Eulogy for Dr. Thérèse Lena Shore
by Jacques J.M. Shore
December 4, 2018
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
“Lena was a force of nature.
My mother loved life more than anyone I know. My mother was ageless.
Lena was a journalist, she had a deep curiosity of life and people.
She was a prolific writer, versatile composer, successful businesswoman – a unique woman on a mission as we saw in the last four decades of her life which were devoted to spreading principles of universality and human potential.
She was always a fighter. Never easy on herself as always had to do more for others. No resting on any laurels.
She was courageous and survived the Second World War with her brother Adam and her parents. She survived because of her DNA composed of shear determination.
Lena knew what she wanted and did it. She became engaged the day after meeting my father and was married two weeks later. Whether Paris, Montreal or Philadelphia, Lena made a mark wherever she lived. This little woman would be remembered by anyone who met her.
Lena never took any day for granted. She made a promise with God during the War that if she survived with her family she would work towards a better world of understanding.
She was charismatic. People were drawn to her and we know she loved an audience and people loved to listen to this smart, impeccably dressed, intelligent woman with a most radiant smile.
Lena was a force of energy to her many hundreds of students and admirers. She pointed out simple truths and added the accents of her philosophy which were truly brilliant – yet accessible to all.
She befriended many giants – those who were peace prize winners – like Father Dominique Pier, humanitarians & Dr. Albert Schweitzer. She was a kindred spirit with whom his deep friendship with her is well known – Pope John Paul II.
She was the patch of pink in the sky of an often very dreary complex world.
Her ability as a philosopher to build bridges between people, regardless of creed, colour, faith and language was remarkable and her persistent stubbornness in getting her messages across – whether in her novels, music, poetry or lectures was unique. I witnessed here conversations with Pope John Paul II and was stunned by her directness. He listened and acted on her advice many times.
My mother believed that there is nothing impossible. I learned that at an early age as we traveled so often together in Europe and throughout Canada.
She entrenched that belief in all of us.
I would often say that Lena was younger than me. I really felt that this was the truth – her energy, enthusiasm for life, youthfulness as well as her ability “to do anything” attitude, together with her radiant, bright smile attracted others to her.
Among my mother’s amazing qualities, her sage teachings, poetry, songs, novels, essays, etc. one may say Lena was who she was because she was a romantic. Perhaps funny or unusual, for a son to say so. But I know so. My mother spent many years alone without a husband – while fortunate to have been married for 15 years to Eddie Greenberg until his passing in 1990 – it was a sad and dark period after Sigmond passed away on a September night in 1967.
She so missed my father and she cherished the moments of her marriage and romance with him.
To make up for this void, Lena was blessed to feel a strong sense of faith, a deep belief in God. She said as long as God is with me, I am not alone. As long as God is with me, I know what I should do. And she did a lifetime of creative work and built bridges on ideas and of truths to share with others so that the bridges they would then build could bring people together through ideas, and people closer to the natural wonders of our planet, its flowers, its sunsets and the stars…
So much to say. So much to share. So much to be grateful for to have had Len as my mother, but I feel best by reading a short poem that I believe demonstrates the poet and the romantic soul that my mother was.
What is love?
Talking about Chopin,
Drinking milk from one cup,
Holding hands together,
Walking along the streets,
At the fragile
Of reason, of soul,
To sing a song of Spring
In the rain,
To forget ourselves completely
In the gift of giving.
To feel the presence
Of the loved one
Under the skin,
While swimming in the sea,
To bring he sunshine down
From the sky,
To challenge time
That in the eternal breath
Of growing trees
A thousand years
Thank you mummy.
I will love you forever.”