In memory of Tamara Kato
Dear Friends and Colleagues of Tamara,
Though I don’t know many of you personally, I know your paths have crossed with Tamara’s at various times, and that she has made an impression on you, as you have on her. Tamara passed away last Sunday, February 19. I know this is especially shocking to some of you who corresponded with her regularly, as Tamara and I had elected to keep things “under wraps” from most everyone; in part, because things progressed so quickly, and also because it was my way of coping.
Tamara had been feeling symptoms of illness (indigestion: she felt embarrassed – not concerned) since around the new year, but continued her torrid work pace through January. It was not until the second week of this month that cancer in her upper intestinal region was identified. She had been hospitalized at City of Hope since Sunday, February 12. Ultimately, it was not the cancer, but liver failure that took her. She was lucid and alert until Sunday morning, and her passing was swift. Some of you had heard Tamara was ill and sent your best wishes for a speedy recovery. I read those messages to her, and she acknowledged and appreciated every one of them. We (our daughters and I) celebrated her 61st birthday with her last Wednesday. It was bittersweet, but nonetheless, a good day.
Though not devoutly religious, Tamara was a spiritual individual, and has chosen to be cremated. I have asked some of her business colleagues, whom I know, to assist me to arrange an open memorial service that will, hopefully, be accessible to you and the many people whose lives she touched. I don’t know when yet … I’m guessing maybe in a couple weeks … and will let you know when those details are available. It will likely be on a Saturday or Sunday evening, as I know Tamara would not want to take any of you away from the work you do, nor our Comfort Keepers caregiving staff from servicing a client.
Looking ahead, the company won’t be the same without her, but Emily, her right hand and office manager, and I will be doing everything we can to maintain Comfort Keepers as Tamara worked so hard and intended it to be. Please give Emily all the help and support you can, and forgive me for what I’m sure will be numerous shortcomings in the future. Know that I am and will be strengthened by Tamara’s drive and memory, as I hope you will too.
Besides me, her most frustrating employee and husband, Tamara is survived by our daughters, Marissa (24) and Mikaela (18). We are doing alright, and appreciate your prayers and support.