I’m not sure if anyone’s reading this anymore, our trip is over, but don’t know quite where else to write.
We found out today that Justine, the sweet woman we stayed with when we arrived in Paris in October, died in an accident on February the 6th.
Justine was the perfect beginning to that chapter in our lives. Suddenly materialized in a country where everything was a puzzle to us, the language, the food in the grocery stores and the geography and the manners, she provided a calm and upbeat entree into not just our vacation and France, but our traveling culture. She introduced us to her friends, walked the city us, poked into art galleries with us, cooked with us, taught us French, let us teach her English, and, that rarest of things in a new friend, was comfortable being silent with us.
She had a simple bravery (example: inviting two perfect strangers to live in her apartment), a demure passion, an unassuming openness.
Nothing about grief is easy, but I feel especially adrift in mourning her, because of the way she passed through our lives and we through hers. To their eternal loss, no one here in Seattle knew her, so we have nobody to remember her with, no one to shoulder the sadness with us.
We lit a candle in Seattle for you. And we will miss you.