Losing a spouse: a young father’s resilience

Simon Julien’s life changed on August 2, 2018 when his wife suddenly collapsed in the parking lot of a store and never woke up, leaving him alone with three children aged 1, 3 and 5.

Determined to overcome the ordeal, he made the decision to refocus his career and switch from construction to farming to be as present as possible with his family.




PHOTO COURTESY / Simon Julien

On that tragic day, his wife Véronique Généreux was shopping with her eldest in Louiseville, where she lived. The couple had taken to notifying each other when the shopping was over, but that day Simon Julien was never able to hear his partner’s voice again.

“I had three missed calls. When I called back, a police sergeant answered and told me that my wife was not well and that I had to go to the hospital,” he recalled in an interview.

Arrived at the Louiseville hospital center, the father of the family was informed that his wife had been urgently transferred to Trois-Rivières. In that city where he had gone to be at his lover’s bedside, three hours later he learned what he feared most.




PHOTO COURTESY / Simon Julien

“When I saw the doctor’s face, I knew immediately that it was over,” said the father, touched, and explained that his wife had suffered a cervical aneurysm.

Véronique was 30 years old and he was 29.

priority children

Simon Julien lived out his grief later as his priority was his children, including his eldest son who was there at the time of the tragedy.

“I didn’t want him to keep his feelings to himself. I quickly made an appointment at the CLSC de Louiseville to have him tracked,” said the man, who also asked Deuil-Jeunesse de Trois-Rivières for help.

Adjust to a new reality

Working in the construction industry, Simon found that this sector was difficult to reconcile with the life of a single parent. He always wanted to be a gardener and in 2019 he realized his dream.




PHOTO COURTESY / Simon Julien

“I had to find something that would allow me a flexible schedule. Although I work up to 80 hours in the high season, my children travel with me on tractors or quads. They will help me with harvesting, planting and sowing,” said the founder of Jardins J&B Fruits et Légumes, who would later like one of his sons to take over his business.

Almost four years have passed and he realizes that this loss is still difficult for the family and that his children each grieve in their own way. His eldest often talks about his mother, while his younger brother, although aware that his mother is dead, doesn’t fully understand that she won’t be coming back. As for the youngest, he’s become daddy’s little guy.

Despite it all, Simon Julien says he’s happy and trusts he can’t wait to see the handicrafts he’ll receive on Father’s Day.

Leave a Comment