The mother of Irish photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski, who was killed in Ukraine earlier this month, paid tribute to her son and his spirit of adventure at his funeral service in Foxrock this morning.
In a tribute included in the obituary, Marie-ange Zakrzewska wrote that “normal things never happened to him.”
Here is the full text of her testimony:
Normal wasn’t in Pierre’s vocabulary and normal things never happened to him.
His birth was dramatic. He was a very premature baby and we were told he might not be able to walk or speak, the first 2 months were traumatic but he started to gain weight and we thought it was the end of his problems. Andrzej and I felt so guilty that we felt we couldn’t even give him the best start in life.
It was his first fight of many.
He was hyperactive and full of energy, always thinking of other ways, better ways. He certainly had to assert his authority with his 3 younger brothers “in his case”. His clothes never fitted him, his hair was always too long, a scar or a sticky band-aid on his legs, but he would look out for a special toy, a camera, a music player, a record that he would only borrow under locked supervision. He saved hard to buy her; Washing cars, selling roses, always looking for small jobs to earn money.
In the summer we would travel to France or Poland, crowding into cars in a way that would be totally forbidden today, and adapting to different cultures and languages. These trips were about family, cousins, grandparents and the affection and caring was evident and strong.
He was such a powerful influence on our family; the travels, the attraction to other cultures, his refusal to conform for the sake of conforming and always bringing everything back to basics. Not always easy to live!
He built his life around his talents, his passions, his commitments and he lived it to the fullest. He lived intensely in the present, but listened carefully and remembered the anecdotes from the family past, the life of past generations.
He was more than a humanist, a philanthropist. He believed in the God of his youth and in his principles.
He was the most sensible person I know, the most down-to-earth, no-nonsense kid and adult. His Keep Smiling was a daily decision. Despite his back problems, he never let that stop him. I had always hoped that the next step in his life would be on their Dutch ship, surrounded by beauty, in nature, with Me as he had planned.
I feel like he gave it his all, he accomplished what he set out to do in his own circle, he changed the world for his immediate family, friends, co-workers and countless people who have had his help along the way needed. We are so touched by the honors bestowed on him, which speak of his talents, his strong values as a person and his commitment to the big picture.
Marie-ange Zakrzewska, mom, mom
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/he-was-the-sanest-person-i-know-pierre-zakrzewskis-mother-pays-fond-tribute-at-her-sons-funeral-41499184.html “He was the most sensible person I know” – Pierre Zakrzewski’s mother pays affectionate tribute at her son’s funeral