Compiled by Aureet's colleague Barbara Rosenn of the Charles River Counseling Center

After Aureet's death,
Some of her clients met together
To share their loss
And what they had to keep.

…As they spoke,
A common impression emerged of their therapist
Aureet --
Genuine, open,
Respectful of the people they were.
Wanting to foster their ability to manage on their own,
She gave them tools.

A young man shared what she had told him.
"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem".
She advocated life.

To a man whose wife was very ill, she said,
"If I were in her situation, I'd live each day as fully as I could".

Staying centered.
Going inside oneself,
Down deep within,
Checking in on one's internal weather.
Clients laughed
and cried,
Sharing their surprise at their success
With this technique.
The image of water was with her often.
"Go under the surface," she told a woman.
"Go deep. Experience yourself,
Then surface again."

She was respectful of the people she worked with
And it made a difference for them.
One woman, abused in her relationships before,
Was healthy in her grief.
"She was my best friend, she said simply.
I loved her."
…"We could talk about anything.
She just curled her feet up under her, very natural.
I could tell her anything.
She never made me feel this was right
Or that was wrong."

Her laughter.
Her beauty.
Her connectedness.

Those impressions were consistent.

…Providing tools her clients could keep,
A relationship to take into themselves,
And a model of relatedness in which to grow.

I respected Aureet's competence,
Her aspiration to excellence,
Her youth.
I respect the work she did,
Knowing some of those with whom she worked.

…Aureet, in her intensity and presence,
Provided something new for those people
Whose lives she touched,
Some better soil than the soil they were used to,
Better care,
More attention than they had known.
And the testimony to her effect is that they continue to grow,
Even flower,
Straighter, brighter,
Having known her
For a while

L  —    1991

She was kind and compassionate yet she was always able to share her perceptions and knowledge with me honestly. She seemed to be able to take some of the sting out of a lot of painful feelings. Aureet believed in me and taught me to believe in myself. She always reinforced my goodness and abilities and helped me to accept my limitations with compassion and love for myself.

…She changed my life so much for the better. She was a therapist and a friend to me and I will miss her terribly.

A  —    1991

Aureet: "A Gift to My Life" (1991)


…She was the embodiment of truth, sensitivity,

Intelligence and love.

The kind of love that had soft edges so that it could blend

The kind of love that was not judgmental

And had no hidden agendas.

It was love built on support

Built on the generosity of unselfishness.


This world can be an unsafe place

Yet with Aureet it was safe

It was comprehensible

It was in the process of becoming perfect

With Aureet there was hope

There was a route

There was validation.


Why was she taken away?

Because she loved too much.

How can we honor her?

By remembering what she wanted to accomplish in this life.

Knowing that she accomplished it

And now it is up to us to continue her art in our lives.

G  —    Jan. 11,1991

Although I only knew Aureet for one year, her effect on my life is immeasurable! The only other person in my life to have such a positive effect on my emotional self was my mother. I can believe this may be true for many of the people Aureet has touched.

Aureet was my therapist, and I always say she changed and saved my life. As you know, she would say I did it and she only gave me the tools. The truth I suppose is that we did it together.

When I first got an appointment with Aureet I did not believe in therapy, therapists or myself. My life was out of control and I didn't know what to do. On my first appointment I was on crutches, we had just had an ice storm like today and I couldn't find her office building. I was limping up and down Washington Street in the dark thinking this was a sign not to go. One of the reasons I did go was because I loved the name Aureet and wanted to meet the face it belonged to. When I arrived I was a wreck, she gave me a big warm smile and welcomed me in … What a great face and Beautiful human being that name belonged to! This became more evident as I continued to see her… how lucky I have been to have met her.

…Aureet was helping me locate my inner self and grieving many loses in my life. …

Aureet gave me special gifts of herself and her knowledge to help me overcome many emotional hurdles and to look for my feelings….I have come so far from that first appointment. I would joke that she was too good and was working herself right out of a job by being so successful.

…I now have those gifts as part of myself that I may now give to another. It is a beautiful circle of caring and sharing.

…I respected and admired Aureet not only as the exceptional and professional therapist that she was, but also as a wonderful person. I will miss her so much, as will everyone who knew her. I can see her tilted head and huge smile saying, "Come on in, G" I am glad I did.

Aureet was that very special flower that did not need to stand above the crowd…, her special self radiated no matter where she was.

R  —    March 8,1991

Aureet's patience, wisdom, love and compassion changed my life forever. I will be forever grateful to her for the role she played in turning my life in a new and better direction.

T  —    1991

PRISM (1991)

(for Aureet Bar-Yam, my friend and therapist)

You taught me to be ANGRY OUT LOUD

when I wanted to hide inside


You laughed with me,

and cried for me,

when I couldn't cry

for myself.


You taught me JOY,

how to share,

how to even dare

to love myself.


And now I try to raise my eyes

from where ours met

over the coffee cups

with the milk spilled in

while I spilled forth

my fears, and finally

my tears,

and where I could laugh



I miss your wonderful hugs

and you saying you were proud

of all of the ground

we had covered.


and I miss telling you

of all of the magic

and all of the pain

and all of the feelings

I have discovered.


I think today

of the many ways

that I am grateful

and proud

to have known you.

I smile

through my tears

and try not to run

from my fears,

but my dear friend


I do miss you.

H  —    1991

Aureet was very instrumental in helping me through a tough time in my life. …Aureet is a big part of why I'm okay …

I feel that Aureet was one of the most feeling, caring persons that I had ever known. …she had touched my life. …she went above and beyond anything that I could have asked for in a counselor.