Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tribute by Dominique (in English & French)

Tribute by Dominique (Paul's aunt) published on 14 August 2009 in L’Orient (a Lebanese newspaper):

Au revoir Paul and never farewell

“Every time a child says 'I don't believe in fairies' there is a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.”

You remembered very well the lesson of Peter Pan, Paul. You always believed in fairies, my little Paul, my big Paul. You expected the fairy to cure you and bring you back to life, but you knew at the same time that you were going to die and that your fairy would be helpless. This hope and knowledge of life and death has made you a teacher. You taught us that there is no difference between life and death, that death is a continuation of life. But at the same time, you fought against your illness with incomparable strength and you gave us a unparalleled lesson in courage. Never complaining, you kept your wise smile until the very end. You were worried about your mother’s holiday, not about yours. You were concerned about your parents, the inconvenience you were causing them with your illness. You helped them by making them laugh and you even ended up ridiculing the cancer: “With a bit of morphine, one doesn’t feel anything anymore” you said on one day of unbearable pain.

You taught us that with humour and laughter, one can overcome anything, the injustice of the illness which made a child of your age suffer, the injustice of life that separates you from us too soon and finally the injustice of death which takes you away so young, so young. Thank you Paul, a thousand thanks. My only small consolation is that your family is not suffering alone. Because when a child dies, the whole world mourns. Your fairy will take care of this at least.

Au revoir Paul and never farewell.

French version:

Hommage de Dominique paru le lendemain dans L'Orient:
Au revoir Paul et jamais Adieu

« Chaque fois qu’un enfant ne croit plus aux fées, il y a quelque part, une petite fée qui meurt ».

Tu as bien retenu la leçon de Peter Pan, Paul, oh combien.
Tu as toujours cru aux fées, Mon petit Paul, mon Grand Paul. Tu attendais de ta fée qu’elle te guérisse et te ramène à la vie, mais tu savais en même temps que tu allais mourir et que ta fée n’y pourrait rien. Cet espoir de vie et ce savoir sur la vie et la mort a fait de toi un enseignant. Tu nous a appris qu’il n’y a pas de différence entre la vie et la mort, que la mort était une continuation de la vie. Mais en même temps, tu as combattu ta maladie avec une force incomparable et tu nous as donné une leçon de courage à nulle autre pareille. Jamais de plaintes, tu as gardé un sourire de sagesse jusqu’au bout. Tu te préoccupais des vacances de ta mère, non pas des tiennes. Tu te souciais de tes parents, des embêtements que tu leur causais avec ta maladie. Tu les faisais rire pour les soulager et tu as même fini par ridiculiser le cancer : « Avec un peu de morphine, on ne sent plus rien » as-tu dit un jour de douleur insupportable.
Tu nous a appris qu’avec l’humour et le rire, on pouvait tout vaincre, l’injustice de la maladie qui fait souffrir un enfant de ton âge, l’injustice de la vie qui nous sépare très tôt de toi et enfin l’injustice de la mort qui te fauche si jeune, si jeune. Merci Paul, mille mercis. Ma seule petite consolation, ta famille ne souffre pas seule. Car quand un enfant meurt, la terre entière est en deuil. Ta fée se chargera au moins de ça.

Au revoir Paul et jamais Adieu

1 comment:

  1. Reading the Tribute by Béatrice de Beaufort, Paul's school teacher made me relive my moments with Paul as a teacher.To read what matches my image of Paul is wonderful.

    I just want to thank her for her tribute and confirm ,as teacher of Paul,that what she said is so true.

    Paul inspired me in many occcasions and having the chance to see his last days on Video yesterday on my first visit to Mireille since His demise, to which I am very grateful, made me appreciate more and more my luck to have taught him and known him.

    He will be ever my example of strong will, determination, purity and patience.

    May your soul our Angel rest in peace.