Monday, September 13, 2010

The Last Chapter

Hi Everyone. This is Sharón, Tamar's sister. Tamar died yesterday, Sunday, September 12th, at around 3:30 in the afternoon. This is the story of her last day here, from my perspective...

Saturday night we finally got Tamar's pain under control. She slept soundly through the night with a very high dosage of pain medication. Sunday morning she was not able to communicate with us much, but she could see and hear us, and communicate a little. Me, my mom and dad, and Nathan were all here. We each got to have small conversations or moments with Tamar throughout the morning. At around 3:30 she was showing signs that she was moving toward death, and we all circled around. I cradled her head in my hand and my mom sang to her as she went on her journey from earth to somewhere else. We were so lucky that Sandra, the amazingly awesome hospice nurse, was with us through everything, holding us as well as Tamar.

Nathan found out later that a group of Tamar's friends from Dancing Rabbit had gone out on the land and had a circle to celebrate her life. Right around the time that she died, they all yelled out "We love you Tamar!!"

I feel like Tamar's death was beautiful and peaceful. Shortly after she died the expression on her face looked like she was lying in the sun on a warm rock, smiling a little with her eyes closed.

Our tentative plan right now is that we will be driving Tamar's body to Dancing Rabbit, where we will bury her and plant an Asian Pear tree over her, and have a funeral ritual. That was her request. Later we will have a memorial service in Massachusetts.

Many many thanks to all of you for the love, support, magic, prayers, and everything else you sent to Tamar and to us along this journey. It meant so much to be held in the embrace of Tamar's amazing, loving community.

Tamar told me that after she dies, I should read her journal/sketchbook. I want to leave you with a small excerpt from what she wrote:

"I would like to become free of this restrictive cocoon but I don't know what that will look like. Free and alive or free and dead. Either way free." --Tamar


  1. My heart aches for you and your family...

    The world will seem bit dimmer without Tamar's bright spirit gracing us with her presence...

    Tamar was a lovely young lady with sparkly bright eyes, and smile that could light up a room~!...That is how my husband David and I will remember her.

    I am happy for her that she is finally free...

    We are sending loving and healing thoughts to you and your family,

    ~Sandra Newhouse

  2. Dear Sharón,

    I was hoping you'd finish it for her. It seems impossible that Tamar started this blog just a year ago, and gave us the great privilege of sharing her journey. The beauty and peace of Tamar's ending was a gift, to her and from her. Love to you and your Mom and Dad. Nancy O.

  3. Dear readers,

    We are indeed planning for Tamar to be buried here at Dancing Rabbit, sometime this Friday. If anyone on this list would like to join us, please contact me directly (as I'm coordinating housing and travel plans for folks.) The sooner the better, as we are trying to find indoor spaces for folks. We would love to have anyone with us who feels called to be here.

    Thanks so much Sharon... for everything. I look forward to being able to hug you in a few days, and cry together.

    Love, Ma'ikwe

    PS What you describe, with Tamar smiling after her death is described in buddhist texts associated with those beings who finally realize contentment and letting go fully into their next chapter at death. I had prayed for that for Tamar, and it is beautiful to have you describe that here.

  4. Tamar was among my first gardening teachers. I will look for her in the sunlight caressing my tomatoes, the monarch flitting around my flowers and especially in the fresh green salad from my garden. Thanks for being a part of my life, Tamar.


  5. Thanks Tamar for all the good memories. My heart aches with sadness and my thoughts goes
    out to all Tamar's family and friends.
    She was a ray of sunshine. Thanks for all you taught Abby.
    Love, Danette Clatt

  6. Thank you for sharing Tamar's last moments with us. It certainly helps to know that she was surrounded by all of you, I can hear your Mom singing. I have so many memories of growing up with Tami (as she was known back then) that leave me with a smile. Tamar will forever be a part of my story.
    Love, Beth Franzese

  7. Thank you Sharon for sharing with us. All of my love to you and your family. Tamar was in my yoga teacher training at Kripalu. In that short month that we were together she touched my life more than you could imagine (well actually, you probably can knowing how truly fabulous she was). She was a beautiful, magnificent, powerful woman and so very loved. I will miss her. Thank you Tamar for being in my life!! Much love and peace to you-Teal

  8. Sharon, it must have been hard for you to write this final chapter. Tamar touched all of us by letting us share her experiences. Thank you for letting us share yours. Wishing you and all of your family peace in knowing that Tamar is now free of the pain she fought off for so long.

  9. sharon, thank you for writing this for us all. i'm looking forward to seeing you this week and sharing a ceremony honoring tamar.

    i want you to know that the day before tamar died, the largest monarch migration i have ever seen arrived here in northeast missouri. there are monarch butterflies on every plant and every tree, floating and fluttering and making their great journey. it is easy to imagine that she has left behind her restrictive cocoon and is on her way with them on her next big adventure.

    big love,

  10. Thanks for sharing her last moments with us. My thoughts go out to you and your family.

    Naomi Rabinowitz

  11. I woke up this morning thinking of Tamar, and this song immediately began playing in my appropriate...I haven't heard or thought of this song in years.

    Thank you Tamar...Now I know you truly are happy and free...

    I Wanna Be Free

    I wanna be free
    Like the bluebirds flying by me,
    Like the waves out on the blue sea.
    If your love has to tie me, don't try me,
    say goodbye...

    I wanna be free
    Don't say you love me,
    Say you like me.
    But when I need you beside me,
    Stay close enough to guide me,
    confide in me
    Oh oh oh...

    I wanna hold your hand,
    Walk along the sand,
    Laughing in the sun,
    Always having fun,
    Doing all those things
    without any strings to tie me down...

    I wanna be free
    Like the warm September wind, babe,
    Say you'll always be my friend, babe,
    We can make it to the end, babe
    Again, babe, I gotta say...

    I wanns be free,
    I wanna be free,
    I wanna be free....

    Peace be with you,
    Lovely Tamar.

    ~Sandra Newhouse
    'a fellow cancer warrior'

  12. Tamar played some really awesome fiddle tunes with me once. I'm not a very skilled guitarist, but she put up with it a bit anyway. Later, she played fiddle for a few dances at Sandhill that I (falteringly) tried to call. She was an important part of my visit to Dancing Rabbit.

    I admired how skilled she was in so many different ways. She was also intensely beautiful.

    I am saddened to hear of her passing into the great mystery.