(84) Letting Go

“I do understand that you are grieving because your wife has died and you are missing her dearly. But, if you do want to get on with your life then you should let her go.”


At the time of writing my wife died 6½ years ago… time flies. Our marriage experienced the usual lows and many highs, and looking back to those 35 beautiful years that our marriage lasted I can only remember the great moments we had together.

We had agreed during our marriage that the one who lived longest shouldn’t stay alone, but should seek a new partner. In my opinion, such a promise is one thing, to honor it is quite a different matter. I had several relationships in the period after her death. Ranging from superficial to intense and with a duration varying from short to over 1½ years. Looking back, I must note that my deceased wife was still deep in my system. Of course, that’s beautiful because we had a great marriage, but in a new relationship it’s a disturbing factor. And, yes, I can hear the statements that the new partner should accept that your deceased wife is still in your system, and that is rightly so, but it is in my opinion not fair to the new partner.

In the end, I came to a point in my life that I decided not to become involved in a new relationship anymore. I felt outstanding, many friends were around me, it felt great that way. During that period, I carried a necklace with our wedding rings attached to it. It gave me peace and comfort. It also gave the feeling that my wife was always with me. Although I couldn’t touch her physically, I clearly could feel her presence.

A couple of months ago, the necklace seemed to be getting heavier by the day. Don’t laugh… pragmatic as I am I even checked the weight of the necklace on the scales. Of course, it’s weight didn’t increase, but in my opinion, it felt that way.

At a certain moment, a voice said to me, as if the person was literally standing next to me: “I do understand that you are grieving because your wife has died and you are missing her dearly. But, if you really do want to get on with your life then you should let her go. You must also accept the person you are deep inside you; you must accept yourself completely. Add to the necklace with the wedding rings the symbol of an angel and one of eternal life.”

It took a while, but eventually I bought an Ankh and the wings of an angel and added these together with the wedding rings on the necklace. To my surprise I felt myself changing the following days. Colors looked brighter… more radiant. Water felt different… softer. I was happier. The world around me seemed friendlier. People looked at me differently… or was it that I looked at people in a different way.

Recently, the voice told me: “It is time to have on the necklace only the symbol of an angel and one of eternal life; without the rings.” This time I listened to the voice immediately and took the rings of the necklace. At that moment, my life seemed to upturn. It became silent within me, almost serene, but also a deep knowing; you could call it inner peace. It also felt like the world was holding its breath for the miracle that was about to happen… the miracle of meeting a new soulmate.

(83) Dilemmas

The dilemma at a choice between different interests with respect to dear ones could be that this requires key decisions from which future happiness depends. It is choosing between two dear worlds and you must make the best of it. Sometimes, afterwards, you regret your choice. But you can never know where that other choice would have lead to. Maybe you would’ve regret that choice too in the end. And at that moment, when the awareness is there, you suddenly step into a grieving process.


The past few blogs I’ve asked the readers if they could help me by providing me with their experiences they’ve had, experiences they are still going through perhaps and, what their opinion was about that. The story of one of the readers triggered something deep inside me. The blog is not just about her story alone, but also about others.

I would like to thank again all readers for their contribution.

What is the story about in this blog?

Kathy, a fictional name, and her partner have a son and a daughter who lead their lives for a long time.

The son lived alone and passed away a few years ago. The son had often visited his parents and his sister. Kathy and her partner took comfort in walking and music… and they took comfort from their daughter’s family. The daughter had much grief about the loss of her brother. From personal experience, I know all too well what the impact is when you lose a child. It doesn’t matter how you explain it, only people who have experienced this themselves will understand you. You’ll carry your sadness for the loss of a child for the rest of your life.

The daughter has a family and a child and lives abroad because of het partner’s work, it’s at about 6 hours flying distance. It’s a happy family. Despite all communication tools we have in our today’s world, Kathy misses direct contact with her daughter. The distance doesn’t make it easy either.

The daughter misses her brother, he often came to visit her. She also misses her parents and would love to have them living near her so they could see each other more often.

The relationship between Kathy and her mother was never optimal. Nevertheless, Kathy is doing a lion’s share of the care of her mother. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Kathy to keep it up. There are other family members who could help her mother. Her mother, however, considers it Kathy’s job to take care of her. Her mother doesn’t ask anything from the other family members.

When Kathy is with her mother, they never talk about Kathy’s deceased son. When Kathy is with her daughter, they can talk about him. Here Kathy feels herself complete again… as if her family is one tight set again.

