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A Loving Farewell for Alex

Updated: Jul 8

By Moses St Louis

New York, July 8, 2024

Below is an excerpt of an eulogy for my good friend Alexandra Francois. This is the very first time I have written a eulogy. I promised Alex, and that was her last wish, that I wiould gladly do it. I hope I did her justice.

Good morning, everyone!

Before I start, I want to share with you a few words that Alex and I exchanged just a few days ago before she left us.

Me: Good morning, my love!

Alex: Hi boo, today is a bad day…too much pain.

Me: oh lord, sorry about that, I feel so helpless.

Alex: It’s ok, this too shall pass.

Me: It’s not ok, you don’t deserve this.

Alex: I was thinking that today. I sure don’t.

Me: Where is God when we need him?

Alex: Somewhere?

Me: This has been very hard on me the last few weeks. I can’t even imagine what you must be going through.

Alex: Going through hell, Moses…just hell.

Me: You don’t have to tell me; I’ll be right there with you till your very last breath.

Alex: I know you will, that’s what I like about you.

Me: Never been through something like that my whole life. It’s killing me.

Alex: Would you have the strength to give a speech at my funeral?

Me: I’ll do anything you ask me; if thats your last wish, God will give me the strength.

Alex: Ok, I love you.

Me: I love you more.

Here I am…to fulfil Alex’s last wish.

Ladies and gentlemen, today we gather not just to mourn but to celebrate the remarkable life of a truly exceptional soul.

My name is Moses. Many call me by my nick name “Makak”. It has really been a great honor to call Alexandra my friend for 39 long and enriching and enriched years. The task before me is daunting—to encapsulate such a vibrant journey in mere words, but I am comforted by your presence, united in our love and respect for Alexandra. Today, I stand before you, not just as a grieving friend but as a testament to Alexandra’s incredible spirit, a spirit characterized by her loving, sweet, and caring nature.

Alexandra was a beacon of love, a reservoir of sweetness, and an embodiment of care — a lighthouse guiding us through life's storms. I experienced this warmth and solace firsthand when, faced with the adversity of a stroke, Alexandra was by my side. Accompanied me to my doctor’s appointments. She was my pillar, cleaning my house, ensuring my comfort, and being the steadfast support that one dreams of in times of need. Her actions, born of an unwavering kindness, were but one example of her immense loving nature. Her kindness in those difficult times was a beam of light, showcasing the depth of her exceptional personality.

In her 52 years of life, she navigated this world with a heart so full, pouring compassion into the life of everyone she encountered. It's hard to articulate the depth of love and gratitude I feel for having known her. Too much to delve into, to grasp, to say, feel, and share!

Let me take you back to where it all began — my heartfelt thanks to Esther (mutual friends of Alex) for introducing me to Alex 39 years ago on a day that forever altered the trajectory of my life. That introduction was the ‘yes’ to one of the most stubborn questions that I had been asking myself: Is it possible to find, develop, cultivate, harvest, share, and enjoy true friendship in this world of greed, hatred, jealousy, and selfishness? Alex, thank you for having given me the right answer at the right moment in my life: Yes, above and beyond all, there is friendship.

(Alex and I this past December for HB's 15 anniversary)

And as much as Alexandra cherished every friendship she made, it's important to acknowledge Gaelle, Gaelle, your shared memories are treasures that will forever keep Alexandra's spirit alive among us. Ivy, and Myriam, cornerstones of support not just for Alexandra but for one another, a testament to the unbreakable bonds that Alex forged. Your closeness over the past few weeks has been a comforting reminder of the enduring power of connection that Alex championed.

To Alex’ parents, Mr. and Mrs. Francois, I extend my deepest thanks for sharing and allowing me that friendship with your daughter for 39 long years. This was a present of a lifetime. Thank you, Quettant, Alex’s loving husband, for the rich tapestry of memories we wove together with Alex. As you always call me “Gran Frè…Today, I officially call you “My Little Brother”. Our bond, strengthened in recent weeks, is a testament to Alexandra’s incredible ability to bring people together, creating lasting relationships grounded in genuine attachment and mutual respect and understanding.

Chris, Gavin, her loving sons. I'm sorry for your loss. Your mom is proud of you. Especially Chris, she personally told me, you’ve been her backbone during her last few weeks in hospice. I know there are no words to make this better. My love and support will always be here for both of you. To all the siblings, Erwin, Ricky and Ralph, thank you for letting me become the unofficial 4th brother to Alex. And to the rest of the family, Alex always said to me, “you are no longer a friend “Moses” but part of the family.” It humbled me with this compliment. We are indeed a family.

