When she told me her doctor was putting her in palliative care at Notre-Dame, I knew it was over. She acted like it was a temporary thing, just to get some strenght back. I never asked her if she really believed that. I could hardly deal with it myself. All it meant, all I heard was “I’m going to the 5th floor, to die”. Because that’s all it meant really. I had been looking at the cancer killing her for six years. Looking at death making it’s way, drying her skin, rotting her teeth, pulling her hair, eating her flesh, taking away her life so slowly I almost wanted to help her go sometimes. For some years she did good, but the last 9 months were a complete waste of life. For everyone. I mean, how many times can you say goodbye, how many times can you prepare for death, how many times can you go over the paperwork to make sure everything is in order? Six years is a long time. Nine months is an eternity.

Before she was sent to the fifth floor, she was at the long term care unit, with the crazies, homeless, kinless, lifeless. People strapped to their chairs, sitting in their shit all day. People screaming all night, not able to get sleep. We couldn’t have her at home, not with two small children. For us, but mostly for her. I could see she was going. She needed medical care everyday. So that day, when I came to see her, and she told me she was moving up, she seemed almost happy, relieved.

She sat in a wheelchair and a nurse brought us to the fifth floor. Exit the shit smell and the screams. The elevator door opens to carpeted floors and classical music coming out of nowhere, paintings hanging on the walls. A volunteer greeted us and took us to her room. Private, huge, filled with sunlight. He asked her if she wanted anything, she asked for a glass of juice. He brought it in a wine glass on a platter. And yet everything spelled death. I couldn’t even talk, it was surrounding me, hitting me, killing me. I helped her settle in her room, we visited the music room next door, the smoking room across the hall, the kitchen where she could keep her energy drinks and stuff. Then I left. The following day I came back and put some christmas decorations up in her room, it was the 9th of December. On the 10th I brought her home with me to have a small dinner and put up the christmas tree with the kids, we sang some carols and I took her back to the hospital. She threw up in the elevator, even though she barely ate at home. She was really weak. The following morning, the 11th, my birthday, the hospital called me at work.

“Your mother had an embolism last night. She’s a DNR, so we could only help her breath. Unfortunatelly she lost consciousness, and probably has only a few hours left.” I have no brothers or sisters, nor did she. No immediate family either. For the next 24 hours it was me and her in that room. Me and a body I could not touch at first. A face trapped in pain, invisible, silent. The nurses would give her morphine when we thought she was in pain. Slowly, I started to stroke her face, wash her mouth, massage her hands, I sang to her I think, told her secrets, stories. Told her I was there for her, that I loved her.

Around 2 o’clock on the 12th, I saw she was getting agitated. I was sitting next to the bed, a volunteer from the cancer support group standing next to me. In the music room next door a pianist was playing Suzanne, and I held her hand and told her it was ok, let go Mom, it’s ok, I’m here, I love you, but you have to let go now ok? it’s all right, her pain was pulsing, trying to rip through her, but I think that she was trying to talk, and I like to think that in her last few breaths I heard her say I love you. One last tiny breath, and she just stopped fighting.

And I held her hand for a while longer, talking nonsense to her stomach where I had lain my head, hearing the soft melody coming from the piano and then the slience. Only my breath against the blanket, my blood in my ears. And then nothing at all.


It’s looming lurking checking me out. Waiting for a weak moment, a distraction. Then it’s going to hit me, showing no mercy, not a fucking care in the world.

-Who decided you deserve a break? Just because I let you feel good for a few days doesn’t mean you’ll get a whole week without me!
-I just thought
-You shouldn’t think, it doesn’t do you any good. Don’t assume anything.
-Fuck you.

There I said it. No pill’s gonna cure my ill. I’ve got a bad case of “fuckoffimtiredofthisshitimactuallytiredofmyself”.


I’m thinking about my mom again. She’s probably around, trying to tell me something, I don’t know. I have to write about when she died. I did, once, to a friend. I also realize that I’ve been ignoring my “father issue” since she’s been gone. It’s obvious why. The past may haunt me from time to time, but he’s still here. She’s not. I know I always loved him more than her, she knew it too, but there was nothing she could do about it. And since she died there was no reason to adress that, no one to notice, no one to bring it up, no one to blame me for that. It’s bothering me now. I don’t see that in my children, not the way it was for me. It might be in their hearts, I ‘ll never know. And don’t want to.


Still working on a new template. Found a nice one, just tweakin’ now.


Sinister, Wimp-Abducting Nightmare Provoked by Rage

Merci du lien victor 🙂 wow, je trouve jamais ça ces liens là moi.

St-Jean-Baptiste 1976

St-Jean-Baptiste here in Québec is like the 4th of July in the US or the 14th in France. Except that only us in the province celebrate it, the rest of the country has the 1st of July. Anyways, long story, boring, bottom line is St-Jean-Baptiste is huge.

1976 was the year my parents separated. I was 5. Don’t remember the exact date but school hadn’t started yet, so it must’ve been in August. And that night of June 24th 1976 probably had a bit to do with it.

