“La Maison de Tara, it’s better than home!” – a resident
“’The volunteers are my guardian angels” - a resident
“I recall the moments of comfort, the support and help during a period that was very difficult. I think often of you with a lot of gratitude. Thank you from all my heart” – the wife of a resident
“I don’t have the words to tell you of my gratitude for how you accompanied R… in the last moments of his life. He passed away serenely thanks to you. As for me, I have found a second family because your support has been very precious and will continue to be in the future. Thank you for everything. I have nothing but praise for everyone and everything.” – the wife of a resident
“It was an excellent experience and I recommend La Maison de Tara to everyone who has need of it.” - the daughter of a resident
End of life at La Maison de Tara
“A week after settling into the ‘Tulip’ room of La Maison de Tara, my mother said to me “I am living an extraordinary experience”. I had been very troubled. We had brought her to Tara to die because at her age there was no chance of a cure for her illness, already very advanced. We were sad, preparing for her death, yet at the same time she herself spoke of living ‘an extraordinary experience’.
It was winter. She was snug and warm in a pretty room, filled with light, which is just what she liked. From morning until evening the kind people around her did everything possible to meet her wishes and needs.
There was always someone able to spend time at her side, to talk with her and to listen. She was surrounded by patience and friendship. No one was hurried or self-interested. No one asked her for anything, rather they gave: their time, attention, affection, care, cakes and soups. To her delight, her toenails were lacquered red! She was given massages, the first in her life. She had an audience for her stories of listeners who never gave the impression of having heard enough. She had a smile all day long; a smile of recognition for all the women and men who devotedly cared for her. She was a pleasure to care for. She took joy in pleasing and in turn her team at Tara were replete. And this woman - who had been alone, who didn’t ‘know’ the word ‘happiness’, and in any case who would have considered that it did not apply to her - translated the respite she received by her words “I am living an extraordinary experience”.
She lived like this until the moment when her confrontation with death superseded everything else. However at Tara, even that moment was surrounded by respect, wisdom and practical skills. I retain a memory of my mother’s departure as a journey accompanied by love and flowers. All the misery that death brings up and sometimes the regrets of those still living, were spared me: the interactions with and the care of the doctors, nurses and the volunteer team at Tara were sensitive and appropriate right until the end.
I don’t know to express adequately that thanks to La Maison de Tara my mother’s death was gentle, for our family, friends and myself. It is hard to describe the attentiveness that I received during this most difficult of times. I was welcomed, supported and accompanied. And it is my turn to say, copying my dear mother, “I lived an extraordinary experience”. - the daughter of a resident
“You were brilliant. You made the difference between an experience of intense suffering and the best possible transition towards death, for V..., but also for me, as a close witness.” – the husband of a resident
“In this wonderful place you have to set aside your everyday worries and trivialities.
You learn to embrace silence and delight in the trees and flowers, the wholesome food and caring people. Of such come glimpses of the eternal glory.
La Maison de Tara may call itself a secular foundation, but on the contrary, I find it
a most holy place. That’s to say, the reality and truth of ‘God’ is Love, and this house is above all a place of love and compassion. It is a place of peace and harmony where
one can sense the unity of all creation; here Heaven touches the earth.”
– the father (an English clergyman) of a resident. English original text.
"We wish to express our deep emotion and gratitude for how your affection and sharing of our suffering comforted us during this very painful time. We also want to recognise and express our gratitude for the good and sensitive care that you gave to our daughter during her stay with you." - the parents of a resident
“Here you receive so much love” – one resident to another