Celine Desmoulins
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Celine Desmoulins

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

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About Her

Living… in a picturesque villa outside of Paris with her three children, Theophile, Celeste, Hortense. 

Interests… playing hangman and singing with her children.  

Relationship Status… single. Céline never married Jean-Dominique Bauby, the father of her children. He indulged in a series of affairs and ultimately left her for good for a mistress, though he still came around to the house to see the kids.  

Challenge… forgiving and helping Jean-Domonique. Six months after leaving Céline, Jean-Dominique suffered a stroke and came down with a rare condition called locked-in syndrome that left him completely paralyzed, able to communicate only by blinking. Céline must visit him in the hospital so that the children can see him. Though she visits to support Jean-Dominique, her time at his hospital bedside inevitably opens up old wounds, as she revisits their relationship and his infidelities. She translates Jean-Dominique’s blinks so that he can communicate to his lover Ines by phone. “Everyday I’m waiting for you,” Céline tells Ines on his behalf.

Personality… kind, loyal, and most of all, forgiving. She swallows the bitterness she feels towards Jean-Dominique and dutifully keeps him company, practicing speech therapy with him and opening and reading aloud his mail. To the best for her abilities she lets the pain he inflicted upon her dissipate, and she recalls the reasons why she fell in love with him in the first place. As she tells him, “You’re the most surprising man I’ve ever met.” 

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