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’till death does us part / anglais

25 juin 2009

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We all have a different relation-ship with death. 

There are those who simply block the notion out of their minds, who stand still and fear it. Those in pain, whether physical or in other forms, who seek it desperately, awaiting or even provoking it. Some who defy it, or ignore it out of self confidence. Others who rush through life in a vain try to outrun it, knowing it, fearing it, trying to postpone it’s grasp as long as they can. And the wiser ones who accept it almost as a companion they will join one day, tranquilly accepting their fleeting existence. For we are but a flicker of light in such a vast universe.

We are all facing death, yet we all are alone facing it. Even when a close one dies, a child, family or friend, a collegue. We tend to flock, staying close to one another, sometimes touching or hugging. In silence or drinking or making bad jokes « in memory of ». The Irish got that part right.  

Anything to avoid loneliness. 

And so we share our solitary mourning. Grieving the loss, and also remembering that we too will go one day. That we will leave this life behind and the people we had filled it with.

I’ve met death three times, in a very short time span, and somehow managed to convince it that now was not the time. Dying was simply out of the question (even when I actually thought I was dead. But then, my head was cracked open so I obviously couldn’t think straight). My only option was life, a life in pain but still a life, and the pain reminds me that I am still there and how lucky I am, really. Now that I have children thought, I probably would be more afraid, not for me, but for them. Even if I like to believe that they would be strong enough, that they would have been loved enough to stand up and survive and walk their own path.

This last week of June is filled with black stones for me. Not one day passes that I do not have to mourn someone. A Grand-Father, Grand-Uncle, an Aunt, a Friend. Some whom I knew from a distance, and others who had a significant impact in my life.
Most of them died of cancer, very young, or too young anyway for I wasn’t ready to let them go. 

I had planned to blog in French on Saturday, for it’s a significant date for me and the day always holds both very sad and very happy memories. And I think I shall blog for her and celebrate who she was and what she brought in my life on that day, as planned.

Someone died, someone passed away last night. Someone I worked with, or rather worked for. Whom I saw struggle with pain, a pain she first thought she could hide until she couldn’t. Whom we all saw fight like a lion against the monster that is cancer. Who won battles, one after the other, while still giving strength and expecting the best from us at all times. Because being unrelenting was the best compliment she could give us. Because keeping our minds off her illness was her way of protecting us as long as she could. She kept on going and on fighting until there was nothing but pain, until her body couldn’t go on even thought her mind could. 

So today, we flocked. We cried, we hugged. We stayed in silence, and then we went back to work. Because that’s how she raised us really, though she was probably more a teacher than a mother to her team.
And tonight, I blog. I blog in English and that probably would have caused her to give me proper scolding in her brusque graveling voice, but in a way, because we were more alike than different, I think that’s OK. (I deal with emotions best in English.)

Tonight I’ll drink a glass of the Mercurey red wine we should have drank together, and toast her name. I’ll remember the twinkle she had in her brown chestnut eyes, and her real frank smile. 

The purple pansies come from a Fondation d’Auteuil horticulture school in Sannois, France (95).

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2 commentaires

  1. Beautiful words, Blandine. June is a tough month for me as well. My brother died on June 8, 2004. I always approach the beginning of this month with a sense of trepidation. Sadness, loneliness, missing my brother. And yet, my wedding anniversary is the next day (June 9), so I have to flip the switch and all of a sudden be joyful. Let me tell you, it’s been 5 years since my brother has gone, and I have yet to have a joyful anniversary. Tough stuff, people dying. I’ll have a glass tonight and raise it to you, to your lost loved ones, and to mine. Peace.


  2. Thanks Tory (are we allowed to call you that still?). I’d heard about your brother and I think about him every year. I guess as we grow through life, we have invisible companions that make us both sad and happy. Sad that they’re gone, happy that they were there in our life for however long… I’ve raised my glass to you.



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