talbot)

Words are so limited to express what I am feeling. I had a wonderful challenging (in a positive way) spiritual friendly relationship with my dear friend. I just called to say hello, after not speaking for 2 years. Ryan shocked me with the news. Tamara's rebirthing talents and tenderness will always be remembered along with our varied conversation about personal growth/awareness, the numerous workshops I attended to wake up my consciousness, especially the practical rebirthing sessions that awakened to my magical contrary nature. As some of you will remember if you participated, Tamara's suggestion to go through the human birth canal backwards was one of the most enlightening exercise I have ever experienced. Her insight touched me deeply and allowed me to growth immensely. Why did I have to lose a friend to realize I did have a good relationship with her? Lisa, Ryan - May the Great Spirit comfort you to heal the loss of your dear mother. She always got excited when she spoke of you and the grand kids. Blessings!

Alan Schamroth

Ryan and Lisa, the funeral is over and our mourning continues. Your mom was larger than life, strong and generous. Not one of life’s meek and insignificant. She always made a lasting, vivid and colourful impression. She was passionate and not content to simply describe the world, she wanted to change it! There was always energy, enthusiasm and authenticity. She believed in the sacred cause of healing and although one can be critical of her means, her aim was always principled. We are all imperfect and we all carry baggage, but I feel she carried more than was right for anyone. Yet in spite of her personal history, she made a brave decision to leave an unjust country when so many others took the oh so easy option and stayed. She heroically relocated her young family to a foreign land and in the only way she could, raised you guys with little help. There are so many wonderful attributes I see that she passed on to you both. She will always be there in our thoughts, your personalities, your behaviour and your values. I weep with both your families for your and our loss.
Love
Al

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I Heard Your Voice In The Wind Today - Unknown

I heard your voice in the wind today
and I turned to see your face;
The warmth of the wind caressed me
as I stood silently in place.

I felt your touch in the sun today
as its warmth filled the sky;
I closed my eyes for your embrace
and my spirit soared high.

I saw your eyes in the window pane
as I watched the falling rain;
It seemed as each raindrop fell
it quietly said your name.

I held you close in my heart today
it made me feel complete;
You may have died...but you are not gone
you will always be a part of me.

As long as the sun shines...
the wind blows...
the rain falls...
You will live on inside of me forever
for that is all my heart knows.