The late Jean Beliveau’s granddaughters Mylène and Magalie shared a heartfelt letter with the Montreal Canadiens community – and hockey world at large – on Wednesday.
They wrote that Beliveau would have expressed “his deepest gratitude for the many heartwarming tributes that were shared over the past few days.”
Here’s the full text of that letter:
You can be certain that our grandfather, had he been with us today, wouldn’t have addressed all of you without first expressing his deepest gratitude for the many heartwarming tributes that were shared over the past few days. We would like to take this moment, first and foremost, to say a special thanks to all of you.
Thank you to all his fans for their passion and kindness. He respected all of you unconditionally. Thank you to all of the doctors who treated him over all these years: Dr. Douglas Kinnear, Dr. David Mulder, Dr. Maurice Godin, Dr. Michael Churchill-Smith, Dr. Robert Côté and Dr. Pierre Lanouette. You were a source of infinite support for our family, and you have his most sincere admiration. A big thank you to the members of the nursing staff who watched over our grandfather with gentleness and care until his last day. Thank you to the Montreal Canadiens
organization, the Molson family, and every person who worked so hard to present such memorable tribute ceremonies. We also wish to thank Suzanne Pelletier and the staff at the Urgel Bourgie funeral complex in Longueuil, who took care of him with compassion and dedication, even after his death.
Our grandfather’s family, former teammates and friends all had a chance, like us, to prepare for his departure and to come and personally say goodbye to him. Despite the pain and tears, it is possible to see the beauty that emerged from your time shared with him. We know that he was profoundly moved by this.
The values that have long been attributed to our grandfather — humility, generosity and altruism — were as present within our family as they were on the outside. We were also fortunate to discover other qualities, including his sense of curiosity, his benevolence, his patience and sense of humour. We can definitely confirm that his integrity was deeply ingrained in him. Our grandfather always backed up his words with action.
Through our pain, we face each new day recognizing that, in death, there is deliverance. Many of you have expressed the desire that he rest in peace. In these difficult days, it is what we all wish for him.
On behalf of our grandmother, Élise, our mother, Hélène, our spouses, Robert, Vincent and Mathieu, we say thank you, and our family shall forever remain thankful.
– Mylène and Magalie, Jean Béliveau’s granddaughters