On February 7, 2018, upon realizing she hadn’t returned my last letter or the email I sent -- I called her home phone. It was then that Saul told me with unbelievable sadness “she was no longer with us”. Colette had passed away on January 16, 2018 at the age of 87. It was understandably very difficult for Saul to talk; he told me he would call me the following week to talk, and I was glad when he did.
Saul and I speak often. Sometimes I bake things and mail them to him. He has been incredibly helpful with the project, and I have loved having him become a part of it. One of the first things he asked me was whether I would continue with it, which of course, I would. Honoring Colette in any way I can helps with the sadness of losing her. I only hope I can do it justice.
Saul suggested I contact Colette’s cousin Jean-Jacques Dulong, a lawyer and writer who lives in Paris. The only problem, Saul said, was that he didn’t speak much English. (Saul was surprised and relieved when I told him I was fluent in French). Jean-Jacques and his father, Maurice Dulong, (now deceased first cousin of Colette) had held Colette in high esteem. As Colette shared in her biography “The Secret of M. Dulong,” Maurice had helped her piece together her family history -- one that had been deliberately hidden from her for much of her life – and she adored him.