Monday, 13 September 2010

au revoir

mixed day...mostly cloudy and heavy rain - then sunny. cool- temps 13

Jacques died this morning at 5:30. Louise called about 6:30. We hopped in the car - and at her suggestion we met at a Granby restaurant for breakfast. I'm reminded of the poem by Auden about the old masters. And how life goes on. The mundane continues even in the face of tragedy. How odd it seems that people still drive cars and eat and walk dogs. Unaware of the loss.

And yet, there we were with Louise, in a quiet, far corner. Drinking coffee and eating pancakes and hearing about Jacques last moments - and beyond. And Louise alternately crying and laughing. After he died, Louise packed up his few belongings. Then she went around and thanked each and every nurse, every other person on the ward who'd been kind to Jacques and her. To the cleaners.

And then we had breakfast. After that we went back to their home, and sat in the living room. Louise put a photo of Jacques on the coffee table, and lit a candle, and we talked about him. And the joy (yes joy) they'd experienced in the last 45 days while he was in hospital. Busy not so much dying, but living to the very end.

It felt, and indeed was, a celebration of a full and beautiful life.


hilary said...


joanne_maine said...

So sorry for your loss Louise. Always difficult to say "goodbye"...or "see you later" to those we love.

bgpringle said...

May he rest in peace. Our sympathies to you, Michael and especially to Louise. It is very strange that life does go on and others are unaware of any loss.
Bev & Don

Marni said...

Sincere regards and condolences to Louise and both of you. It sounds as if it was indeed a beautiful celebration of Jacques.
Marni & Arthur

Linda said...

Dear Louise,
I'd hug you all if I could. Your words brought me to tears. My condolences to you, Michael and Louise.

Susan Fish said...

Heartfelt condolences to you, Michael and especially Louise. I am so glad for you that you weren't traveling yet and could be there with her today. Blessings!

Cool City Stitcher said...

All of you will look back on this day and be glad that you were there with your friend. Deepest sympathies to you all.

JKW said...

Thank you for putting it like that. . . I had no idea other people felt exactly like I do during a loss. . how can mundane life go on. I just lost 2 close friends the first 12 days of Aug. They leave a big hole in my life. I understand and (((( hugs )))) for all 3 of you. Blessings, Janet

Dana said...

How we cope with our own pending death is the essence of how we live our lives. It seems Jacques led a full and wonderful life until the end, and was a blessing to those who loved him. Sorry for your loss.

A. Wright said...

My deepest condolences on your loss.

Having lost my mother earlier this year, I have found remember how she lived her life to the fullest has brought me comfort.


Jodi said...

I'd hug you if I could too.

I'll have to settle for cyber hugs instead. ((((((Hugs))))))

Debbie said...

So sorry for the loss of your friend. Just remember that you will have a lot of memories to look back on.

Brenda B. said...

I am sorry for the loss of Jacques. He clearly was a person who made this world a more beautiful place.

You and Michael and especially Louise were blessed to have such intimate time with him in his last days.

My best to all of you and may he rest in peace.

Brenda B. in Maine

Sandra Dumais said...

Lovely post, Louise. Hugs to you both.

Pierre said...

So sad, yet so real.
Nothing can be said that will ease the loss.

riverview said...

What a sweet celebration of a life that surely gave great joy.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Louise,

I don't know you, but I know of you. And I know Louise, though we have been out of touch, the place she occupies in my heart does not depend on how often we visit or speak.

I thank you for being there for her during the hardest time she's known. It may have been peaceful, but losing your half, I'm sure, leaves one wobbling...

I can only hope you will still be there for her. I'm so happy to know she has this connection with both of you, makes me feel, well, a little less helpless.

Thank you for all that I hear you are, and have been, for the past 45 days.


Claire F.

Beth said...

My heart goes out to you all. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. At times it has felt like an almost sacred privilege.

with deepest sympathy,
in Oregon

Jeanine said...

Dear Louise and Michael,

I have been deeply touched during these past weeks while you have shared with us the depth of your love and friendship for Jacque and Louise. As Beth said, it has felt like a sacred privilege.

Now Jacque belongs to the ages ... and his spirit will go on throughout eternity. I'm sure you will feel his presence around you.



Louise Penny Author said...

To all of you,

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. And Michael thanks you too. How lovely to think that jacques 'belongs to the ages'.

You are all so kind. And that is a balm.