1994 - 2020
1994 - 2020
It is with the greatest sadness that we share the news of the death of our beloved Bessem.
Bessem Touati was born surrounded by love. He came into the world on July 5th, 1994, in Montreal, Quebec, in the home of his parents, Jamel Touati and Anneke van Nooten, and in the presence of his loving family: his brother Shaheen, his grandmother Moira van Nooten, his aunts Margaret and Miriam van Nooten, and two midwives. Bessem arrived quickly and without any fuss, setting the tone for the life of an active person who embraced simplicity. When Bessem was 18 months old it was his turn to welcome the newest family member, his sister Alysa.
Bessem was a sweetheart. He was the jam in the sibling sandwich that stuck the three of them together. Bessem was loving, generous, kind. He was funny, passionate, hard-headed. He was a man of many hats, indeed he was famous for not wanting to remove his hats, and would wear them until they fell apart. He was a wonderful son and grandson. Throughout his years, Bessem was in awe of Opa’s tenacity, and humbled by Grandma’s limitless love. He was an incredible brother. He and his siblings had a remarkable love for each other. He was a loving and loyal friend; his friendship with Jack Terrion was the stuff of legends. He was an athlete and a player of games. He was a bundle of contradictions – he hated rules, but read all the rulebooks. He was practical and a teacher, a builder. He was a dreamer and a poet, he loved music – everything from old time country to rap. He loved babies and children, and they loved him. And he loved to be outside, to walk barefoot on the earth (although gravel didn’t slow him down). His dream was to farm, to remove himself from the noise and artifice of the city, and live where he could be free and independent. He wanted to grow his own food, cut his own wood, and live without the excesses of the world he’d been born into.
Bessem suffered from anxiety, which made much of life a misery, and he chose to look for a path that would let him build a life that would only include those and that which he loved. In his efforts, he experienced joy and sorrow, success and failure, hope and despair. On October 20, 2020, Bessem’s path took him off his grandparents’ farm that he loved so much, and barefoot into the woods. There, surrounded by beauty and the song of birds, he ended his life. He left no note, but to paraphrase his final text to Jack, his heart was full of love.
Bessem leaves behind a large family who love and mourn him. In Canada, his parents, Jamel Touati and Anneke van Nooten, his siblings, Shaheen and Alysa Touati. His grandparents, John and Moira van Nooten, his aunts, Margaret and Miriam van Nooten and family, Helena van Nooten and her family, his uncles Johan and Sebastian van Nooten and family. His uncle Mohamed Touati and family, his cousin Firas Touati and family. His friends, Jack Terrion, Arthur Newton, Liam Buckley, and Christine Gannon. Bessem’s dog Max was his faithful companion during the last year of his life.
In Tunisia and France, the children and grandchildren of his late grandparents, Mima Zohra Khoudja and Baba Azizi Mohamed Moulay Touati: his uncles Abdelkebir Touati and family, Abdellah Touati and family and his aunts, Nijiba Khoudja and family, Amel Touati and family. He was predeceased by Jamila Touati, and her family mourns him. Bessem’s many cousins in Canada and overseas love and will miss him very much.
There will be a private burial on October 23, 2020 at Pinecrest Cemetery. People are welcome to pay their respects on Sunday, October 25th, in the family home and backyard, between 11am and 3pm. Please dress for the weather. The address is 277 Clare Street, Ottawa, K1Z 7E3. For those who wish to visit the gravesite the address is 2500 Baseline Rd, Ottawa, K2C 3H9. From the main entrance turn right and the grave is by the third tree on the left, section 2, lot 61A, with a black gravestone.
Leaving a message at the bottom of the following obituary page for Bessem is much appreciated. https://www.fco-cfo.coop/en/death-notices/bessem-touati-189006/
Should you like to send us a private message, we can be reached at vannooten.anneke@gmailcom and email@example.com
If you wish to make a donation in Bessem’s name, we suggest HighJinx at 240 Bank Street (https://www.highjinxottawa.com), by e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bessem, we love you and we miss you so much. Who will teach us how to play the games we haven’t learned yet?
Bessem, your last words were “My heart is full of love.” Ours too, full of love for you.
Here is a link to Bessem's obituary:
Here is a collection of photos and videos of Bessem from the day he was born until just over a week ago:http://bit.ly/36mZTqn
If you have any photos or videos of Bessem we would be grateful if you share them. You can upload them to this link.
Here’s one of Bessem’s music playlist: http://spoti.fi/35frMkQ
Please find Bessem's memorial card and obituary in English, French and Arabic at this link: http://bit.ly/3klBs1w
Thank you for your friendship and for being part of the beautiful memories we have of Bessem.
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