Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Why the silence, non recovery related.

This is a catch up post, partly to explain why I haven't been keeping up to date, and will be text, no photos or captions I'm afraid.

As I said in my last post Louise, Jacques' mum had a nasty fall. We had a lot of ups and downs as she seemed to  be getting better, failed again, then rallied. Chantal, Jacques' sister came over from London, and the various family mêmbers showed just how much she was loved as many of her grandchildren visited her in hospital, in the same ward as I had been, with the same surgeon.The first weekend I saw her she wasn't that well, but when we visited on the Saturday morning of the second, I was impressed by her progress. When I passed on my parents' best wishes she returned them. We were a little heartened, and even if in the evening she seemed more tired we three (Jacques, Chantal and I) went to the theatre to see another cousin performing.

The next day Jacques headed off to the mountains, for a well earned day off, for the last paret meet of the season. Chantal and I planned to spend a girlie day, visitng her mum, and then round the lake.

We were devastated to get a call from the hospital to tell us that the family should come in as quickly as possible as Louise was failing. I tried and tried to get hold of Jacques, but he wasn't answering his phone. It. later turned out that he had forgotten to switch his phone back on again, after the theatre the night before. We called other family members, and then went in ourselves, Once we got there it wasn't quite as urgent as had first been thought, and I texted Jacques to let him know, and told him to enjoy his day.

He phoned my at 11.40, and first asked about his mum, and I reassured him. He then said that he had had a second piece of bad news. Brigitte, his ex-wife, had died overnight. (It turned out later to have been a heart attack). He was therefore coming straight back down to see his children, his girls had rushed back from Lisbon where they had been for the weekend. This was a huge shock for all of us.

Oh, and there was an actual physical earthquake that day too.

Jacques was peripherally involved in the funeral for Brigitte, he gave a speech, and the wake was here, at his house. I of course had to be back in hospital at 6pm, and had to leave them all. I felt so much for Jacques. His primary concern was and is his children. However, he was not without emotion for himself.

The night after Brigitte's funeral, Louise died (I had visited en route to brigitte's funeral, and had been able to say my  adieu), and the funeral preparations began again. Here I was on the periphery; I wrote and spoke at the church, an allogary of a rose bush. And was able to stay out till 9pm on the Monday, and so be more present at this time.

So many of the participants had been at both, and the funerarium was the same.Caroline, my youngest, managed to come to both funerals, and her presence was appreciated, not only by me. Axel managed to come to Louise's funeral too. It was hard for everyone to be back in the same room, twice in just 5 days. The wake this time was at Louise's own home. So strange for her not to be there.

So the month of June was not the easiest for us.

Whilst Louise was 94, and until her fall had largely been in good health, had lived at home etc, Brigitte was only 54, way too young. So for Jacques' children, a very sad and difficult time. And for Jacques himself.

It also got me thinking, and as many of you know, I do think a lot. And my father's phrase "it's later than you think" came back to me. With all of the losses, I ralised that I didn't really want to continue with the long distance realationship with Jacques, and told him I wanted more time with him. He agreed, and I now have "my" room here in Vaulx, for my clothes and thing, and shelf space in the office. I'll still be staying at Terres Gilet when I am teaching in Bourg, but will slowly be clearing it out, ready for another stage in my life. Oh, and just in case it turns out that we can't actually live together ;) After all, that is something I don't have much experience in. Even when I was married, David was rarely living at home, his job as a management consultant took him away most of the time.

The next post will get back to recovery, and just to reassure you, I am doing well.

Time now to get ready to head back to the clinic, as I am now a day patient. More of that shortly.


  1. Very happy for you Karen, life is strange nezzy pah? Love to you both xxxxxx

  2. What a journey this year!
    Embrace the joy.
    Know you are loved.
    Sending healing energy.