Lena Tomatis †

 

"Behind every great man is a great woman," a famous proverb says. In any event, this was true for the couple Lena and Alfred Tomatis. The two met in the Paris ENT practice of Tomatis at the time Hélène Magnet (Lena, born 02.09.1928) was employed as a staff member. Soon, the professor's "right hand" became his great love. They were married in August 1958. Tomatis wrote about Lena in his autobiography "L'oreille et la Vie" (The ear and the Life): "I owe her the best part of my own dynamism, my own tenacity . . . The communication was so rich, so intense, so deep that you would rather speak of a communion. Every word we exchanged drew us closer together, and cemented what we were trying to build. This precious feeling we have today: Our two personalities are merged into a single being."

Only through Lena one could reach out to Tomatis. She constantly watched over the great researcher, scientist and physician. She literally sheltered him from the public so that he could pursue his work as undisturbed as possible. Her organizational skills and talents were extremely versatile: She edited several of her husband's books and publications, which allowed a broader, non-scientific audience, to access the world of thoughts of Tomatis, and his method.  In his dedication of his book "Vers l'écoute Humaine 2" (Towards human listening 2) he wrote: "To you, Lena, who collected these words so that this book could be."

Lena nursed her husband Alfred with love in their Carcassonne villa until his death on 25 December 2001. She spent her last years without him in great seclusion. On August 15, 2016, Lena passed away at the age of 88 and found her final resting place beside her husband Alfred in the family vault at the Carcassonne cemetery.

 

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