I remember

©2005 Marion Pennell

©2005 Marion Pennell

I went to the funeral back in December 1989.  Not inside the basilica, we stood outside in the cold.  There were speakers to broadcast the service.  It was in French, but I couldn’t understand most of it because of the outdoor acoustics, not the language.  It didn’t matter.  We all knew what was being said.  Eleven of the fourteen shared a funeral.  Eleven hearses.  It was very cold, but nobody complained.  There were a lot of men too, that helped.

I worked near Notre Dame Basilica at the time, in Old Montréal.  I informed my boss I would be taking my lunch hour to coincide with the funeral.  So did one of my colleagues.  Another was chastised “What if everyone wanted to go?”  Well, not everybody did want to go, so he had no worries.  Natalie and Lyne and I walked over, stood solemnly throughout, and walked back in silence afterwards.

Twenty five years, and the arguments are the same.  People still try to placate us.  “It was just one crazy person.”  “There is no systemic hatred towards women, not in OUR society.”

In our society, women rarely die in childbirth.  The leading cause of death for pregnant women in North American society is homicide.

In the domestic domain, in the worldly domain, the sisterhood must protect and provide and bear witness.


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