Our defining moments

I’m apologize to all of my french speaking readers I can’t think this straight in french.
My grand father is dying. Next week or the week after he will be gone. Cancer ate his body. And it was fast. Six month ago he was sick but still standing. Now… well it’s the end.
I find myself at one of these defining moments of life.
I often hear people talking about their great opportunity, like when they have this big job interview and they’re telling themselves it’s their make it or break it moment. I never believed in such a thing. I think we get a lot of second chances in life. If it’s not that company, then it will be the next one.
What I believe, though, is that the real make it or break it moments are the ones that come with the great pivoting points of life. And I mean life. Like in birth, love and death.

And I think these pivoting points have nothing to do with your successes or failures and everything to do with who you are, how you define yourself as an individual and a human being.

I’m not gonna go all morals heavy on you. Truth is I have no idea what makes a good or a bad human being. I don’t even care. I don’t think there is such thing as good or bad as far as beings are concerned. When I write ‘define yourslef’, that’s exactly what I mean: show who you are, give a sense, a meaning to yourself.
And as I’m trying to navigate between my four conflicting responsibilities of today. 1) I have work commitments 2) I am moving out and I committed to my wife that I’d help with that 3) I committed to help at my son’s school next week for park duty 4) being there for my grandfather.
My mother, who’s there already, says he keeps repeating how much it means to him that she is.

She also says how painful it is for him and this is where I feel the weakest. I am afraid of the pain I will experience by being there, of how this will change me to be there, to experience this. I don’t think I’ll come back intact.

When I look at the situation and I try to hear what my body has to say besides my intestines being torn by fear and sadness, I feel like I want to be there, like I need to go. My mental is berserk. It’s going all over the place, shooting excuses and giving me reasons not to go, sapping my strength and my willpower.

Death is bullshit. I hate death.

As I try to navigate between all the fear and the pain and the excuses one clear message pulses from inside of me, one clear voice saying: “Go”

I’ll go. I’ll handle everything one step at a time.

People forget. People forgive. But not yourself. You never forget the things you didn’t do, the places you didn’t go, the times you weren’t there. And I think you don’t forgive yourself easily… if at all.

These are the defining moments of our lives. The times when we have the opportunity to do something meaningful for others, the times when we have to do it despite the pain and the fear. Because they need us more than we need our comfort. And I believe it’s when we choose our comfort that we lose.


  1. Emmanuel Courtemanche
    Jun 22, 2014

    Bonjour Anael,

    Je voulais seulement t’envoyer un petit mot d’encouragment. Tout mes pensées vont vers toi et ta famille. Courage!

  2. Jeanne Rektorik
    Jul 15, 2014

    Bonjour Anaël,

    Bien difficile d’écrire dans ces circonstances quand on ne se connaît pas. Mais je voulais juste vous offrir une phrase qui me porte lorsque je pense à mon propre grand-père qui est parti il y a longtemps : “devenez ce qu’en moi vous avez aimé”. Voilà sans doute la meilleure manière de garder auprès de soi les êtres qui ont éclairé notre vie.

    Je vous souhaite de traverser ces moments de la meilleure façon possible.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *