Cedrica, 15 years later: her sister gives herself the right to be happy

It’s been fifteen years since her little sister Cedrica’s disappearance, but Melissa Fortier Provencher is just beginning to allow herself to live and be happy.

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“She came with my daughter,” admits the young mother, who rediscovers the happiness that she is no longer anything but “Cedrica’s sister.”

It has already been 15 years since the disappearance of Cedrica Provencher, an event that will mark the whole of Quebec.

The little girl, who was nine years old, was kidnapped on July 31, 2007, and will not be found until December 2015, in a wooded area about fifteen kilometers from where she disappeared.

But despite all these years, her older sister Melissa Fortier Provencher is just beginning to give herself the right to live, thanks in large part to little two-year-old Amy Jade.

“I always had a hard time being happy. I always told myself that I had no right, because of what happened to my sister,” says the 26-year-old with affection. My daughter saved my life, it’s a gift.

Melissa Fortier-Provencher is happy despite everything today.

photo courtesy

Melissa Fortier-Provencher is happy despite everything today.

In the eyes of her mischievous little girl, she sees Melissa Cedrica every day. The similarities, both physical and personal, are astounding.

“She has the same big cheeks my sister always has. She also has the same little curls that turn red in the summer sun,” says the young woman with a nostalgic smile. “I also see the joy of life, his innocence, his personality, it’s all there.”

Heavy weight to carry

But Melissa Fortier-Provencher refuses to let her daughter bear the burden of appearing like Cedrica because she has had to put up with it for 15 years.

“It was very difficult being Cedrica Provencher’s sister,” she frankly admits, still touched by going back to these difficult memories.

She says she felt compelled to live to the fullest and succeed in what Cedrica “half” didn’t have a chance to do. And there was also the guilt of not being able to protect his little sister, which many people with ill intentions tried to make him feel (see other text).

“Have you made peace with her? Yes, but not completely. It takes years of therapy to get there.”

no answers

If she says she is happy today with her family life and her career as a childcare educator, Melissa Fortier Provencher admits that the mourning for her sister can never end as long as the uncertainty about what happened to him persists.

The discovery of his body, in December 2015, will bring no answer, except for the heartbreaking confirmation that there is no longer any hope.

“Even then, I thought so, because you can’t make yourself believe that your child or your sister is dead when you don’t know it. I had the feeling of being abandoned if you stopped believing in her,” she sighs.

Melissa Fortier Provencher with her father Martin Provencher at a vigil for Cedrica

archive photo

Melissa Fortier Provencher with her father Martin Provencher at a vigil for Cedrica

“But when we got the body, I just understood we had no answers,” Melissa drops.

Today, you want to know more than ever, so you can make peace with what happened to Cédrika and keep moving forward.

“I need to find out what happened and charge someone. Someone is living their life free after taking my sister. It is disgusting,” the young woman sighs.

“He was my other half. I realized that if I did things when I was young, it was because she pushed me. I was the older sister, but it was like the roles were reversed, she was the one who protected me and her loss followed me in a big way.”

When Melissa Fortier-Provencher admitted that it was, at times, difficult for her to be “Cedrica’s sister,” she is clearly thinking about her own experience of mourning in the public eye, but also of the unimaginable intimidation of which she was a victim.

The young woman takes a deep breath before broaching the topic of her academic career, still visibly fragile at the thought of indulging in it again.

“People, they are looking for your weakness to influence. But, my weakness was my sister, and she was among the common people. Everyone knows that and some took advantage of her,” she recalls emotionally. “I’ve always been Cedrica Provencher’s sister.”

“It’s your fault, what happened,” “Go and sit on the curb and wait for him to come and take you too,” that was the kind of loss Melissa Fortier Provencher had.

She is now able to go back to those sentences she had heard so many times, each time like a stab in the heart.

Not to mention the posts with dubious humor that she often saw on social networks regarding her little sister.

tough teen

“These are the things that affected me every single time. I had, black passes, in my teens, compared to that. It was hard. Adolescence isn’t really easy, but there, plus, I had this label on my back,” he admits. It is the person who has been followed up for a long time and who has had many treatments.

And on the other end of the spectrum, well-meaning, but often clumsy people are also hurting little Melissa without really realizing it.

“I’m in so much pain, like my own child.”

This sentence Melissa Fortier Provencher has heard often. Coming from good people, they did not always take the measure of the impact these few words had on the fragile little girl who stood before them.

“It hurt me so much as a little girl. Every time, I said to myself, ‘Come on, she’s not your daughter, you don’t know her, she was my sister, my family,'” Melissa is pleased, adding that she’s always been grateful for Quebec’s full support, but he can’t People understand the situation if they have never experienced it before.

what did she say

“I remember we quarreled that day and she followed me to the garden. It was the cat and the mouse. We liked each other very much, but we also argued a lot. The difference that night was that we usually sleep and comb my hair, no matter what happened during the day, but it’s gone now.”

About his last memories of his sister

The mourning may have begun, but it is not over yet. But I decided not to prevent myself from living any longer. I could have decided I didn’t want children, with what happened, but I chose to live my life.

– about the bereavement

“She’s still too young to understand, but there are pictures in the house. She knows her name, and she knows it’s Cedrica. Right now, she doesn’t know anything anymore, but I’m going to talk to her about it, because it’s part of our story. But I don’t want it to become a burden on her.”

– About what she wants to pass on from Cedrica to her daughter

thread of events

July 31, 2007

Cedrica’s disappearance, last seen at 8:27 p.m., near the park where she was playing.

1Verse August

More than 175 volunteers and about fifty police officers from Trois-Rivieres, as well as agents from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), are looking for the child.

August 2

SQ takes up the investigation and confirms the thesis that the girl was looking for a dog. Articles at the time indicate there were 350 volunteers on site, willing to help with the research.

August 13

After 14 days of searching, a reward of $80,000 is offered for any information, in association with Sun Youth.

August 27

The parents contact Claude Poirier, who receives 125 calls in the first 20 hours.

September 6

After two months of rumors, SQ announced that it is looking for a red Acura and its driver.

December 20

Authorities say five people are considered possible suspects.

1Verse February 2008

Police confirm that they have seized a red Acura. The analyzes performed were negative.

9 June 2009

After nearly two years of disappearance, attorney Guy Bertrand, who serves as an independent prosecutor, hopes to loosen the tongues by providing $170,000 in reward.

December 12 2015

After seven and a half years of uncertainty and misunderstanding, hunters found the bones of Cedrica Provencher in a wooded area about fifteen kilometers from where she disappeared.

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