Chayer, Carol-Lynn
May 7, 2018

Carol-Lynn Chayer

Our beautiful, funny, caring Carol-Lynn died as the sun began to rise over Montreal, on May 7, 2018 at the age of 53. She will be deeply missed by her loving husband Guillaume Hervé, cherished sons Nicolas and Alexandre, her parents Agnes Nagy and Pierre Chayer, her sister Lorraine (Brian Farrell), brother Robert (Marie-Chantal Poitras), her parents-in-law Nicole Dufay and Henri Hervé, her sisters and brothers in law, nieces and nephews, extended family and friends who were like family.

Carol-Lynn and I met in Saint-Thomas High School (Pointe-Claire) in 1982 and graduated as high school sweethearts, which is to say we were part of each other’s lives for 35 years as best friends, lovers, husband and wife and parents.  What was as true in 1982 as it was on the day she passed is that Carol-Lynn brought a unique light and warmth to all who met her.  She was loving, caring and compassionate to her family and friends.  My sons and I wanted to write an obituary that represented the person she was.

Hers was a sacred and wonderful calling and she embraced it with all her heart and with every ounce of energy she could find. She wanted to be the best mom and companion she could be while helping those around her as best she could.  So, she decided to quit working when Nicolas, our first son, was born and continued with Alexandre.  In fact, she would return to work, only part-time, only once her sons were mostly fully grown – or, as she would put it, “almost completely baked and out of the oven.”  That same bountiful kindness, commitment, love and devotion she brought to her family, would be found in the relationships she made with those she met. She truly cared for people and would spend much time worrying about others, always seeking to give but never ever looking for anything in return. She brought a kind smile and sense of humour that would make others feel comfortable. She did this until the end, making people who visited her in the hospital laugh and even making the medical staff comfortable and often disarming them with a quick joke or a warm smile.

She was always shy and never seeking the spotlight, but for someone who wanted to stay quiet and in the background, she sure left her mark on people. This was best exemplified by the work she did at Voluntas working with bereaved families following the loss of a loved one.  This was not an industry she ever in her wildest dreams thought she would be in but something inside her pulled her towards this new career. As she would explain when asked how can she work with the dead, Carol-Lynn would answer, “you don’t understand, I don’t work with the dead, I help the living grieve and get through a very difficult moment in their lives.” And she did. Many would thank her for the genuine compassion she brought to every single family she interacted with. She loved to listen to people, care for them and help them heal.

To tell the story of one’s life, one needs much more than this short column. But here are a few things she loved: her sons, her husband, her family, friends, children; she had a soft spot for children she met and she made them feel unique and special, quilting; oh those beautiful quilts, health and natural foods and products, reading from a broad spectrum of topics; extremely well read, there were always 3-4 books around, sudoku, crossword puzzles, her garden, movies, restaurant outings, traveling, snuggling as a family, family gatherings, volunteering, listening to good music, CBC radio, meditation, Christmas, shopping for those awesome stocking stuffers, chips (apparently Cape Cods are the best), puzzles, playing cards and board games. She also loved to walk with me. We would take long walks almost daily and eventually could complete the Camino de Santiago together in 2015; 900 kilometers, side by side, supporting each other through difficult patches and across wonderful landscapes, as we had done all our lives.

Carol-Lynn died from complications from metastatic breast cancer. A cancer she fought in 2014 and then again in September of 2017 and again in 2018. But eventually she passed away on her terms. At peace with herself, at ease with death, and surrounded by the ones she loved.  As she would so often say, “It was in love I was created and in love is how I hope I die.” She was certainly the bravest person we knew. Not only because of the way she fought her disease with such positivity, hope and conviction, while making those around her feel comfortable, but by the way she made her choices in life. Her bravery can maybe best be described by the way Carol-Lynn was dedicated to questioning her strongly held beliefs. While most of us shy away from taking a good, hard look in the mirror, she would look in places that she wasn’t satisfied with and work relentlessly to become the best human being she could be following a path of deep reflection to find true spirituality.  Her health choices with food, body, and mind is why most who found out about her disease could simply not believe it because of the way she radiated. Regarding cancer, Carol-Lynn would want us to share with you that she did not want to be defined as a cancer patient, but simply as a person who happens to be fighting cancer.

