That day, like so many others, that I would like to forget, I met J’s colleague who seemed puzzled. He asked me if I had seen J. I told him no I hadn’t. He tried to reach him several times but in no avail.
J’s colleague said he knocked on his door but he got no answer. We started to wonder what was going on.
We had started to hope that J. had spent the night elsewhere even if it is not in his habits. Moreover, he had to resume his work today for it was the end of his leave.
I did some shopping and I returned home and I saw J’s colleague again who assures me that he still has not found any trace of his colleague.
I am used to seeing him every morning at the bottom of the big tower working and answering the tenants’ questions obviously with a smile but today this was no longer the case.
A few hours later, I see a police car with some police officers, J’s colleague and other tenants gathered on the sidewalk. I couldn’t help want to know more but J’s colleague told me mysteriously that he wasn’t able to tell me about the event yet.
It didn’t occur to me that something serious had happened. I have known J. for twenty years.
There was always a flowerpot on his window sill. His apartment window overlooking the street was closed.
It seemed obvious to me that the word that characterizes the current situation is that of disappearance. J. has disappeared. J. is missing. But where could he have gone? This scary word is unbearable.
Two days later, the next-door neighbour informed me of J’s death by heart attack. He apparently has been suffering from a cardiovascular problem. His colleague found him lying on his bed, lifeless. There was his cat not far from him. We will no longer see J. His heart killed him.
The most common reaction of people who knew him on hearing of his death was great shock. We first felt dazed and numb then we were in complete disbelief about what has happened. Then we felt a profound grief.
Here is what I wrote about J. a few years ago. You can read J’s story by following the link: