It's been a harrowing, emotional roller-coaster ride.
I started the week with horror and sadness, but also some shame at finding my province in world headlines again, for the wrong reason:
Another mass killing by another gunman mowing down innocents.
As Le Devoir columnist Francine Pelletier astutely pointed out, Alexandre Bissonnette was all too reminiscent of Marc Lépine of the Polytechnique massacre: a young, white, male misfit with a murderous resentment and a well-thought out plan.
Only one man hated Muslims and the other women.
By week's end my feelings also included some pride, as Quebecers and Canadians stood up en masse with vigils and speeches of support for our Muslim community.
Many Quebec leaders are behaving like I wish they always did. Premier Philippe Couillard has handled the tragedy like a true statesman showing grace, compassion and strong principles — with no partisan one-upsmanship toward other parties.
He has been the premier I've missed for some time.
Quebec's Mayor Régis Labeaume seemed genuinely overwhelmed and soul-searching, for a man who's made some insensitive comments about Muslim clothing.
The same change in tone is true of CAQ's François Legault, of ban-the-burkini fame. Also former Charter warrior Jean-François Lisée, who's now admitted he shouldn't have talked about women hiding AK-47s under their burkas. I hope their conversion sticks.
Most remarkable are Quebec City Muslims who've been forgiving and affectionate toward their adopted home town. People like Mohamed Khabar, a Quebec City barber in intensive care for a gunshot wound, who continues to say how much he "loves and adores" Quebec City.
Their dignity and generosity during this terrible week is a reminder of why immigrants are such a gift to our society.
Our prime minister has also caught the spirit of the moment with his warm, embracing message to Muslims: "Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours. … Know that we value you."
A critic might add it's also given him a respite from controversies over Liberal Party financing and his Aga Khan free vacations. But it has brought out the best in him and us, at least for the moment.
The Quebec attack meshed eerily with the Trump government's travel ban on Muslims, announced only two days earlier — making it a grim week for xenophobia.
Quebec's communal reaction seemed a much-needed salve to those traumatized by Trump. A New York Times editorial was headlined "Quebec's Response To Hate: More Tolerance" — and said: "In Quebec, the demons took a terrible toll, but the country's commitment to inclusion was, if anything strengthened."
Meanwhile Trump's press secretary announced, incredibly, that the Quebec shooting was a 'terrible reminder" of why the U.S. needed its crackdown on immigrants from seven Muslim countries.
A Caucasian, born-in-Quebec gunman slaughtered innocent Muslims during prayers, and this somehow proves we should keep out Muslims?
As the Times said: "The logic seemed to be that if Muslims had been kept out of Canada, they would not have been killed."
Did Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric play any role in setting off Bissonnette, reportedly a big fan of the new president? … Who can know? Yet one thing is certain: leaders should be defusing tensions between cultures and countries, not inflaming and dividing them.
Similar questions are being asked here in Quebec about what if anything is to blame. Have our endless identity debates and trash-talk radio show rants about immigrants heated up the emotional climate – and made it easier to hate?
Let's hope the horror of the past week makes us all pause before opening our mouths the next time a daycare worker shows up in a headscarf, or a non-Muslim accidentally eats a mis-labeled halal brochette.
This week's coming-together is inspiring but can it last, and help us re-evaluate our "values"? Quebec has been exemplary in welcoming its Syrian refugees and more Muslims than any province in Canada.
But Quebec City's Muslim community has also revealed they've been turning the other cheek to many racist remarks and incidents.
Hate crimes toward Muslim-Canadians more than doubled in the past three years — and just this Thursday a Montreal mosque was vandalized. Each time we're indifferent to racist remarks, or a pig's head placed outside a mosque, we quietly encourage haters to go one step further.
In the U.S. every mass shooting leads to angst and heated discussion about gun control and lone wolves, and what can be done to stop the killing.
But I've long stopped paying attention to the debate because it just goes round in circles, while nothing changes. My hope for Quebec is that last week's tragedy does have a lasting effect.
I can't say it better than Britain's Guardian newspaper did recently:
"Let's spend a little less time talking about what Muslims are wearing to work and a lot more talking about those who want to kill them."