In October I had to go through one of the toughest things that one could face when living abroad.

What we really don’t realize when we move so far away from home is the extent of the things we are going to miss. Parties, holidays, birthdays, festivals, and generally gay events all of which we must live vicariously through reports from our loved ones. And we tell ourselves “well that’s ok. They’ll be a next time” But sometime there are events that we miss out on, things that we are not there for that we can’t relive.

In October my biggest supporter in this adventure, the person who wrote me once a month even when she was weak, and my most avid reader of this… what she called my “blurb”, passed away.

If I ever met a saint; Lois Domingue Arceneaux was one. As my mom put it so well “She’ll forever be the queen of our family. She taught us all so much about how to live and love.”

I had only dealt with grief once in my life when I lost my Parrin who I loved very much. But this…having lost someone that had been such a tremendous figure in my life and then being so far away, was something on another plain.

I had never before realized that when something so “bouleversant” happens to you and you are missing some of the tools for grieving, it makes it even harder. I didn’t have my family right there with me, I didn’t get to go to a funeral, I didn’t get to say goodbye. I couldn’t go through the motions of celebrating her life and that is what made this experience so difficult.

I shut down for about two weeks dealing with my sadness in some pretty bad ways. But eventually with music and talking with my mom, dad, and brother I was able to pull it all together.

It was only in December when I was able to see my family that all the pieces finally came together.

This was something that I didn’t imagine I would have to deal with while I was here. And I hope that anyone reading this will never have to experience it.

But today I post this “blurb” in memory of  Ms. Lois. The most amazing woman I’ve ever known that may have shaped my family more than any of us ever did. I’ll always feel like she is watching me walk between our yard and hers, always waiting for me to place a foot on that first step before she would close the door.

Lois Domingue Arceneaux (1919 – 2011)


About Emilie

I'm a small girl with big ambitions and very little common sense it seems. I decided after I graduated from college that I would move from my little city of Lafayette Louisiana to the raging monster city that is Paris. In 4 months of planning I have now uprooted everything I had in an amazing town to live in a truly wild place where I have no idea WHAT I am going to do. But isn't that the fun of it all. So here is cheers to getting lost, breaking hearts, starving, and many wonderful adventures that come along with finding yourself.
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