We will miss her so very much, but she has gone to a better place, free of worry, and is reunited with her brother Marc.

The celebration of Carol-Lynn’s life will take place at Fritz Community Centre, 20477 Lakeshore, Baie-D’Urfé, Qc H9X 1R3 (514-695-7979), on Friday, May 18 from 3-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory to the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre, where she (and I) found great support, resources and compassionate caring, would be appreciated. Special thanks to her colleagues and dear friends at Voluntas Commemoration where she worked and enjoyed serving families and who have been there for us in this very difficult time, to her healthcare team at the West Island Integrative Health Center and the Cornwall Naturopathic Clinic, her team at the Cedars Cancer Center and the staff at the oncology department of the Royal Victoria Hospital who showed great compassion and care. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Voluntas.ca (514-695-7979).

Celebration of life

Fritz Community Centre

20477 Lakeshore, Baie-D’Urfé, Qc H9X 1R3

Friday, May 18th, 2018 3 - 7 PM

46 responses

  1. Warren Reynolds

    May 11, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Beautiful commemoration and as I absorbed this thoughtful biography of dear Carol-Lynn I am brought to times of joy, laughter, meditation and special talks with her. Feeling a heavy heart and know she is free to share her positive energy with us. With you in love and spirit Guillaume, Nicolas, Alexandre, family and friends.

    Reply
    • Reynolds family

      May 17, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      Loving thoughts for Carol-Lynn, Guillaume, Nicolas, Alexandre and family from Alan, Anne, Adrian, Chantal, Diana and Julia Reynolds

      Reply
      • Guillaume Hervé

        May 20, 2018 at 10:45 am

        Thank you so much Alan, Anne, Adrian, Chantal, Diana and Julia. I know that I have your support and blessings and thank you for sending Warren to attend the funeral. He passed on his well wishes in person. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

        Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Dear Warren, it was so nice to see you Friday and thank you for your kind words. You and Carol-Lynn had many bonds and one of the strongest was your bond around meditation. You were a big influence on her completing the Vipassana 10 day silent meditation retreat and continuing with her meditation. This played a big part in her life, healing and influenced me to start meditating. Much love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  2. Meg Gillespie

    May 11, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    This is such a beautiful tribute to such a beautiful woman. Her laugh still rings in my heart. Carol-Lynn was absolutely one of a kind, a wonderful mom and a constant friend. We will all miss her terribly.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Dear Meg, thank you for the kinds words and your support throughout Carol-Lynn’s illness. We both knew we could count on you to come over for a quick hello or a simple conversation to help ease the anxiety. It was great to see you Friday with Eric and will be forever grateful for your friendship. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  3. Gordie Howell

    May 11, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I count myself lucky to have met Carol-Lynn .You should have 2 goals in life .First make yourself happy and secondly make others happy. Carol-Lynn congratulations on a life well lived.When I saw those two walking down the street it always made me smile.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Dear Gordie, your words mean so much. I have indeed been blessed to have had someone like Carol-Lynn to make me happy and to make happy. Your friendship and constant support have meant a lot. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  4. Lisa Bedard & Dany, Emilie & Jordan Belanger

    May 11, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Guillaume, Nicolas and Alexandre, you have captured lovely Carol-Lynn’s essence perfectly. She was a truly beautiful person, both inside and out. Our hearts are broken, as she was taken from us far too soon, but I have such wonderful memories from 37 years of friendship that was always a constant in our lives. We will forever miss her smile, laughter, warmth, and love. ❤️

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Dearest Lisa, Dany, Emilie and Jordan. I can’t find the words to describe how grateful I am, the boys are, for everything you have done for us since Carol-Lynn was diagnosed last year. Your strength, support, companionship, compassion and endless gestures of support have helped us immensely. The 4 of us go back so far and have shared so many happy memories and challenging moments and despite time and at times great distances, found a way to remain friends. I am grateful to be able to count on you in the future to ensure we share some great memories and stories. With much love and endless gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  5. Josée Caron

    May 12, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Our deepest condolences Guillaume to you are your family. We had a chance to get to know Carol-Lynn when my mom passed away and she gently assisted us with my mom’s celebration 2 years ago. Although we did not know her very well, I could feel her kind spirit and now that I have read your beautiful message, understand who she was much better. Thank you for sharing this beautiful life story and love and peace to you all.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Thank you so much Josée for sharing that story. It always makes me and Nicolas and Alexandre feel closer to Carol-Lynn when we hear the stories of people she helped. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  6. David Pelletier

