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.