Sunday, March 20, 2016
Sunday’s Obituary: Julie Belair
My dear grandmother Julie died on Sunday 19 March 1967. 
My sister and I were only 6½ and 8½ years old, respectively. We were told of Mémère’s death the next morning, while getting ready for school. Marianne and I were in the small living room of our apartment and could see Dad a few feet away in the kitchen. He looked so sad standing by the counter.
Mémère Julie suffered from asthma and sometimes needed an oxygen tent at home. I don’t remember the days leading up to her death, and don’t know if she had been poorly before going to the hospital one last time.
I have only a vague memory of being at the funeral home. I think it was evening, and I was there with my parents. I watched people come and go in the sombre and dimly lit room.
I don’t remember the funeral, which took place at our parish church, half a block away from our home, three days later. It was at 9 a.m., according to the obituary, so Mom must have arranged for my sister and I to miss school that morning. It was a cold, snowy day and we needed to wear our winter coats, hats and mitts. I remember being at the cemetery, though, because I can still see myself and others standing in a small building for the committal service. (It was winter time in Timmins, so the interment was postponed until better weather.)
Forty-nine years have passed since that day, but I still miss my grandmother Julie and keep her close to me in my heart.
1. “Belair”, obituary, The Daily Press (Timmins, Ontario), 21 March 1967, p. 9, col. 5.
Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.