Written by Lyne Desforges R.H.N., June 2017
May has been a time of upheaval and reflection at C’est la Vie Wellness. My “papa” passed away unexpectedly after a full life of 88 years.
Losing a loved one is never easy but it can be a beautiful time of bonding with friends and loved ones… for me, with family especially. As preparations were made for the funeral arrangements, I realized that my siblings and I are there for each other and for my mother when the going gets tough. Because we all live in different cities (and even provinces!), we can go long periods of time without seeing or talking to each other, but the family bonds are deep and strong. Losing our father was an event that brought us closer together and showed me how much we all care for each other and for our mother, even though we do not always express it in words… and that touched me more deeply than grand gestures ever could. It was also a time to be so very proud of my own children and how they rallied around me to give me support and to help in whatever way they could. They volunteered to do the church readings, even though it was really out of their comfort zone, because they wanted to help in whatever way they could and wanted to show their “grand-maman” how much they loved her and how they cherished their “grand-papa”. Writing my father’s eulogy, sifting through various photos, exchanging funny memories with loved ones, all contributed to strengthen the family bonds even more and to appreciate the life of a wonderful gentleman who loved his family dearly and was always ready to help others.
I loved connecting and reconnecting with so many people before and after the funeral service: getting to know my father through their eyes and developing a whole new appreciation for the man he was.
I never thought in a million years that I could ever deliver a eulogy at a funeral, let alone the eulogy for a close family member. Somehow, I was amazed at this unexpected inner strength that blossomed and made it possible for me to do it (with my little sister by my side).
Now, a few weeks later, I realize that when a person leaves this world, he becomes even more present in our thoughts. Now that he is gone, I am reminded of him every day in simple things I do – singing to myself as he would, giving someone a hand, making breakfast potatoes… I am thinking of him more now than I did when he was alive, and that is how people come to be a part of us and never really leave.
There is sadness but also beauty in the loss of a loved one. I feel so grateful to have had such a wonderful role model in my life and will definitely cherish all the memories I have of my “papa” as he continues his journey in the afterlife.
Au revoir “papa”… till we see each other again.