Being french and born near Paris and even if I didn’t live there since few years, Paris and around is the place where I have lived the bigger part of my life. This is the place where a part of my heart will stay forever. It is the place where I grew up, where I studied, where I had fun, where I worked.
When I saw in TV the terrible events in the capital, I thought I should have to be there. I wanted to be there. That is stupid, you know, because what could I do ? I have this incredible need to be in this place at this moment but I couldn’t.
My own helplessness ate myself. So, I sent a message to my family who live there : my sisters, my brothers in law, my nephews… and also my friends. I wrote them the same thing : “I love you so much. Be careful.” All this made me realize in a hard way how fragile life is. And how important it is to say to those you love that you love them.
Some days later after the attacks, I called one of my sisters. The emotion was high. We cried. We didn’t talk much but we needed this connexion. She told me the story of her coworker who had to go in Paris the 13th to drink with three friends. At the last minute, her coworker decided not to go for some reasons. None of her friends came back. Or this man in a pharmacy telling that his best friend, wounded in Bataclan’s concert, asked him some news of his wife… And how difficult it was for him to announce that she was killed in the attack.
Since 3th november in Paris, I read a lot of articles, saw a lot of shows about what’s happened. I needed to understand. I read too in Libération, a French newspaper, an article* making the portrait of some victims. It was so moving and heartbreaking. Among the victims, people from different horizons, from different nationalities. Single or not, parent or not. Multiple profiles from here and elsewhere.
In reading their paths, I was struck by the twist of fate for some of them. Like for this woman : Patricia San Martin, 61 years old, born in Chile. She came in France to flee the politic of Pinochet in 1973. Her family returned in Chile. But she chose to stay in France. To finally be killed with his daughter by terrorists in her host country, during Bataclan’s concert.
In seeing the photographies of victims, i thought to all the others victims, those in the shadow, those who survived to that, friends, lovers, parents, children. And I wondered how the children who had lost a mother, a father or both of them react to the dramatic consequences of these events.
During the attacks in Paris, the restaurant “La Belle Equipe” was dramatically and badly hurt. The owner lost his wife and eight of his employees. Of course victims and their families are helped by psychotherapist.
And Here* is Tess the owner’s daughter who speaks about the lost of her mother : “My mother is gone cause of a projectile. I find this strange that I have eight years old and that my mother is gone. I am too young”. Then she added : ” It is complicated to live like that, but at least, I am happy that my father is not gone.”
I thought how strong this young girl is. Children always surprise us for their abilities to pick themselves up. We have so much to learn from them.
Days that followed the attacks saw the forming of so many questions from children in class and at home. Like this question that a six years old boy asked : “Teacher, do you believe that terrorists has already cried ?” or these words from a primary school’s boy (grammar school) who said : “Teacher, as for me I want to forget all that”.
We would like too… but could we allow it ?
*The links send to French articles or video, sadly I couldn’t find an english version.
Notes : English is not my native language, so please excuse my mistake(s).