Sunday, December 06, 2009


On this day 20 years ago, I was pregnant with my first child.

I didn't know I was going to have a little girl, but for the first time I was trying to get my head around what it was going to be like to be a mother.

I spent most of the day weeping, I recall, for the mothers of the young women lost in the shooting at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will have watched as I re-tweeted the name of each of these young women, an idea begun by @katrinaarcher. I like the idea that their names live on. My latest manuscript has as one of its themes some of the historic acts of violence against women, though I hadn't really thought about it until today.

My own girl is now in university herself. Second year, as were some of the students who died or were injured that day in Montreal. She doesn't remember December 6, 1989. But I do. And as writer Carla Luchetta remarked on my twitter feed today -- all young women at the time, regardless of where they were going to school, were changed and shaped by that day.

Ten other young women and four young men were injured at the Ecole Polytechnic that day. If you don't know the story, you can read more about it here. And just in case you didn't see them are the names of the young women who were lost that day. We cannot possibly know how much they are missed, but...

I think they bear repeating.

Annie Turcotte
Sonia Pelletier
Barbara Daigneault
Annie St-Arneaud
Michele Richard
Anne-Marie Lemay
Maryse Laganiere
Maude Haviernick
Anne-Marie Edward
Maryse Leclair
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz
Helene Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Genevieve Bergeron



A Novel Woman said...

Thank you for that. It still gives me nightmares to think back to that day, because I was also pregnant with my second daughter.

It makes me beyond sad....and yet, I remember.

Anonymous said...

A brutal day that needs to be remembered, so hopefully it will never be repeated. I was only a teenager, but I remember thinking, "What prevented that from being me, my friends?" So random.

Thanks for remembering each person by name.

Ev said...

That last message wasn't meant to be anonymous. I bumped something I guess.