    May 12, 2018 at 9:44 am

    A beautiful tribute Guillaume. I was devastated to hear of Carol-Lynn’s passing. She will be missed by many. Please accept my most sincere condolences.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Dear Dave, thank you for your comment and your emails and for being there Friday. You have known her a long time since it’s been more than 15 years that we are neighbours. Thank you for your kind words. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  7. Caroline Viens

    May 12, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    It was with shock and deep sadness that I learned of my high school friend’s passing. I immediately pulled out the old photo albums and was filled with warm memories of celebrating with Carol-Lynn the milestones of her youth, including her marriage to her prince charming and their first baby shower. My goodness, we shared some happy times together with the old gang! Although we lost touch over the years, I am not at all surprised to hear that Carol-Lynn devoted her life to caring for others. She was always a gentle, giving soul. To Guillaume, family, and close friends, my deepest sympathies for your profound loss.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Dear Caroline, I have gratitude for many things and one is the fact that Carol-Lynn found a way to reconnect us. I have similar photos and have been going through them as well and it reminded how you were a big part of our lives in the early years. Thank you for your kinds words. They mean a lot to Nicolas, Alexandre and me. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  8. Barbra Rigelhof

    May 13, 2018 at 2:28 am

    We are missing Carol-Lynn so very much, this is just so hard to process…. Guillaume, Nicolas, and Alexandre – you, along with the amazing Carol-Lynn, have been our extended family over the years. We love you and stand with you in honoring and celebrating her life. You’ve written a beautiful tribute – I wish I could find the words right now but I am at a loss….. always thought of with fondness and joy, she will forever be our “Auntie Carol-Lynns”. All our love, Barb, Ben, Evan and Cassie

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Dear Barbra, I have so much to thank you and Ben for and have shared that with you these past days. You were a great friend to Carol-Lynn and a “go to” gal when she needed to talk and as my Researcher in Chief when I needed to bounce information off someone. Thanks for the time we spent together with Ben, Evan and Cassie. It helped the 3 of us heal a little bit. With much love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  9. Rhonda Massad

    May 13, 2018 at 5:10 am

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Carol-Lynn always had a smile and kind word. She will be truly missed. Please accept our most sincere condolences.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:00 am

      Dear Rhonda, It was nice to see the two of you Friday. Sorry we couldn’t spend more time chatting but your warmth and compassion was felt and I thank you for it. Carol-Lynn was your biggest fan with your West Island Blog. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  10. Tina & Tony Caccavelli

    May 13, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Beautiful and loving words Guillaume. Carol-Lynn was such a warm and pleasant soul to be around and we feel lucky to have met her and to have shared a few memories with both of you. We send our deepest condolences to you, your sons and all your family and may the memories of her warm your hearts always. RIP

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Dear Tina and Tony, Carol-Lynn really enjoyed being around the two of you at Tom and Suzanne’s. She always found you genuine and fun. Thank you for your very kind words. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  11. Daniel Mongeau

    May 13, 2018 at 8:38 am

    We can all live by Carol-Lynn’s example. She was truly authentic, compassionate and caring. Carol-Lynn’s presence was, and will always be felt by all who knew and loved her. What a loving tribute! We are so sorry for your loss, and send our love and big hugs.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:03 am

      My Dear Dan. Thank you for your care and friendship. I know how much of a shock this is and I appreciate you being there for me – for us – and seeing you and Caro Friday. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  12. Dorothea and Andy Bedard

    May 13, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    To Guillaume,Nicolas,Alexandre,family,and close friends, our deepest condolences.
    We first met Carol-Lynn in 1981 when she and Lisa became close friends in grade 10. Carol-Lynn had an aura about her;a gentle soul exuding sincerity,warmth and kindness and making people of all ages feel comfortable around her.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:04 am

      Dear Dorothea and Andy, Thank you for sharing that story as you reminded me that you and Lisa actually got to know Carol-Lynn before I did. I fell in love with her in grade 10 but it took me a year to have the courage to ask her out. Your words mean a lot to us. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  13. Charlotte Brown

