The former Minister of the Ecological Transition, Nicolas Hulot, confided in the book “Growing up with absence” on tragic personal episodes such as the death of his father and the suicide of his older brother.

It is a special book. Elisabeth Bost wrote Growing up with absence which collects the testimonies of personalities who have lost a parent. And the former Minister of Ecological Transition, Nicolas Hulot, testified in this book published on April 22, 2021. The ecologist reports heavy family issues such as the death of his father when he was a teenager:

I had just turned fifteen when my father died. So young, you need the fatherly presence.

A death already complicated to bear but which was not the only one that Nicolas Hulot had to face. Indeed, he keeps another memory of death:

Which, him, remains indelible. I share it with my sister. It concerns my older brother. We had not heard from him for several months. My mother told us that he had gone to travel to the end of the world.

“I have the impression of distinguishing a human body”

But this explanation was in fact totally wrong and Nicolas Hulot made a macabre discovery on Christmas Eve:

This December 24, 1974, we are preparing for Christmas Eve with the family when my mother asks us to go get two chairs in the cellar. (…) I have the impression of distinguishing a human body. I cry out and leap back. My sister instantly understands. It is our brother’s body lying in the cellar (…) How could I have spent New Years Eve with this terrible secret? Why did we instantly decide with my sister not to tell our mother that very evening? Looking back, I can’t explain it, it was insane.

Nicolas Hulot @France Televisions

Nicolas Hulot found his motivation there for his environmental fights

Since this episode, Nicolas Hulot tries to make the most of life and make it better through ecology and activism:

I’m a little embarrassed to talk about it, because a lot of people have had suffering and tragedy. I think it taught me a lot about the precariousness and the shortness of life. I try to make every moment a moment that makes sense. A useful moment.

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