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James Jackson talks about his final months without his late wife Denise Bombardier

James Jackson talks about his final months without his late wife Denise Bombardier

“For me, the hardest thing is to imagine Montreal without Denise,” says James Jackson, husband of the late journalist Denise Bombardier for the past 20 years. They met in Jean-Pierre Ferland's zealous church last Friday, the historian said Newspaper The difficult last months he spent without Dennis.

“People haven't seen me since Denise died. It's been almost a year. It was the Fourth of July, I know it, and I'm counting the days. I know exactly what she was doing a year ago,” breathes the wife of the famous author and columnist.

James Jackson considered his wife an important figure in the city of Montreal, just as Jean-Pierre Ferland was. That's why he wanted to come and greet the singer and his wife, Julie-Anne Saumur, during his funeral service.

“The first time I met Jean-Pierre, he looked at me with a little smile and asked me: 'How can we live with Denis Bombardier?' [rires] And I said in the same tone: “We complement each other, Jean-Pierre, like you and Julie Anne!” Since then, we talked every time we saw each other.

Jean-Pierre Ferland was a person of interest to Denis Bombardier.

“On such occasions it comes back, because I know that Denis must be by my side. I was always two steps behind. It is she who should have been here today, and I who should have accompanied her,” adds the historian.

Photography by Martin Allary

Montreal and Florida without Dennis

It seems that talking about his missing lover is doing some good for James Jackson.

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“She was walking slower, and she knew something was up, but she thought it was just sick. She didn't know it was fatal. And even in the end, I'm not sure she knew what was waiting for her, because she was talking to me about plans. She wanted Going to Las Vegas, to Paris.

Realizing the seriousness of his condition, he preferred to remain silent to protect his wife. “I couldn't tell Denise. I said, 'Yes, we're going to Vegas, we're going to Paris.' You shouldn't lie to your wife, but sometimes that's the only way the other person can maintain hope.”

James Jackson recounts the moment he came to terms with his wife's departure; In late March, when he ended up at their apartment in Florida.

“I handed out little trinkets to people who asked me for a souvenir of Denise. When I got home, I realized I had accomplished something more emotional and psychological than turning the page. It's like I said goodbye to Florida, because I don't plan to go back without her. Florida is Denise.” Just like Montreal,” he breathes.

She was buried in North Hatley Township, a place dear to Denis Bombardier's heart.

“She was very happy when she found out she was going to spend eternity in North Hatley,” continues the Dublin man.