Alexandra's faith was as profound as her devotion to human solidarity. As a devout Christian, she lived her faith rather than just preached it, embodying the virtues of love, patience, and charity in her everyday actions. God was her way of life. She believed in God. She lived God. She practiced God. It was this faith that underpinned her remarkable capacity for kindness and her relentless devotion to caring for others. Her Christianity was not just a religion she followed; it reflected her inner essence, guiding her in her thoughts, her actions, interactions. Alexandra lived her faith, and in doing so, she embodied the very meaning of love, of God, of the Supreme Spirit. Are we all the images of God? Loving each other is loving God.

As a nurse, Alexandra's professional achievements were a direct reflection of her character—loving, nurturing, and always eager to help those in need. Her dedication to her profession went beyond the call of duty, touching the lives of countless individuals. As a nurse, Alexandra did not just perform tasks; she touched hearts and souls, offering comfort, empathy, and care in the moments they were needed the most. Her stewardship as a delegate for the Labor union 1199 SEIU exemplifies her commitment not just to her immediate responsibilities but to the broader community of caregivers.

Beyond her professional life, Alexandra's passion for music and dance illuminated the lighter side of her personality. Her presence at my annual dance party in New York this past December—she traveled from Boston, staying at my house—evoked joyous moments that are now indelible, unforgettable memories. Her love for these moments of pleasures and camaraderie vividly contrasting her often-serious dedication to others' welfare, epitomized the colorful mosaic of her character. Her presence turned every moment into a celebration of life and friendship.

Alexandra's favorite saying, "This too shall pass," reveals much about her philosophy of life—a resilience in the face of adversity and an understanding of life's transitory nature, a long or short walk towards the great unknown, the mysterious place of no return. This wisdom, shared during both challenging and joyful times, served as a reminder of the impermanence of our struggles and the enduring power of hope and faith. It was a philosophy she lived by, illustrating her character and her unwavering hope in the face of life’s challenges.

Our conversations often ventured into the profound, with Alex expressing curiosity about the mysteries beyond this life, wondering about reincarnation and the afterlife. Her musings on whether our challenges in this life are echoes of a past existence revealed her contemplative nature and her hope that if there is an afterlife, our bonds of friendship and love might transcend the physical world. Her reflective nature and her deep bond with those she cared about. She pondered the mysteries of life, existence, and the continuity of friendship beyond the physical realm. Her openness to the possibilities of the afterlife and reincarnation hinted at her deep-seated hope for eternal connection, a belief that our bonds transcend the confines of this earthly life. She expressed a heartfelt wish that our friendship would continue beyond this life, a wish that speaks volumes about the depth of her love and the transcendental nature of our bonds.

I had asked Alex to give me a signal when she thought the end was near. I told her I wanted to be with her until her last breath. She indeed gave me a signal. She texted me that the end was indeed near. I was privileged to be at her bedside during the last 3 days of her life. Even though she could not speak much, but her silence conveyed the message. . It gave me time to reflect that: We are all going to die. Death is one true inevitability. There’s nothing more certain in this world than mortality. Talking about death and dying won’t make it happen any faster. Avoiding it during conversations won’t make it any slower. Discussing death and dying isn’t morbid, or creepy. Done right, it’s life- affirming and uplifting. We held hands and cried together, acknowledging that her last breath might come within hours or even minutes. I also learned that tears are not sign of weakness. It’s ok to cry, and there’s no limit to the tears you’re allowed to shed. In the end, all that really matters is loving and being loved. What do we want at the end? We want to hold; we want to be held.

Alexandra's impact on those around her cannot be overstated. As a listener, a caregiver, and a friend, she offered a sanctuary for those in need—a haven where one could find empathy, compassion, and understanding. Her contribution as a nurse extended beyond healing the body. As a friend, she was a confidante and a source of unwavering support.

As we stand here today, reflecting on Alex’s life and the eternal mark she has left on our hearts, let us remember her not only with sorrow but also with a smile. Let us carry forward her legacy of love, kindness, and unyielding support for one another. Alex may have left this worldly Kingdom, but the memories we shared, the love we experienced, and the impact she had on our lives will forever remain.

A great philosopher once said, “funerals are not just services for the dead, but instructions for the living”. In memory of Alex, let us carry forward her legacy of love, kindness, and empathy. Let us celebrate her life by embracing her qualities. Let her be and stay within us. Let us be just like her, resilient in the face of adversity, and steadfast in our care for each other. Although she has left our sight, her spirit and love remain with us, guiding us, inspiring us, and reminding us of the profound impact one individual can have on the lives of many.

Farewell, dearest Alex. Your memory will forever be a ray of love and hope, shining brightly in our hearts. Though you may no longer be with us physically, your spirit will continue to live on through the countless lives you've touched. Your legacy of love, kindness, and hope will never fade, and we will carry it with us always. .

Thank you, Alex, for the gift of your friendship, your love, and your unforgettable spirit. May we find comfort in knowing that in another place, in another life, we will dance together again. Until then, your memory will continue to inspire us, to uplift us, and to remind us of the profound difference one life can make.

Rest in peace, my dear Alex, until we meet again.

Your friend, Makak.

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