Kathy and her partner are not one of the youngest anymore and have so their shortcomings. Moving to her daughter is not easy and how do you arrange the care for your mother? And all the acquaintances and friends that they have now… all those that you’re going to miss? It would be a whole new start… and that at her age.

And there you are… how to proceed from here?

Everyone wants everything from Kathy. If Kathy stays here for her mother, then Kathy will eventually blame her mother she can’t be with her daughter. When Kathy choses for her daughter then in the end, her mother will start complaining to Kathy she’s not with her.

An almost obvious question that is not asked to Kathy, in my point of view… “What does Kathy want?” In my opinion this a form of hidden loss and hidden grief, one of the variants of a mourning process.

What is it you want when you need to make such a choice… where nobody realizes what’s going on and because of that the question is not asked… or… is everyone afraid to ask that question to you? But most important is… “What do you want?”

The dilemma at a choice between different interests with respect to dear ones could be that this requires key decisions from which future happiness depends. It is choosing between two dear worlds and you must make the best of it. Sometimes, afterwards, you regret your choice. But you can never know where that other choice would have lead to. Maybe you would’ve regret that choice too in the end. And at that moment, when the awareness is there, you suddenly step into a grieving process.

A choice like that is rarely a simple one, but once made you should totally go for it. Never look back with the idea you should have taken the other choice. It’s about you and your partner and more important… it should feel if not great, it should feel good. Nothing more and certainly nothing less.

(81) Insecurity

The first lesson I want to share with you is that I’m preparing myself for the worst case that can happen to me. I’ve always done that in my life. And anything that can be deleted from my list during the coming months and weeks are an improvement… as if it’s a small event that can be celebrated.


The contribution of this blog was delayed by about a week. Unfortunately, there was a reason for that.

It seems like I’m sitting in roller-coaster again lately: sharp curves, loopings, and steeply going up and down with high speeds. I realize that on the one hand it sounds exciting and the other hand it has something like… what are talking about and what is the emotion that dominates? Is it fear… or is it anger about a possible loss?

Personally, I’ve an idea how long I’ve left to live. I expect that more people have an estimate about how old the will become. But even if you don’t have, how do you respond when you are being told that that moment could sooner than you would expect… even much earlier? That you are told it would be good to prepare for this. How would you respond? What will do in the mean time?

What would you do if you were told that due to a medical procedure there’s a high risk of paralysis of parts of your body or a damage to your brains? And how would you prepare for this?

What would you still like to achieve in your life? You even may have a bucket-list with everything you want to do that is important to you. How would you deal with those items… you can’t do any more… no matter how much you would like to do so?

For me personally these are no imaginary questions. These are concrete questions I need to answer because there’s an aneurysm in my aorta which needs to be removed at some point of time. So yes, again I’m sitting in a roller-coaster: sharp curves, loopings, and steeply going up and down with high speeds! And yes, I’m afraid of about what can happen when I’m not able to make decisions anymore… and anger about topics that are on my bucket-list but can’t realize anymore.

Well, there you are…

It took a while but in the meantime the calm has returned in my head again… although it’s a different kind of calmness… it feels as acceptance, surrender and above all an in and in deep tranquility. And I notice that with this kind calmness… I’m starting to change again! I can’t really explain this, perhaps never, but the change feels very delightful. It’s like that old coat that feels so comfy when you put it on again.

My interest and attention begins to focus more and more on those things that really do matter in life. The is ballast to me and a waste of time. Wow… I’m behaving like my daughter! She did so too during her short life.

I’m using more and more my gut feeling ans start to discover that my soul is in communication with my brain and my heart and when in harmony we can do great things together. The future will teach me what those great things will be. And I expect that the lessons I will learn based on the possible consequences of the coming surgeries will play a major role.

As with the loss of a loved one you also meet people who tell you it’s not all that bad. People who have no idea what it’s about and at the same are telling you shouldn’t treat it so gloomy. You come across people who withdraw themselves when they start to understand what is going to happen to you. And fortunately, you also meet people who are ready to support you one way or the other and are even disappointed when you keep them off somewhat.

On the other hand, and it even may sound bizarre to you, I believe that the aneurysm in my aorta and the removal of this has prompted me into new learning curves. One curve on which I learn how to deal with the fact that the end of my life on Earth could be much closer than I would expect. And a learning curve where I learn what else I could do when it’s impossible to realize all topics on my bucket-list.

The first lesson I want to share with you is that I’m preparing myself for the worst case that can happen to me. I’ve always done that in my life. And anything that can be deleted from my list during the coming months and weeks are an improvement… as if it’s a small event that can be celebrated.

