2011 – Thinking of Marilyn
Over 175 people gathered February 19, 2011 at Hotel Classic in Québec City for the evening entitled ”Think of Marilyn.” The disappearance of Marilyn unfortunately goes back three years and we marked this sad anniversary with the friendship of all of those who still hope to see her again one day.
Marilyn’s passions are both music and writing. They were honored during the evening. The vibrant testimonies of her relatives were combined to the speeches of Enfant-Retour (Pina Arcamone) and AFPAD (Michel Laroche), who joined the magical performance of singer Steve Labrecque, not to mention the superb animation of Stephanie Pelletier and the great design of guitar picks (illustrated above) by Jennylie Harel.
Such good times allowed everyone to come away with a lighter heart and still remain hopeful for the future. Marilyn was present in all minds and hearts of all those who love her, who want to see her again, and who continue to hope with unfailing tenacity.
2011 – Dinner and Tribute to the AFPAD families.
In Spite of Myself
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
I am pleased to join you despite the distance for an evening of tribute to families, organized by AFPAD.
My name is Nathalie Bergeron but tonight I am a sister.
I am a sister of a missing person. I am the sister of Marilyn. I’m the one who looks for her. I’m the one that is left behind. I am the other.
In this room tonight, there are more than sisters. There are mothers, fathers, children, brothers, grandparents, or friends.
All of these people are linked to a story of a missing or a murdered person. All of these people are asking for answers, trying to continue to live, or get involved to honor the existence of the other, the existence of people who are still missing or gone forever.
I was told that among you, there are police officers who will hear my testimonial.
I am therefore acknowledging my gratefulness, especially to those who work diligently.
I am showing them respect, especially to those who demonstrate the same to my parents.
I am showing my surprise, especially to those who give us a lead that we did not think of before.
I am the one who questions, examines, claims, and insists. I am the sister of the other.
You are a police officer.
When you chose this path, that of righteousness and order, you did not expect to cross mine.
I am watching you as well. I am reading all your your reports. I fear your silence. I stop when you tell me to move.
It’s because you have not found her.
You receive our testimony,
One delivered in a panic,
What height, what time, please wait for me to explain.
Then we are rushed into your system,
For us the world stops, for you it begins,
You speak of weeks, I am screaming minutes.
Nobody is supposed to ignore my missing person.
I thank those who ignore the simplistic solution,
I thank those who excel in their work and reject the path of least effort,
Such as a suicide theory.
A suicide without a body, without a message, without a reason – quite convenient.
No need to search, no need to perform hard work.
I express my gratitude to those who seek certainty,
Who do not assume,
Those who speak of reasons and facts,
Those who can wisely spare us the false hope or false sorrows of false leads,
These phrases that mark, these phrases that kill.
These phrases that give us doubt greater than that with which we already live.
I do not want to imagine this ending, especially with nothing,
Tell me that you will look for her.
This is an adult, this is a child, he has Alzheimer’s,
This is a loved one, mine, ours, yours,
No matter if he has run away, if she left voluntarily,
If the family is the problem, then go ahead and arrest me,
For now, tell me that you will search for her.
As time passes, the less likely she will be found,
Marilyn is absent,
The clues that remain are worth gold,
We run the streets, we jump overboard,
Even a new disappointment does not diminish our determination,
There is too much pain to stop,
I do not want to know how I feel once immobilized,
Tell me that you will continue to move forward.
Jacques Lacan said,”The law of man is the law of language.”
As a weapon I keep the discourse of hope,
To these other police officers I say change your tune,
And strive for excellence to achieve our target.
A humanitarian goal,
To be reunited as a family.
I was told that among you, there are also politicians who will hear my tirade.
So I talk to them about money,
How much does it cost to keep hope alive?
I plead for their commitment to us,
If they have a party line,
They just cross those of families,
People united in grief and sorrow,
But also individuals who are fighting,
Who request more expertise from Québec and Canada.
You are the representatives of the people. The vast majority of the people who vote understand us and support us.
When will we have our special unit?
When will we have our database?
Is it for you that I should vote?
If you are elected,
Now you know,
The real period of question begins.
Maybe you’re the answer,
I give you a few keywords,
Take at least one with you,
Collaboration, police training,
Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
What is happening in the criminal cause or with the missing person case?
And for you Mr. Boisvenu,
Thank you to everyone who are supporting us, protecting us,
AFPAD, Missing Children’s Network, police officers, politicians, businessmen, strangers on the street that give us a clue,
A more realistic expectation, perhaps even a victory,
Thank you to all those families who understand without a word,
In the silence, tears, or smiles.
Who help in the dark moments,
By a look, a handshake, an encouraging word,
Thank you to those who continue to work even if their loved one will never come back.
To help us find the missing people.
To help us in our misfortune.
Strongly needed is the Bill of Rights of the Heart.
Politicians turn around and speak the language of your voters.
I know that with us tonight, there are many missing people,
Your brother, your mother, your child,
Maybe even a little of yourself since the tragic moment.
My sister is missing, there is no Marilyn.
She has ceased to be visible,
She has escaped my attention,
She is perhaps lost,
I can no longer share anything with her,
Neither my joys or my stories
Neither my marriage nor the birth of my daughter,
And I wonder what we will do, Mom, Dad, and I
Laurent and Lætitia,
In spite of myself,
I am a sister of missing person,
In spite of ourselves,
We are the families of those we lost.
All happy families are the same way,
Families are unhappy each in their own way (Leo Tolstoy)
Thank you for hearing our story again.
And to my sister Marilyn I say, “I love you and see you soon.”
November 5, 2011