    May 14, 2018 at 7:36 am

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Although I did not have the pleasure of knowing her, I did work with her mom. My sympathies also go out to Agnes and Pierre as it must be so hard to lose another child.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:05 am

      Dear Charlotte, on behalf of me and my boys and Agnes and Pierre, thank you for your kind words. With much love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  14. Cris Xavier Kaiser

    May 14, 2018 at 10:35 am

    It was with such sadness that I learnt of your loss Nick, Alex and Guillaume. Though I did not often have the pleasure of spending time with Carol-Lynn, the time we did spend was usually in laughter and mutual joy watching our boys. I see in Nick and Alex the love, care, encouragement and support she so abundantly lavished on her family. My heart goes out to you all, I will keep you in my prayers.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Dear Cris, It means a lot to us to read your words about you and Carol-Lynn and the stories about the boys. Your support means a lot to us. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  15. Susie Kucer

    May 14, 2018 at 11:14 am

    I am so sorry to hear your sad news. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Carol-Lynn but your loving tribute to her allowed me to see her through your eyes.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Dear Susie, I appreciate your comments on the tribute as we were trying to capture Carol-Lynn in the best way possible. Thank you for your support after all these years and for being there Friday. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  16. Pina D'Amico

    May 15, 2018 at 9:12 am

    I am saddened to hear this news, though I did not know her personally through your loving eulogy I can see what a beautiful person she was. My deepest sympathies to you, your sons and all your family, keeping you in my prayers.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Dear Pina, it is so nice to hear from you despite the passing of so many years. Thank you so much for reaching out and making these comments and for your support to me and my family. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  17. Debby (White) Sauve

    May 15, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    What a very special and touching tribute to your beautiful wife, Guillaume. I remember her so well from high school ~ just a kind and giving person, so soft spoken. My heart broke for you when I learned the sad news of her passing from Lisa. In reading this tribute, although I haven’t seen her since we left high school, I fee like I’ve known her for years. The world was obviously a better and more beautiful place with her in it, and I know that she will be very dearly missed by everyone whose lives she touched. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you, your boys and your families ~ I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Dear Debby, we are so happy to hear that our tribute got you to remember Carol-Lynn and get closer to her despite the many years that have passed. Thank you for taking the time to leave this beautiful message and for your support. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  18. Gestion Emerillon Capital

    May 16, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Please accept our most sincere condolences for the loss of your wife. All our thoughts are with you and your family.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Merci à toi et l’équipe. C’est très gentil et fort apprécié. Guillaume

      Reply
  19. Stephen Schettini

    May 16, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Carol-Lynn often attended the meditation class I lead at the Cancer Wellness Centre, and always had something thoughtful to contribute. She was an inspiring and elegant woman. I knew nothing about her life until reading this loving obituary, and am glad to have learned a little more. I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to know her better. My condolences to you.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Thank you Stephen. I do remember Carol-Lynn looking forward to her meditation sessions at the Cancer Wellness Centre. The Centre brought her – and me – a lot of peace, for which we are so grateful. With love. Guillaume

      Reply
  20. Guylaine Denis

    May 18, 2018 at 10:17 am

    My sincerest condolences to family and friends. I work with Robert and his wife and I know how difficult it is for them. I did not know Carol-Lynn personally, but this loving obituary made me know her a little more. Thank you. She was a wonderful woman. My heart and my thoughts are with you especially today.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:16 am

      Dear Guylaine, it is so very comforting for us to hear from people who were touched by our tribute and who took the time to contact us. Thank you for that and for you kind wishes. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  21. Jim Mac Donald

    May 18, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Dear Hervee Family , my deepest sympathies and condolences , from the bottom of my heart and of my groupe , we are deeply saddened . All our support is with you .

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:17 am

      Dear Jim, Carol-Lynn always appreciated you and I recall her taking your crew under her wing during the time you were working at our home. Thank your for you kind words. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply
  22. Jarrett Ketterling

    May 18, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I am very saddened by this news. My condolences. She lived a beautiful life and I am sure she is continuing her adventure towards the truth and that she and her loved ones will forever be united.

    Reply
    • Guillaume Hervé

      May 20, 2018 at 11:18 am

      Dear Jerry, it is so nice to hear from you and to read your reassuring words. My boys and I really appreciate it. With love and gratitude. Guillaume

      Reply

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