Long afterward, when telling of the occurrence, Monsieur de Maricourt used still to weep
Type of Spiritual Experience
I think his composer was preparing him for the shock - like a waking dream
A description of the experience
Death and its Mystery – After Death – Camille Flammarian
Monsieur de Maricourt had made a journey to Brittany, to see several relatives. It was in the time of Napoleon III. On the trip, letters had not been reaching him regularly. As for telegrams, there were no offices in any of these out-of-the-way places.
The railroad to Wassy was not yet built; people had to go to Saint- Dizier to take trains, and a little mail-coach went from one of these places to the other.
Monsieur de Maricourt had taken this coach, to go back home.
The road skirted the cemetery; about noon he saw his son at the gate, looking at him as he went by. The young man looked so natural that his father thought for a moment of having the coach stopped so that he could get off and go back with him. He thought that there had been a funeral and that his son was coming out, after having been present at the ceremony.
When he reached home he learned of the death, more or less sudden, of his son. He had been buried several days before. Long afterward, when telling of the occurrence, Monsieur de Maricourt used still to weep.