It goes without saying that the above experiences and preparations are different for each of us. Yet, during the coming months I’m going to share my experiences with you in the hope you can use these somehow when you find yourself in a similar situation.

I would like to hear your experiences and opinions on this topic. Would you help me with this?

(78) Farewell

She was done with it. Her life had been a long struggle, a fight against that debilitating disease and against the ignorance of people. She was all done!


She was done with it. Her life had been a long struggle, a fight against that debilitating disease and against the ignorance of people. She was all done!

She had learned a lot in this life. That people couldn’t understand, or couldn’t accept how ill she was and how hard that was for her. Most just said that she was a beautiful young woman. Those people only saw the outside. Those people never saw who she really was.

Despite everything she had done during her life, she had made every effort within her capabilities. She had fought so hard to accomplish everything time and time again. She had learned a great deal in this life. It hadn’t been in vain.

There was nothing more for her to do. She had done everything she could do. She was ready to leave!

She had said her goodbyes to all her friends. That day had been tough for everyone. Not just to her friends and her family, but most of all to herself. She was tired. Soo very tired!

She was ready with her life here on Earth. She was ready for the journey. She wanted to go to that other side. She wanted to leave.

But, something held her back. She still hadn’t said her goodbyes to her mother… and… her father. They hadn’t yet given her permission to leave. They still couldn’t let her go.

She was so tired… real tired. She wanted so badly to start her journey. She was ready to go.

There came a moment, that the father said to the mother while their daughter was peacefully asleep and yet seemed to hear everything… There came a moment the father said that it was fine for him. That it was okay for her to go. That it didn’t matter how long it would still take for her to start her journey. It was all right!

The father went home. He was tired of managing all that was necessary so her friends could say their farewells. It had been one of the toughest tasks in his life. No one had any idea how cruel that task had been to him and how tired he was. Soo tired… dead tired.

As he drove home, she ‘joined’ him in the car to say her goodbye. She was happy that he allowed her to leave. Extremely happy. She was ready with her life on this Earth. She wanted so badly to leave for the other side where she could meet everyone again. Where it would be a feast for her. Without that sick body. Without all those limitations.

Yes, while he was driving home she came for him to say her farewell.

It was a great feeling. As if his daughter was again sitting next to him. He became peaceful… and that moment… she left.

The father was called. He should come to the hospital. It didn’t go well with her.

He saw his daughter in the arms of his wife. A heartbreaking mother… with a broken heart… her daughter had died in her arms.

He saw a joyful daughter in her arms.

A daughter who was so happy that she was finally on her way. That she was finally rid of that body she had struggled with all her life, that had caused her so many problems. That she had finished a life where so many hadn’t understood who she really was. She was so happy that she had got everything, really everything, out of her life that was ultimately and humanly possible for her… it was okay.

She was happy she was finally on her way. She is a happy… spirit!

(69) Farewell

She’s in my heart and my thoughts. It feels… like she’s often with me. It also feels that we always will be together in one way or another. A feeling that gives me much consolation… and at the same time also a lot of strength to continue with my life.


HPF-DSC01041-adjustedAbout five years ago I worked in Apeldoorn in The Netherlands. Driving about 1500 Km’s weekly by car, and not to forget the many working hours, is very hard to keep up. Eventually we decided that I should stay in a hotel for a couple of days a week. On a Tuesday morning my wife called me early. She didn’t feel quite well and asked if I could come home. It sounded serious. I grabbed my things and headed out. Once on the road I called her again… she didn’t answer the phone… and that remained so… Somewhere halfway my trip home I saw her wardrobe in my mind’s eye… it was completely empty… I thought it an odd idea… I didn’t understand its meaning at the time… I kept calling her… but… still no answer from her… I still didn’t understand what was going on… what she was doing…

I found her, sitting on the couch when I came home… That was the moment when I understood! The look in her eyes I will never forget! A look of surprise… A look of “Who are you… why are you coming to me… now?” At that moment something snapped in me… I didn’t know what to do anymore…

Despite her 68 years of age, she was still in the center of life. She wanted to do so many things in her life or to travel to so many destinations together with me. Mentally she seemed like 30 years. What is better to stop at the peak of your career… or… your life? To me that’s awesome… you will only remember the good things you had together this way… isn’t it?

Only… I wanted to keep her so much longer with me! But… who am I to be able or to be allowed to decide that?

She’s in my heart and my thoughts. It feels… like she’s often with me. It also feels that we always will be together in one way or another. A feeling that gives me much consolation… and at the same time also a lot of strength to continue with my life.