In grief, who do I allow to stand by me as a support?
Eugene describes the last hours of Marius Suzanne:
I believe, dear friend, it has been a long time since last I wrote you. My hours, my days and my nights are spent beside our blessed patient who accomplishes his sacrifice with heroic dispositions. Everyone is intent on gathering his every word while I am occupied with meditating on the holy Virgin’s sufferings at the foot of the cross whereof until this day, I have had a very imperfect idea.
To the malady which is taking away this beloved son and which would have led him, it seems, into eternity without too great suffering, is added an inflammation of the bowels and of the stomach, a continual hiccup which nothing can relieve, and frequent convulsions, etc., which rank him amongst the martyrs. He can, this dear child, feel all these pains, for he remains fully conscious and communicates to me all his agony with a rending of soul which is inconceivable while repeating to me a thousand times, with the most tender accent, these words: “My good father” which sooth him and pierce me, for indeed that is what I am, good father, and that is what kills me, being on the point of losing so good a son, a being whom I have always cherished more than myself.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtés. 29 January 1829, EO VII n 323
Later, Eugene wrote:
We have just lost this very day at two o’clock in the afternoon our very dear and very precious Fr. Suzanne. All his qualities are known to you; but what you have not been able to admire, as we have, are the sublime and heroic virtues that he constantly showed forth in the course of the long and cruel illness which took him away from us. In the state of desolation in which we are, I have only time to commend him to your community prayers of intercession.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat, 31 January 1829, EO VII n 324
“Go and keep company with Jesus in His Passion, and with His Sorrowful Mother.”