It was going to be a huge party at the mountain, with great bands, tens of thousands of people… We got there my mom, dad and I by car, met up with their friends and started up the mountain to get to the park. Party’s on the way, sun is setting down. I remember topless girls, hairy guys with leather hats and indian sandals. I remember the usual smell of pot, hash and beedees (indian cigarettes). I could tell the difference already then. I vaguely remember music, but I can’t recall if it was from the show or just guys around us with guitars and tam tams.

It’s getting late, I need to pee. Badly. My mom is already stoned, but my dad insists she goes with me (he’s gone as well anyway). So we set out, with another girl (16 y.o. babysitter/mom’s friend who died of an heroin overdose at 19) to the restrooms (port-a-potty yessssss). We get there, get in line. I get in, do my thing, get out. L. goes in then out and heads back to the gang. My mom goes in, then out, then we head back.

Back to where? We can’t find them! There are thousands of people sprawled on the grass. I guess my mother didn’t look at where we were sitting before leaving, you know, to mark a spot or something… We’re lost! In an ocean of hippies, looking for a bunch of hippies, a hippy mom and her kid. She was getting frantic, I was trailing behind, looking everywhere for a familiar face. No luck.

So the only thing she could come up with was to head down the mountain, get a cab to her parents’ apartment and wait for my dad to come and get us (we lived up north at least 100 miles from there). We get down, a good 30 minutes walk I’m guessing. My mom looks into her purse… No cash! Not a fucking penny. We need money to get to my grand-parents, so my mom asks me to fucking sing! Sing for the strangers, I’ll ask for money… Ah shit, even at 5 I knew what embarrassment felt like. I don’t know how long it lasted, I burned that from my brain. We finally got some money, flagged a cab. We arrived at her parents, middle of the night… They took us in, no questions, as usual.

It’s very early in the morning, door bell rings… Dad is here! So pissed he can’t even talk. (to this day I haven’t asked him where he spent the night that time…) It turns out, my mom had the car keys in her purse… Could’ve, should’ve, shouts and screams. The ride home was another nightmare.

I never really got over that one. It still bothers me, still hurts me, I still see myself singing on the sidewalk. I can’t really see my mother’s face, I don’t think I looked at her much that night.

The only picture I have of June 24th 1976… She had half the party on her lap.

Sex, death and the wall.

Sometimes, not every time but often enough, when I go to a funeral home, I get vaguely aroused. I feel so alive, so vibrant, so liquid. If not right in there, then later. The room is so grey, the gloom so overbearing, the people so sad. There’s this part of me that wants to defy death, to say fuck you, you ain’t got nothin’ on me.

Death is on my mind this time of year, and this year of course was something extraordinary. I know now that when I cry I do so because of my loss, because of the presence that is not there anymore. The person is gone, nothing I can do about it. I cry over my own inability to deal with the void. But I also know that by thinking about the ones that are gone, I keep them alive, I keep them in my heart.

I say cry, but they’re silent tears. I say cry, but they rarely get out. Rarely roll down my cheeks. My lack of empathy, my lack of interest in others, my avoidance of situations where feelings might get out of hand. That’s a burden, and a blessing. So much shit I dealt with as a kid, so many times I closed my eyes on situations I should not have gone through as a child.

In our house: junkies, thieves, dealers, dancers (hookers most likely, didn’t really question this), used syringes, empty bottles, overflowing ashtrays, loud music at 4 in the morning, people sleeping or having sex in the living room at all hours of the day, no food in the fridge, mom’s weekly new boyfriends (and sometimes babysitters).

Me then: serving as DJ starting at 6 or 7 y.o., walking over bodies to get to the bathroom, having breakfast at the neighbour’s, stealing change in unconscious people’s pockets, spending weekends at my aunts’, grand mother’s (maternal and paternal) and sometimes at my dad’s (when he was not in jail), avoiding touchy-feely guests (surprising how many men are interested in prepubescent girls), waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of the unhooked phone, finding my “babysitter” stoned out of her mind, asleep, drooling, I couldn’t wake her up, I put down the phone and went back to bed (I was 5). I could go on, but it serves no purpose.

Me now: Cold sometimes, unaffected, indifferent. I don’t want to feel too much, don’t want things to get to me. A fucking wall, at which I’m clawing now. I’m not sure I want to tear it down, not sure how much I want to let in.

But I’ve felt so much in the last few months. I’ve felt. Hurt, loneliness, depression, hope, love, lust, friendship. I felt them each separately, individually, not in a mush of self absorption, not like usual, brushing it off as self pity. There is no such thing as too much awareness, I understand that now.

I’ve felt. I want to feel more. I can handle it, now.

Ten things I never said but should’ve

Surfing blogs I was directed by Stephaine to Secret Garden for an interesting exercise… Ten things I never said but should’ve. Just list them without putting the name of the persone they’re intended to. The funny thing is, as they both mention, is that you realize after writing them down that they can be directed to more than one person.

1. No it’s not ok.
2. I never meant to do this to you, I’m sorry.
3. Shut up already!
4. I’m sorry I didn’t say I love you more often.
5. Please leave.
6. I don’t want you in my life anymore.
7. Sure you can come over.
8. Yes I do mind.
9. Your heroin habit is a turn off really.
10. It was me that stole that gram from your stash, sorry about the problems it brought you.

I enjoyed that 🙂

I’m glad I’m not into drugs anymore… I haven’t touched anything in over 15 years except the occasional joint. And I still have issues with that part of my life, imagine.

Death all around

This time of the year, not only am I reminded of my mom’s death, but also of my childhood friend. She shot herself in the head. On January 2nd 2000.

C. and I met in 6th grade. I was new to this small town up in the laurentians, coming from Montreal. My mom send me to live with my dad because she wanted to… well, I don’t know what she wanted but she ended up dancing topless and feeding her coke habit. Anyways. So I’m sent to live with my father and his girlfriend. It was really hard the first few weeks. I didn’t know anyone, and everybody knew each other. I started to hang out with a weird family that lived next to the school, smoking and stealing and stuff. Then one day one of the girls I was “friends” with confronted me with my friend to be. Saying I had badmouthed her. Which was true, but I wasn’t gonna admit to it. So C. jumped on me and started to beat the shit out of me. I had never been in a fight and had no clue what to do.

I was on my back, C. straddling me, punching me in the face when an old man got out of his car and started to yell at C. to get off me, leave me alone. So I did what I thought was the safest thing to do… I told the old guy to get the fuck back in his car, this was none of his business… And a friendship was born.

She was living with her mom, who was a sometimes dancer, mostly waitress and barmaid. Into drugs of course. I celebrated my 12th birthday smoking a joint with C., her mom and her mom’s boyfriend. We were best friends, I basically lived at her place.

Throughout the years, we took a lot of drugs, fucked a lot of boys and beat up a lot of people. But then I moved back to Montreal and it wasn’t the same anymore. We grew apart. She really went all out and also became a dancer… then dealer… then escort… then she had a kid… then she got AIDS… then she hooked up with a loser who beat her up… who left a fucking gun in the house… which she used to kill herself.

She was an accident waiting to happen. She was miserable. She loved her daughter to death. She was my friend.


Today my mom would’ve turned 57. Tomorrow my son will be 11. My birthday is on December 11th, and she died on the 12th.

She’s been on my mind alot lately. Of course because it’s that time of the year. Also because I’m going through a difficult time right now and I need her. And also, and mainly I think, because I’ve been thinking about leaving the man in my life. And I’m afraid of that. Because of how life was with her being a single parent. There are things I can accept about how things were, how she was, others I still can’t.

I’m not afraid of being alone, or not being able to provide for my children. I’m afraid I’ll turn into her. I don’t want my children to look at me the way I looked at my mother when I was a kid.


I miss my mom. I never thought I would, not that bad. She was sick for so long, when she finally passed away I thought I was through mourning. And quite frankly, I was. I couldn’t handle it anymore. She had no family, I’m an only child. So the responsabilities were just suffocating me. And I felt ashamed for being relieved when she died. But as with everything, I coped.

It will be 5 years on December 12th. The day after my birthday. And right now the only person I really want to speak with is her. Funny, while she was alive we rarely had mother-daughter talks. I was mostly the mom anyways. Not only in the last years, but all my life. I never turned to her when I really I should’ve. I think I denied her of her role, in my constant need for control.

I never agreed with the choices she made in her life. And I blamed her for a long time for my short comings. I was strong enough to get to here, but not enough to face the reality of my own weaknesses. I always thought she could’ve done more for us. She was smart enough to know it too. But maybe she did do enough. I see that now, when I look at my own children. What is it that I need to do for them, more than love them, accept who they are becoming and show them how beautiful life can be?

Now my mom is gone, and every day I wish she was here. But she still lives in me, and as the years pass, everything about her that I was denying myself to be is sufacing. I can live with that now.

What happened?

I used to write. A lot. All the time. Unsent letters, poems, short stories. My last journal entry dates back 7 years. What the fuck happened to me? How can a need so strong just fade away like that?

Even before that, while pregnant with my son, I attended some classes at Concordia. Our French teacher asked us to write a journal. At least 20 lines a day. On anything. Just free writing. I had such a hard time. It was an ordeal every time I looked at the page.

So for the last 12 years or so, where have I been?

A few months ago, I started to see myself again. I’m scared though. Am I still the same? Have I changed so much that I’m just an illusion of my old self. And who was I then anyways?

I don’t want everything that I’ve become to be false. I don’t want everything that I believe I am today to be a cover up. A shield I’ve put up just to forget who I used to be.

Was the writing an expression of my true self? I think so. But that was me then. I’ve got to be careful not to fool myself into believing that this is still me. But the essence should be there.

How do we define ourselves through time, experiences, joys, mournings, regrets? Should we go back to how we felt before or embrace the changes that each event brought onto us?