Patricia Eve Har-Even (nee Nathanson) says...
My amazing sister simply would not give up the battle
29 July 1946 – 4 April 2018
She was a titan of willpower and ambition; she was a femme seule coping with life on her own after a failed marriage. She was sensitive to her Jewish background but unable to conform to a religious framework.
I can’t believe I am writing this about a woman so full of plans and calculations for a better future, who stood up in public recently and declaimed her insightful, poetic history of a complicated family.
Let’s come out with some harsh truths shall we? No time now for euphemisms. Her childhood was uncuddled, unsweetened with kisses and warmth. I know this because I was her sibling and I can vouch for the atmosphere of tension and unexpressed stresses in the family home in Finchley. No, I won’t embarrass myself with more detail.
Carol was born in the post-war baby boom in the summer of 1946, a seven-month premature baby. Like myself, she spent some time in a paradise in the Sussex Downs before transferring to suburbia. Our little bungalow in Saltdean was a permanent source of remembered energy to Carol, the template of happiness against which all future events were measured.
We were rivals, Carol and I, rivals for affection and attention, all the things modish psychology manuals spell out for academic discussion. Escaping Finchley to a farm in Sussex came at 17, where Carol trained for a pastoral life on an Israeli kibbutz, learning how to milk cows, dig potatoes, pick oranges and avocados and cook for 400 at a time. I am not entirely sure why this way of life attracted her but it was absolutely to do with falling in love with a young man who offered kibbutz as a precondition to marriage.
The years after this are vague in my recollection as we had not bonded as little children and were not close. It saddens me to admit this. I know that she and Bernie came back to England in 1973 and I think it was then that Carol enrolled in college to study for a B.A. in Drama. I have a picture of her in my mind as a blonde Lady Macbeth swirling her hair over one shoulder and glowering darkly. She had talent; she was a natural on stage.
Business woman Carol came next, organising parties was her thing. It went pretty well I understand but somehow failed to gel and fell apart. I think this began the spiral of unhappiness that led to ill health.
I am not certain of my facts here but I suspect this was the period when she and Bernie decided to go separate ways. My husband Shimon and I were fond of our talented brother-in-law and in 1987 it was very very sad to see them divorce.
Let’s see now – we come to a period of intense study to achieve a professional qualification, and this time she succeeded admirably. Carol qualified as a Psychotherapist and Counsellor. I honestly never knew she had the capability to sit down and do academic work. But see it through she did, and I know she was a proud woman taking rooms in London for a clinic and seeing patients.
Carol was the happy mother of Gilon and Sara (both born in Zefat in the Upper Galilee, whilst Carol and Bernie were living in Kibbutz Amiad) and whose varied and successful careers gladdened her heart. She became a grandmother of three at the beginning of the 21st century and many a time told me how much she loved Ben and the twins Emily and Joshua.
The most crucial and outstanding contribution Carol has made became apparent very recently when her amazing, poetic family chronicle entitled ‘Last Performance at the Odeon’ was published. The book reading in Bloomsbury on 1st March 2018 was undoubtedly the highlight of her life.
And here it comes, the development of the dreadful disease that has claimed her life. Cancer was first diagnosed in 1995 but she experienced remission for a period of about15 years. How she fought it, researched all the options. I can’t talk about it. Anyway she succumbed and it is a wicked shame that a brilliant woman like Carol has had her life cut short at the relatively young age of 71.
I am weeping bitter tears at her passing. I admired her for a forceful, brilliant writer and a sympathetic sister who would write me endless, fascinating messages on-line. Her busy life was a never-ending source of interest to me. May her memory be for a blessing.
4th April 2018
19th Nisan 5778
April 10, 2018
Rachelle Ehven, nee Lipson says...
Sad news. Carol and I shared many experiences, including high school, Habonim, and studies in Jerusalem. My condolences to her family.
April 05, 2018