A week ago in Landerneau -France-, I attended the funeral of Jeanne, Sister Jeanne, Sister Jeanne le Roux.
Jeanne left to join the man to whom she gave her life, peacefully, but too quickly, so quickly that, like her friends and family, I didn’t have the time to prepare myself for the loss that this solid woman on whom we could count leaves us. How many times have I been on the point of phoning or emailing her!
We said Kenav (Goodbye) o to Jeanne on the feast day of the angels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, three days before the feast day of the holy Guardian Angels, a symbol for me as she was my companion for 23 years. Throughout this time she has walked with me on my spiritual journey, listening to me, enlightening me, sometimes shaking me out of my lethargy, making me aware of God’s action in my life. For me and for all the people she accompanied, she was an angel, a messenger of God. In the Bible, angels speak of God’s presence in our lives; they have the taste and colour of God, and are the ones who help us understand who He is and what He wants for us. Jeanne was all that for me.
“You will see heaven opened” says today’s Gospel text, Jn 1:51. If heaven has been opened for Jeanne, I can testify that she has sometimes given me a glimpse of what it is, by finding peace and helping me to find myself in truth.
Over the last few years, we’ve had a lot of in-depth exchanges, and no doubt we’ve accompanied each other a little… Her last words to me on the phone just before she passed away were: “Now it’s your turn to accompany me! I was deeply touched by this and, although I was unfortunately unable to see her one last time in Plestin-les-Grèves as we had hoped, I will keep this message as a testament, and as a sign, perhaps, that I too can accompany people on their journey, as I have received so much from her!
Jeanne, you who lived on Hope, and who knew so well how to share it, you who said you were in God’s hand at the time of your “passage”, here you are now in the glory of the One you have sought all your life, because you see “greater things still”: another of the words of today’s Gospel addressed to Nathanaël in Jn 1:50.
You cannot abandon those who have been entrusted to you here on earth, can you? It is in this communion of saints that unites us even more than before, that I find you in thanksgiving for the beautiful gift of meeting you one day along my path.
Kenavo Jeanne, a greiz kalon! (Goodbye Jeanne, from the bottom of my heart)
Marie-Anne Giron-le Bail. Friday 6 October 2023 – Published on 7 October 2023