Remembering the sparkling warmth and strength of Palmira Boutillier

Photo of Palmira Boutillier

Photo from the Media Co-op


Memorial to Palmira Boutillier
Thurs. 29 Aug. 6.30 pm.
Just Us Cafe, Spring Garden Road

Please join us in honouring the Memory of Palmira Boutillier
As we help the people of Halifax commemorate her
contributions and celebrate her influence on us all.
Stories & Songs welcome. Light refreshments provided.


With great sadness and shock, we share the news of the sudden passing of Palmira Boutillier. The world suffers a great loss to be without her.

Palmira, who many of us know from various programs at the Shambhala Centre and the North End Meditation Space, had an astonishingly wide range of circles of people she was connected to. Her boundless spirit embraced each person she met as though they had been a childhood friend. She exemplified authenticity, presence, strength, and kindness, and in these days following her death, many have shared stories about the ways she profoundly helped them.

Activist, farmer, journalist, yoga instructor, meditator, daughter, sister, and friend, as we mourn and celebrate all of Palmira, we send out our hearts to her family and friends in Halifax, British Columbia, and beyond, remembering her radiance, and letting her incredible spirit continue to inspire us.

Randy Henderson has generously offered to share his poem about Palmira with everyone (see below).

The Media Co-op’s: “In loving memory of Palmira Boutillier”

Solidarity Halifax’s: “Condolences for family and friends of Palmira”

Please feel free to share your memories and offerings in the comments below.

 Contributed by Jessie Litven


Palmira’s Garden

by Randy B Henderson 


In Palmira’s garden the morning dew made gems

Of butter cups and burdock stems


In Palmira’s garden friendships bloomed.

On their stems, stories ripened

Communities grew from tiny slips

Connecting, gathering, growing tightened


In Palmira’s garden there were trees for shade

Dappled sun on printed page

Reading books with lemonade


Palmira’s garden had no gate

All were welcome. Come early, stay late


In Palmira’s garden there were no weeds

There were sundews, dandelions and blades of grass

Yarrow, raspberry and mountain ash


In Palmira’s garden, it was how you looked

Perspectives changed and hangups unhooked


In Palmira’s garden roots ran deep, a sturdy base

Which fed the strength of her embrace


In Palmira’s garden when it rained

Music rose up from the earth, roots of rhythm giving birth


In Palmira’s garden was a brook, ever flowing, never stops

For collecting tears, washing wounds and mending hearts


In Palmira’s garden there were seeds in little jars

Labelled “wishes”, “dreams” and “shooting stars”

You might find one, in the pocket of your coat

Slipped in secret, without a note


In Palmira’s garden the scarlet runner beans held races

Relays, sprints and joyous chases

But the snow peas were just fine

To hang out languid on the vine


In Palmira’s garden after dark

Crickets chorused by firefly spark

In Palmira’s garden the season changed

We all wept, and holding hands, remained.


11 thoughts on “Remembering the sparkling warmth and strength of Palmira Boutillier

  1. Just want to say: “Love you Palmira – and have a safe journey”.
    Randy Henderson’ poem says everything else most beautifully

  2. Aaaaaaah , so sad. How come there are only three letters in that word. That’s not enough …. Surely there must words that does more justice to this.

    In any way, I can’t be there tonight. Restless. But … I remember Palmira: Monday nights, I would do my thing – setting up for the practice session at the North End Meditation Space – and she would close up Local Source to get to some meeting to do more good for the world. And on her way out she’d stop and turn around, smile, und offer me a hug – the sweetest, most delicious hug int the city, possibly in the entire world – kid you not, like vanilla ice cream, only better. It was easy to accept her embrace, so easy. It’s so hard to say good-bye. See you, Palmira safe travels. I know you’ll do well.

  3. I just want to say that this woman had such a big heart.I was lucky enough to go to high school with her and she was a huge part of my life when i was younger. She will be missed

  4. I knew Palmira as a when we were teenagers. I saw the news on her death and it’s so awful. She was a bright light and even when we were young she was unforgettable and amazing. The world has lost a great human being and I’ll never forget her.

  5. My family and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this wonderful tribute. At this time all I can do is thank you all of you at the Shambhala Centre for be part of her live and thank you for your support and love at the hospital. As a favor to Palmira,myself and my family would you please give Randy Henderson a hug. Thank you Randy for sharing your poem, please know it has touched our hearts. Jim

  6. This poem is beautiful, thank you Randy. Palmira was indeed a most splendid soul. Your poem is helping me with the very difficult process of saying good bye.

  7. This is so beautiful. Thank you so much. I know Pal would have loved this poem. Hugs to all at Shambhala, I wish I could be there in person to thank you for all the support you have my sister along her journey.

  8. I remember babysitting Palmira and Jessie when they were little.She was always so friendly and happy, a pleasure to have known. Rest in Peace

  9. Palmira worked for me at CBC Radio in Toronto as a student intern a few years ago. She left a lasting impression on us all. Her intelligence, curiosity, humour and kindness lit up our office. It is a tragic loss. My condolences go out to her family and friends.

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