At the November 13 trial, the unspeakable pain of bereaved mothers

Two mothers who lost a child in the attack on the Bataclan testified at the bar of this mourning which “devours the heart.»

It is well known, moms always worry about nothing. On the evening of November 13, Jocelyne, a little lady with short hair, tried to reach her son, Nicolas, 43 years old. Corn “it sounded in the void.She didn’t know he was at the Bataclan, didn’t insist, thought she would call him back the next day. Véronique, short bob and dark glasses, she knew very well where was her only daughter, 23 years old. Around 11 p.m., an SMS from his companion alerted him: “Claire is touched.»She does not immediately understand what it is, does not turn on the television or the Internet. “I don’t react fast enough», She moped in front of the specially composed Assize Court. Both came to testify this Thursday, at the trial of the November 13 attacks.

From that moment on, these two women will be plunged into the same endless wait. The minutes turn into hours. “If I haven’t heard from the police it must be alive», Reassures the first, before knocking on the door of all Parisian hospitals. The second increases calls to the number of the crisis unit as well as to emergencies. No trace of Nicolas, nor of Claire.

“I thought she was alive all this time”

For Jocelyne, the news fell the next day. “I learned of Nicolas’ death in the tram, between the Porte de Charenton and the Porte de Vincennes. I wanted to scream, roll on the floor, but there were lots of people», She cries at the bar. His two grandsons, at his side for his testimony, caress his shoulder. Véronique’s ordeal will continue for another four days. “Is there a woman matching Claire in a coma or in an emergency in the hospital?She asks tirelessly on the phone. The mother harasses the Medico-Legal Institute (IME), but is refused. “It was November 16, it wasn’t about hampering their work», She protests. It was not until Tuesday, at 8 p.m., that she finally received this terrible call. “What devoured my heart was that I thought she was alive the whole time.»

The denial of the one then opposed the need for answers of the other. Jocelyne does not manage to cross the door of the IME to identify the remains. “At his funeral, I didn’t want to see his body either. He was so alive Nicolas. And now he rests in 2 square meters in Père-Lachaise.“Véronique finds the courage to say goodbye to her daughter, but comes up against the coldness of the institute, which only allows her to meditate for five minutes with Claire:”I couldn’t get close to my daughter like I should have.»

The medical examiners are of no help, to understand how her daughter lived her last moments. Did she die in the pit? Where did she take her last breath? “My daughter was succinctly examined and abandoned, sighs the witness. I will continue to be in the quest for the last moments of his life.Six years later, Véronique clings to one last hope: Claire’s connected bracelet. She appeals to the bar: if someone can analyze her data, they could tell her what time her heart stopped beating? “I have a visceral need to hear every detail.»

Modesty is essential

How do you cope after the death of a child, struck down by a violence as blind as it is unjust? All the nights that followed this Friday, Jocelyne woke up “yelling.After depression, she is still on antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. The victim’s mother expresses her remorse at not having told Nicolas how proud she was of her professional career. “I also regret that I didn’t just tell him that I love him. We had not taken this habit.For her part, Véronique struggles to keep pain at bay, including in her own family, where modesty is essential. But in reality, she “often collapses.»

Photos of Claire are projected on screens in the courtroom. We can guess behind a fringe of pretty hazel eyes. Her daughter was to move in with her boyfriend Cédric the week after the attacks. “She was talking about children’s plans in future yearsShe remembers. Nicolas left behind two boys, then aged 11 and 15. Surrounded by the two young men they have become, Jocelyne breaks down in tears: “I feel immense pain at the suffering of my grandchildren.»

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