Wednesday, 4 November 2009


bright sunny morning, giving way to driving rain in mid-afternoon, but clearing again

We got the call at 8:30 last night that John had died an hour earlier. Very, very peaceful. Asleep. Moira holding his hand. We called and spoke to Moira and John's daughter Joce (Michael's Goddaughter). Everyone exhausted. And sad. But also relieved he is free.

We feel we'd already said goodbye, and so this parting felt almost a formality. Not the crashing grief of a sudden death. And having seen him it was clear he was ready. As many of you have said too - knowing we did everything we could, that there are no regrets, is terribly important. I think it's regrets that get up out of the ground and start following us. We're haunted by them.

I also want to say, again,what a comfort your messages are and have been. thank you.

Michael is doing well. Difficult last night, but increasingly better as today has worn on.

A relief, really. I feel a little badly admitting it, but it's the truth. Thanks for being there, not just for the happy celebrations, but the 'thin' times too.


Jeanine said...

Dear Louise and Michael,

I feel for your loss, but understand your relief. When my father died from a long and very painful battle against cancer, it was definitely a relief. We would not wish him back for a minute if he would have to go through it again. However, I feel his spirit around me so I still have him with me in a different way,. I talk with him often, and with my mother, as well. My mother "existed" with Alzheimer's for over 10 years, not knowing any of us. My father visited her twice a day, every day until she passed. I celebrate their lives and love every day.

Be at peace.

Shelagh said...

Dear Louise and Michael,

You were there for John when he needed you, and you were able to say your goodbyes to a very dear friend. Hold on to all of your good memories, and know John is now, as you said, free. Nothing wrong in feeling relieved about him no longer suffering.

I am glad you were able to spend time with him these past few days.

Another month and you and Michael will be able to relax at home with Trudy, lots of books, warm fire, and lots of hot chocolate...and...gummy bears!!!

Hugs, Shelagh

lil Gluckstern said...

I think you were there with John when he could know you were there. There is always a sense of relief, I think, when the suffering is over. Hug each other a lot, and enjoy the taste of London. I will never see Kevin Spacey or London again without thinking of you.

bgpringle said...

Dear Louise and Michael,

I know there is great sadness but also great relief. You made the trip and got to say goodbye in person and know the time had come. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and John's family.

Bev & Don

Jodi said...

Dear Louise,

I grieve for your loss, but like Jeanine, I understand your relief. My grandmother also "existed" with Alzheimer's for 20 years. It was a life I wouldn't wish on anybody.

You were there when it counted, to say goodbye, and support his family.

Hugs and hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows from New York.

Donna K , Wisconsin said...

Dear Louise,

How wonderful you got to see Michael's friend and talk to him.
There couldn't have been any regrets, even if you hadn't been able to go, but this was better.

The friendship was there forever and there is nothing like close friends.

I can't believe you're doing all this and writing...including the tours...goes to show how much I don't know, but am learning, about an author's life and motivation and of course talent.

I love London which is why I stalled reading your first book. So I am living vicariously as I read about your activities there. I picked up 'Still Life' ages ago and said to myself, "Crap, it takes place by Montreal".. but of course that was before my 'Enlightened' 'aha moment', and my
'Epiphany'--etc. etc.etc.

WEll, take care and write on! Donna K. Wisconsin

p.s. Pretty soon little Trudster, mom and dad will be home..

Brenda B. said...

Dear Michael and Louise,

My sympathy to you and John and his family, too. So glad you were able to be there, to say goodbye. Your presence eased his way, I'm sure.

Best to both of you,


Bev Stephans said...

Dear Louise,

You and Michael (especially Michael) were there when it counted. It is now a relief for his family. Terminal illnesses are very hard on a family. One feels so helpless and of course you are! May everyone get through this time with the loving support of family and friends.

Bev Stephans

Dolores said...

I was really sorry to hear the news, Louise. God bless,

Kaye Barley said...

sending warm thoughts and hugs your way, my friend.

Marjorie said...

"All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity."
--Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2

I find some strength in those words. I hope that you do, too.

My thoughts are with you and Michael.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Jody said...

My prayers are with you. So glad you got to say your goodbyes.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear all,

Thank you. thank you for opening up and letting me see and know your grief too. Your losses, and sorrows. Bless you.

and bless you too for reminding me that soon Trudy (the Trudster!!) will have us home and we;ll be by the fire. And we can exhale. A few miles to go before then, but we can see that moment. And enjoy all the wondrous moments in between.

Thank you.