It’s not exactly mourning. Not just one loss. There is no word, in fact. However, the pain is very real: that of mourning a child who is not yours (and who is not dead either!). Complicated ? Is.
Posted yesterday at 10:00 am
Inside The twelve months of Mary, published these days by Éditions Mains Libres, the actress and author Marie-Chantal Perron writes a moving text, hard and true at the same time, full of emotions, about a breakup. But be careful, not the one you think. Their breakup (disunity?) or their mourning, well, for lack of a better expression, is very different. It is that of a mother-in-law and the daughter of her (former) spouse. A woman and her daughter-in-law, what. A new topic, certainly more common than you think.
«Freely inspired by a veritable history of love», please also the court ouvrage, tendrement illustrated by Geneviève Boivin-Roussy, who participated in it, through the different chapitres (spotted in mois, tel un calendrier), à décortiquer cette scission Nameless.
In 12 months, therefore, we follow the heroine (a certain Marie, “because we all have that name in our baptisteries!”), who makes the inevitable and no less heartbreaking decision to leave her husband. And this, despite all her love for this child (not hers) that stops her.
And she says it so well: “Sloe, my daughter-in-law, so beautiful but someone else’s daughter, for your arrival in my life, you crown me mother-in-law without being beautiful or anyone’s mother. […] Prunelle, my flower of love, my crazy surprise […] Excuse me. »
Not in vain: the “invisible link”, as summed up by its author, found here in her second book on the subject (after bride and bridein 2019) and with whom we met last week to discuss it, has no more terms to define it, frame it and even less recognize it.
The role of “expulsion”
What exactly is a stepfather? A role “made from scratch”, as she says, both “blurred”, “unappreciative”, “without rights”, “outlawed”. “An expelling father figure. » Worse: expelled. When there is a break. And she knows it too well. Hence the pain, anticipated and concretized.
There are more and more blended families in our society that are falling apart. However, in the decomposition the issues of children and in-laws are not legislated. As a society, we will have to question ourselves…
Marie Chantal Perron
His fiction actually smacks of lived experience. Marie-Chantal Perron does not hide it. “It is certain that it is an impulse of the heart, she confirms. If you bother to talk about it, it is sure to be a topic in your life. She will say no more. Or half a word. “It’s something that started with me, but I allowed myself to enter fiction to maintain modesty, not to settle accounts, but to question. »
His story also dares with a ray of hope. “It is a luminous fiction to give hope that these bonds will survive in life”, continues the author. And it’s also a way of saying: such a powerful bond always keeps a door open. »
We assume here that the writing had the effect of a balm. “Writing is sweet, confirms Marie-Chantal Perron. I did not want a forceful work, but one that brought questions, in reparation and in fiction”, she insists.
He further concludes, “If I can make this little piece evolve, let’s understand that this slice of love in a blended family is worth considering, that we’re not just an ejection seat, then I’ll have achieved my goal.” »
The twelve months of Mary
Marie-Chantal Perron, illustrations by Geneviève Boivin-Roussy
The twelve months of Mary It is also offered in radio drama (with Anne Dorval, Bianca Gervais, France Castel, Didier Lucien, Patrice Godin, Francis Ducharme and Marie-Chantal Perron) on Radio-Canada’s OHdio platform.
Marie-Chantal Perron will also give theatrical readings of her text as part of Les Arts d’été (Les Productions Martin Leclerc) in Gatineau, Quebec and Montreal.