Dear Carole,
My sister, Lynette, forwarded to me your email informing us of Yvan's death. It is difficult to express in words, my shock and sadness at this news.
I have such fond memories of Yvan, of his graciousness and warmth, of his kindnesss and gentleness, of his playfulness and his wit. I remember what a thrill it was for all of us here in Louisiana when he and Christophe came for a visit and brought all the research he had done on our shared family.  And what a wonderful surprise it was when, sometime later, Yvan flew back here to attend the wedding of  our cousin, Marla.  I have a wonderful picture of Yvan and me at that wedding, hugging and laughing.  I will cherish it always.
Yvan was a perfect companion, host and tour guide when my husband, my father and I visited France to meet all of you. I am so grateful to have all of those memories.
I will also be forever grateful to Yvan for his efforts to keep the French and American branches of our family in contact over the years. My husband, Mike and I received a card from him a few months ago and it's been on my desk ever since as a reminder to write back.  I had planned to write him a long letter filled with news of  our family and I had chosen a few recent photos to send him. I am so ashamed now, that I never got around to doing it.  I have learned a hard lesson  by allowing my busy life to keep me from reaching out to him, always thinking that I could do it "tommorrow".
August 17 is the 24th anniversary of my brother, John's death and I still miss him, so I can imagine how devastating this loss is to you and your family.  My husband, Mike and I send to all of you our love and deepest sympathy.  Yvan will remain forever alive in the hearts of his American cousin, who loved him dearly.
Yvan always ended his correspodence to us by writing Big Kisses from France, so let me end this by saying ....
Your cousin,

Cara Carole,
è terribile quanto ti è successo.
Permettimi di esserti vicino.
Hai detto che Yvan era gentile.
Mi piace immaginare  tuo fratello
attraverso il suono della tua voce: sua dolcezza,
il suo ridere sincero,
la capacità di commuoversi,
la bontà
la sua intelligenza,
e la gioia di vivere.
E la voglia alla fine di dissolversi nell'universo.
Abbraccio te e la tua famiglia

Chère Carole,
Sachez que je suis profondément désolé par le deuil qui vous frappe. Par ces quelques mots dérisoires, je voudrais vous faire part de toute mon affection et de mon soutien et vous prier de continuer à agir, à faire et à exprimer vos passions. Certes le temps s'est arrêté pour vous le 4 juillet, mais votre belle vie doit continuer avec votre courage, votre détermination et votre passion. Faites le avant tout pour vous-même, et pour tous ceux que vous chérissez. Pensez à vous et ouvrez vous aux bonheurs du Monde. Résistez et sachez que vous pouvez compter sur mon modeste soutien. Très cordialement.