Monday, October 6, 2014

Farewell ceremony

We gave our farewell to Ferran yesterday morning in a simple ceremony. The coffin entered the room accompanied by a notebook and a set of color pens. A crowd of relatives, friends and colleagues filled the room.

We listened to two guitar pieces that Ferran loved, and we read a selection of extracts of the many texts written by the members of our scientific community in their blogs, tweets and this memorial blog. By doing this we intended to show the presence of all of you, who were physically far away, but close in your minds. The reading was done in Spanish, English and Catalan. I particularly wish to thank Manuel and Jit for accompanying me in this reading.

Finally, on behalf of the whole family, Edu and Blanca (Ferran’s “kids”), read a touching text for its honesty, courage, and the enormous amount of love and understanding it shows.

I translate it for you:

On behalf of the family, we thank you for your presence.

We had never imagined that we would write these words. Not like this. Because Ferran was a person full of vitality and interests. From mathematics, far more than a job, a passion; to guitar and music, with concerts and hours at home; from reading science fiction and detective stories, to the classic French or the impossible Americans that only he knew about; from painting and his paintings, and the paintings of his parents; to football, or Barca, which is the same; wines, traveling, playing cards, cooking,... And so many other things that he did so well.

And also because Ferran was an incredibly generous person who always tried to solve everything, taking care of everything and everyone; family, friends and colleagues (the ones here and those far away), always thinking of others rather than of himself. He always did this in an absolutely honest and discreet way. Imagine how discreet he was, that he was angry with himself for being red-haired (this dislike was possibly accentuated when, as a child, he was the only kid of the neighborhood gang who was caught after breaking a glass window, due to his red hair!).

But Ferran was very sick. His disease took advantage of all his virtues to carry them to the extreme, and take him away. He was much sicker than any of us was able to see because, the way he was, he did not want us to suffer.

A few weeks ago we laughed with Tere when, talking on the phone of philosophy and other absurd things, we remembered that, when collecting literary prizes, Thomas Bernhard used to say that "everything is ridiculous compared to death." This outburst made us laugh – at home we always had a sense of humor, maybe a particular one. Today, in the proper context, it shows as an indisputable truth.

Experts tell us that it is very important that we say goodbye. We refuse to do so, because Ferran will always be with us. Although he told us that nothing is certain except Pythagoras' Theorem, we know for sure that Ferran will always be with us.

Thank you all.

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