The grief of others

Modifié le : 2019/08/07

I went to the funer­al of my cousin Chris­t­ian, who died pre­ma­ture­ly at 35. Since the fam­i­ly on my moth­er’s side is very large, I have many cousins I don’t know, includ­ing this Chris­t­ian whom I prob­a­bly saw just two or three times, and at a very young age. I only saw him once, as an adult, about ten years ago. He was a very hand­some man. End of story.

So I went to the funer­al with my sis­ters to tell his par­ents, those we know, our uncle Alain and his wife, Joce­lyne, how sor­ry we are. There was Chris­tian’s son, Math­is, eight years old, and Chris­tian’s wife, Cather­ine, I believe. The lat­ter was indeed still in shock. She seemed void of emo­tion and grief, at the funer­al home and in the church, express­ing noth­ing as if she did­n’t appre­ci­ate all this noise around her dra­ma. I under­stand her. It will take courage and, uncon­scious­ly, she real­izes it. May life help her.

As for my uncle, a real Giguère in his stature and pres­ence, you had to see him in church, pulling his son’s cof­fin, out in tears, with his oth­er son, on the oth­er side of the grave, to resist as best as he could the calls of pain.

Joce­lyne, the moth­er, sto­ic, was undoubt­ed­ly exhaust­ed. All these peo­ple to thank, all this pain to calm, this immense wound, the oth­er side of child­birth. If a moth­er can con­sole her­self with the courage of a son who has met death in bat­tle, how can she accept that the Great Reaper has only inso­lent­ly slashed a young man in his bed, with­out appar­ent necessity ?

For the rest, the church (in which I was bap­tized), the priest, was the usu­al emp­ty rit­u­al of a reli­gion that had nev­er stopped promis­ing what it does not seem to believe itself any­more. The tes­ti­monies felt by the par­ents, dis­tort­ed by the sub­mis­sion and anger of a Job, were more edi­fy­ing. Nev­er­the­less, the priest must be con­grat­u­lat­ed for approach­ing the young Math­is and giv­ing him a speech com­men­su­rate with his under­stand­ing. The lit­tle boy seemed hap­py to cling to the priest’s pret­ty fable. And that’s the way it should be.

We can’t talk enough about peo­ple’s grief. Let us be clear : it is always talked about, but it is often wast­ed under chal­leng­ing expla­na­tions, in reli­gious fables. Per­haps my own text is no exception.

It is enough to dis­cuss briefly with the old­er ones, those who are, in the­o­ry, clos­er to death than I am, to feel this silent protest from the liv­ing. No mat­ter how much we say, believe, no promise can reduce our anger at know­ing that one day, we will no longer be able to be amazed.