You were desired and conceived in Love. You were loved; you are loved and will always be loved. Through you, and your presence in our lives, Life allowed us to see a facet of its beauty. Splendid child, full of light, sweetness, generosity and love. Your look, oh what a look – at once tender and mischievous.

You were always fascinated by nature. It was a constant source of awe for you. You were the friend and brother of life in all its forms. You respected life. You would lend your voice to animals to allow them to express their thoughts and emotions. How we laughed. Once, you named a handicapped kitten, Hope, but he didn’t survive despite your efforts. The animal friends (cats, dogs, hamsters and birds) we had brought us many joys and sorrows.


Philippe! Quick-witted, you were full of questions that had no answers, and from age five, you asked about death. Philippe! You had such a sense of humour and overactive imagination fuelled by cartoons, movies and action heroes: Superman, Batman and Spiderman, not to mention the first video games such as the Mario Bros. and others. At the end of grade school, your teacher, Danièle, chose you to play the role of Willy Wonka. You rose up to the challenge and were brilliant. You were proud.

For ten years, you loved, cajoled and took care of Mimi, “your baby”, who died of cancer in December 2006. She is the love of your life. I can see you running with her and the butterflies in a heavenly field of flowers under a radiant sun.

Bruised early in life by friendships and by a tough school environment, you were hurt badly and often became withdrawn. You were so sensitive. Your parents’ separation and the loss of your family home where you had lived for 18 years brought dark clouds into your sky. But your ties with everyone remained alive and strong.

Your studies in Cégep in natural sciences and at Université de Montréal in psychology did not satisfy your curiosity. So we discussed a variety of subjects and you set off on great adventures on your PlayStation: Final Fantasy, your favourite, Wild Arms, War Craft and Star Craft. And in recent years, you collected a wealth of beautiful music from the Internet. The score of Edward Scissorhands made you cry. You took better care of yourself than we did of ourselves: health food and a balanced lifestyle, and you would work out at Nautilus with Simon and me. With Louise or Simon, you experienced a range of emotions as a diehard Habs fan.

Your illness first appeared in May 2006 as sharp pains in your legs, the sudden fracture of your clavicle, and then of a rib. You spent the entire summer wobbling around in pain – your limp worsened and we consulted doctors and specialists to try to understand what was happening to you. They couldn’t find anything. How bravely you soldiered on, my son. It was only in September, after you had spent time in the emergency room of Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Montréal and after having been hospitalized, that your condition was identified as serious. The diagnosis came on October 2nd: a bone cancer that had been active for at least one year. Thus began your long march, your crossing of the desert, your life battle. Endless blood tests, X-rays, scans, radiotherapy, chemotherapy (13), hospital stays (42 days), 2 leg surgeries, wheelchair, crutches, examinations.. And health care services from nurses during your hospital stays. They were treasure troves of devotion. Thank you. Those who took care of you were touched by your generosity, your gaze, your being. Your body brought you great suffering, my Philippe. Your last year on Earth was your Way of the Cross, your Passion. The great Mystery of Suffering.

Your mom, who adores you, lovingly feathered a little nest for you in her solarium, which was filled with light, green plants, and tall trees which were visible from the yard. And the cat, your faithful companion who slept close to you and even dared to lounge on your bed, waiting for your caresses. How your mom enveloped her little “Philou” in her maternal tenderness. And her delicious egg sauce…

During that year, we were never closer to you, in spirit. You were surrounded by the love of your mom, Louise (and her friend Manu), your father (Gérard), your brother (Simon) and sisters (Marie-Hélène, for whom you were her beloved little brother, and Myriam and Julie) and that of unexpected friends. Your friends from work at Zellers expressed their fondness for you by presenting you with a giant card containing special messages for you and a cheque for $500. Because they were young like you, they felt they were in this together with you. Everyone you had met at work over the past four years adored you. And you told me that you had never felt so appreciated than by them. Love always finds its path to us.


August 14, 2007

You recently told me, “Dad, I don’t mind dying, but I want to walk”. You did everything to stay alive. And you walked unassisted, without crutches. You stood up, like you did to cancer. You told me that ever since you were a child you had known that you had an inner strength. But I could see that your heart was no longer there, and it gave out on August 11th. However, you won your inner struggle against hopelessness. You stood up to death.

My beloved son, your tree has born fruit, bright, tasty and nutritious.

Thank you so much, my beautiful, beloved child. Thank you.

I bow my head before you in deep respect and in awe and humility before the mystery of your being and life. Mystery of your being in the image of the Being that is everywhere, that is the Source of everything, that IS. My faith and my life’s experience tell me that He is love.

What unfathomable pain I feel as a result of your physical absence! What joy to contemplate the beauty and richness of your life. What a privilege it was to have known you. What joy to know that you live in all that is alive, happy, content and fulfilled.

Philippe, the child I love so tenderly

Let yourself be taken in by Love! Receive its mercy!

Let yourself be taken in by Life, by the Light!

Lastly, be truly yourself! Beloved son of the Father!

We love you for all Eternity for such is Love!

Philippe! Until we see you again!