the passing of Jean Carr
a statement from Hester Solomon
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
By now you will have been informed of the death of our dear friend and colleague Jean Carr, who died suddenly a couple of weeks ago of fast moving, terminal cancer.
I also will include herewith some information about her professional life, and for me some personal memories and some of what she and I shared together which made our relationship feel so special. I also want to include mention of other important people in her life whom I knew about to some extent.
To say that Jean was a very special person would be an understatement. Not only did she combine a very keen mind which included much experience in organisations, she had a capacity for pithy comments and observations about people and situations that also included empathic understanding of their situations and points of view. Her intelligence and with created a particular combination of wisdom and precision.
Jean and I enjoyed a long friendship. We trained and qualified together in 1977, as Jungian analysts at what was then the BAP, sharing an interest in Jungian thinking that was not always similar, although we rarely found ourselves in any disputes about matters of importance. Our professional paths followed different routes. Having already done a stint in a volunteering programme abroad, she returned to England to train as a psychiatric social worker at Guy's Hospital where she became a principal. At that time, I was bringing up a small family and contributed to writing a book on the bible story of Job.
Our friendship began after qualifying when she suggested that we subscribe to an opera series, from whence was born my lifelong love of opera. In return, I introduced her to the delights of the South of France during summer holidays. At that time, we were a small group of friends who would meet during those holidays, including my husband Jonathan and our son Gabriel. Shortly before Jean died, I wrote her a note to remind her of some of our shared enjoyments and she replied that she remembered my very young son treating us to a dinner that ended with a pineapple upside down cake which she thought was delicious!
After she spent a number of years at Guys, she accepted an important post in Oxford Social Services as Assistant Director with particular responsibility for Learning Difficulties & Supported Living. When she decided to retire, she accepted a position as trustee on the Board of the British Psychotherapy Foundation, later becoming Chair of the bpf up to the time of her death. During this time, I was becoming increasingly involved in the International Association for Analytical Psychology, the organisation that overlooks the global Jungian membership. Through our work in both organisations there were many times when we shared thoughts and comparisons between our experiences in both.
Jean reached out to many colleagues in the organisations she was involved in. One which was particularly dear to her heart was her involvement in the training analysis and supervision of a number of Polish colleagues, many from whom I have received outpourings of sadness and grief at her loss. She clearly made a big impression on the group, which has now become a full group member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology, which can be considered an enormous achievement by her as well as by them.
I have had the honour to speak with a number of Jean’s family including her brother Ken, her niece Ann and others. The family have made special arrangements which will allow those of us that are able to, to participate in the celebration of her life. Jean and her nephew Ivan were very close, after Jean’s beloved cat died, she was inconsolable. Ivan consoled her every day with a phone call which meant a lot to her.
I do also want to mention Rev Alison Riches, Interfaith Minister, Coach, Counsellor, who will lead the service, with whom I had warming conversation about Jean and her life.
I end with a short quotation sung by Fiordiligi in Mozart’s opera, Cosi Fan Tutte.
“Gentle be the breeze,
Calm be the waves,
And [may] every element,
Smile in favour,
On their wish."
In the fourth novel in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead sequence, the eponymous Jack spends a long night alone with his thoughts.
‘After a while’ he observes, ‘light will reveal itself in a very dark room, not quite as a mist, as something more particulate, as if the slightest breath had lifted the finest dust into the stillest air.’
No flowers. A JustGiving page for Cat's protection is avaialble for anyone wishing to donate.
On behalf of all the bpf Board, trustee Mary Pat Campbell added: “As Hester says, Jean was a wonderful colleague and a real pleasure to work with and know. The bpf owes her a huge debt for all her significant contribution to the charity over recent years. Jean will always be in our memory and our thoughts are particularly with her family at this sad time.”
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