My step father, Lucien, “Lulu”, died in the night two days ago, while I was utterly drunk, reduced to a point in the void…
It’s a weird feeling to know that my boozy weedy sensation of imminent death may have coincided with his own true actual death.
I came to move his things the following day and my mother and I just stepped in his retirement house room. He was lying there, infinitely old and yet I was expecting to see him rise on an elbow and give us one those smiles… It took me a while to accept the fact that wouldn’t never happen again.
We stayed a bit and I couldn’t take my eyes off his shrinkled grey face. All I wanted was to draw him but it wasn’t the time as my mother was weeping low, only managed to say “c’était la joie de vivre” (“he was happiness to be alive” very approximative translation, sorry) and give him a last kiss farewell on the forehead.
I wanted to draw him, partly to keep some sort of tangible memory. This wasn’t the right time. I do regret the drawing though, I regret I wasn’t brave enough to give him a bit more time.
In fact the best way to honor the dead is probably to learn a lesson so that, maybe, their passing will have a consequence, so that their lives matter.
From my grand father’s death, I learnt that life was to be enjoyed, even it mostly meant gluttony at the time, the other side of anxiety.
From Lucien, I have learnt that I must do something with art, that I have to push my work, my ability to the maximum level with no excuse, no complacency, no delay, no procrastination. I don’t have much time left.
So long my Lucien. I so hope it’s not it. I so hope I can see your smile again, somewhere.