LilianeWe spent this Maundy Thursday at the funeral of a much-loved aunt-in-law, Liliane Van Gehuchten. She passed away last Sunday at the ripe old age of 87. Her husband, Pierre, passed away in October 2011, and there was a strong sense of a chapter of life being closed, for Liliane and Pierre had been a beautiful and much-loved couple. A dynamic and constantly optimistic woman with an intellectually and culturally voracious appetite, Liliane was the co-founder, in 1967, of a Belgian organisation, Connaissance et Vie that has since gone from strength to strength (and is, I should note in passing, an excellent example of a civil society organisation). The ceremony recalled, through the fond memories of her son, daughter-in-law, grand-daughter, nephews and nieces and friends, a beautiful life richly lived, full of intellectually dynamic relations with art and artists, sculptors, writers, poets, journalists, philosophers, theologians, priests and monks. Her love of music was reflected in the extracts from Bach and Pergolese sung by, among others, the daughter of a friend, Pauline Claes, and her love of literature and poetry through the reading of an extract of Yves Bonnefoy. Personally, I have great memories of Liliane and Pierre’s infectiously warm and good-humoured hospitality – dinner parties often followed by a digestif while listening to one of Pierre’s latest musical enthusiams. But if I had to sum up Liliane in one quality, it would be ‘optimism’. She always saw things positively. In a beautiful end to a beautiful life, Liliane died peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones. When the doctor passed by a few hours before the end and asked her how she was, she summoned all of her strength and said ‘Je vais très bien’.