reading notes – memory

As i was reading on qualitative research methods, i came across a talk by feminist scholar Cynthia Cockburn. These ideas seem interesting to consider for my research but more so, they spoke to me about what i have been doing (exploring might be more accurate) here…

It’s common ground among memory researchers that a given memory shouldn’t be taken as “truth” but rather as evidence, to be interrogated, mined for its meanings and its possibilities. A memory should be seen as something to be critically interpreted in terms of both form and content. Both individual and collective memories of given events and moments change with the passage of time. Memory studies aren’t just concerned with the past. The crucial thing is they’re about the relationship between past and the present.

and later:

And as to the photographs… They may seem like representations of historical events and moments that may be understood at a glance – but photos are tricky things. They’re not transparent in this way. […] A photograph is contradictory because on the one hand it has a secure indexicality, it can be traced back to an actual time and place. But perversely, its meaning actually changes as time passes.

(Source : « Using photography in connection with social research »,


Everything changes so fast in a baby’s life.

As soon as I have the impression of figuring out Aimé’s routine, it changes, sometimes radically.
As soon as I am delimiting the outer edges of what he can and cannot do, he learns new skills.
As soon as I think I am grasping some sort of essence of who he is, he transforms.
I can’t describe his personality yet. Lire la suite

Guest post : Living the Paradox of Life After Loss

English below

L’année dernière, à un moment particulièrement difficile de mon deuil, alors que la réalité de la mort de Paul me pesait de tout son poids, au sortir des premières semaines passées dans un brouillard qui avait adouci un peu le choc de son départ, j’ai entendu parler du projet de livre d’Emily Long, Invisible Mothers.

Emily souhaitait parler à des mamans n’ayant pas d’enfant vivant. Et moi, j’avais besoin de parler, de dire l’histoire de Paul et la mienne. Je suis heureuse d’avoir pu apporter une toute petite pierre à la construction de son livre, et je suis honorée de partager aujourd’hui un magnifique texte d’Emily, à la veille du lancement de son livre.


Last year, at a particularly difficult time in my mourning process, while the reality of Paul’s death really hit me after the foggy first weeks, I heard about the Emily Long’s book, Invisible Mothers.

At the time, Emily wanted to talk to mothers who had no living children. And I needed to talk, i needed to tell Paul’s story — and mine, as i was just coming to terms with his absence. I am happy to have been able to bring a small stone to the construction of her book, and I am honored to share a beautiful piece written by Emily, who will be launching her book tomorrow.


When my first daughter died, everything changed.

How I looked at life.
My level of trust in the goodness of life.
What it meant to be alive.
How I loved.
How I saw the world.
What I thought about myself and who I was.
My sense of security in the world.

Lire la suite

without warning


On facebook earlier today, i came across this post, titled This is what the Syrian refugee crisis looks like. Don’t look away.

There was no trigger warning. How could there be? The link displayed a gut-wrenching image in a large size. A young Syrian boy, dead, on a Turkish beach. Another victim of is being called a « migrant crisis ».

I cried when i saw this image, like i have cried in front of other images of refugees, of children suffering, of our humanity being questioned by the way we treat each other on a global scale. I cried, thinking of this child’s parents, wherever they are, of how desperate they mut have felt to embark on such a dangerous journey with their little boy, of the pain they must feel now — if their lives weren’t claimed by the Mediterranean sea.

Lire la suite

to read…

to read
when you have fallen asleep in my lap
i carefully hold the book over your head
i turn the pages quietly
making sure not to wake you up

i read
immersing myself
in another universe
in someone else’s life
but often i raise my eyes to take in all of you

i read
but i come back to you
your fragrant skin
the folds in your forearms
your long eyelashes

to read
is to escape
these days
i want to be here and now
with you



This post was inspired by The Prompt.
Click here for more posts around the weekly prompt « To read »:


everything is ok

On February 1st, 2014, my baby died. His name was Paul. He was four weeks old.

The shock caused by his death was so violent i had the impression i would not survive it. I was hurting and crying so much i thought i would die. It’s not that i wanted to end my life, just that i wanted so hard to not exist. For weeks, i could not imagine surviving, let alone living a fulfilling life again. I had already experienced important losses. Both my parents were had died by the time i was 18, so i thought i knew grief. But the pain of losing Paul was so immense, incomparable to any other. Lire la suite

finding calm

How do you find calm in the turmoil and agitation?
Somewhere in me, i know i need to wait for this baby to be ready to come on his/her own, i know stressing out doesn’t help me, and doesn’t make time speed up as i wish it would. I know my state of mind in this limbo between when bébé-lentille could have been here and when s/he will be is not unique. Mothers have lived through this anxious time forever — or at least for a few decades as the timing of birth has become more and more predictable and precise.

2014-09-19_corazonI need to be patient, i need to find calm, and peace.
I need to find a way to stay in this inner space that allows me to stop waiting and just be.
I thought bébé-lentille would be here with us by now, that i would be able to hold him/her in my arms. But i need to remember i am not the one to decide when this will happen. I need to release this urge to control the unfolding of the next few days.

I need to find a way to rest, to wait, to relax.
Perhaps then, in this space between calm and excitation, filled with love and expectation, i will be able to open myself entirely to welcome my may-baby.
Mon bébé-de-mai.


Inspired by The Prompt… More posts about Calm here :