Thank you Mrs Brignone
The interview in The Times and timesofmalta.com with Josianne Brignone the widow of Charles who was killed by a boat propeller on Sunday is inspiring and uplifting. It is one of the best reads our papers gave us for quite some time.
The context, the content and its writing make it such a good piece of human interest journalism.
A family is spending together some time of relaxation near the sea. The father goes swimming and snorkelling. He does not return. The alarm is sounded. The search begins. The little hope there was soon disappears completely.
Hours of agony follow. Will the sea at least give us back the dead body? Finally the dead father is found and transported on land. Another blow follows. The man had been killed by a boat propeller! This seems a death that could have been avoided. However, most deaths are like that. The absurdity and finality of death many times hinges on so many little incidents throughout our lives that could have been avoided.
Anger is the emotion that naturally marries sorrow. So many emotions assail us during such difficult moments. Pain becomes unbearable. The story of what happens is repeated by the relatives over and over repeated. There is almost a desire that one of the stories would end in a positive way. It does not.
The funeral is set for Wednesday. Twenty four year ago to the day Josianne and Charles had met for the very first time. This time they meet for the very last time.
The Times interviews Josianne Brignone. There is sadness and pain a plenty but the dominant feeling is the serenity that comes from faith. The simple faith of so many simple people in our islands; but it is a faith that moves mountains just the same. This faith helped Josianne Brignone move the mountain of despair, rage and the desire of revenge on he who took away her most treasured relationship.
Her words reflect this serenity borne from faith.
"I will forgive the person who hit him. I don't think he did it on purpose. If the person who hit him knows it, I pray that God comforts him."
Read and re-read these sentences. Let it sink in and let it give you strength.
You can feel her mettle. This is a great woman indeed. Ours is a great nation because it holds within its limited confines many strong and great people like Josianne Brignone.
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult acts that we grapple with throughout our lives. Generally we need a very long period before we find the strength to forgive. Josianne Brignone showed us that it can be done ... it should be done.
The piece was very well written. It communicates feeling without exploiting it or without being soppy. It does not pry or sensationalise. It gives us a slice of the ugly side of life while showing us the light that emanates from the heart of a great woman.
Claudia Calleja, the journalist who penned the story, should be commended.