(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.

(82) Live!

Living life to its fullest is more important than a long life without living!


Living and love are essential themes in our existence. And above all, real life and true love are now rather lacking in our world. In our existence, living and love are in my opinion too important to waste.

Despite all the sadness around us and all the loss we must deal with personally, whatever the cause may be, it is important to proceed with our real life and true love. By continuing with our life this way, we honor and thank all those we have lost. In addition, we also owe them for the lessons we have learned from them, especially when we use these lessons for the benefit of ourselves… and for the world around us.

However difficult the situation is in your life, know that relationships with loved ones, friends and girlfriends come and go. Some relationships are for life… or for eternity. Other relationships exist only for certain periods. These relationships are from my point of view intended to learn from each other in life… and from life… whatever that may be. When we have learned everything from each other and it doesn’t matter what and how much, then our paths-of-life separate and we may meet each other again in the future.

For this reason alone, it is important not to get stuck in your grief. In mine opinion, it is better to get everything out of life then to have a long life without really living!

It is easily said, to do it is a different matter. By assessing everything in a positive way… however difficult that may be… eventually you start to proceed with your life again… and you will arrive wherever you want to be.

It is not necessary to put everything into actions immediately. Your attitude alone is more than sufficient to ensure that you even unconsciously carry out those actions that are in line with everything you feel.

But having that said…

There are people in our world, many people, who have hardly anything to eat today and they don’t know whether there is something to eat tomorrow… let alone… the day after tomorrow. People, who have no idea today whether they will wake up the next morning. People who need to live, possibly for years, in the most miserable if not horrific conditions. People who must survive every day, every hour, every minute… which is the only thing they can do! And those people you’re going to tell that they should consider or assess their life in a positive way? Those people you’re going to tell that they should get every possible thing out of their lives? They don’t understand what you are talking about… because, it’s the only thing they are doing already! Every day they get out of life what’s in it for them… how meager that might be! For them is all they have, there is nothing else!

In a nutshell, just as these people… and like my daughter in her short life… I will literally get everything out of life that it’s in for me. You might find me arrogant, but a long life without really living and truly loving I consider as… a wasted life!

And suddenly, to me death is not important anymore! What really matters is to get everything out of life that is humanly possible for me… every day… for the rest of my life… and maybe even after that!

(79) Choices… Choices… Choices…


In everyday life, we make consciously and unconsciously many choices. In one case, it’s crystal clear what choice to make, in the other case the choice is far from certain, let alone that you understand the consequences of your choice… or… that you even can make a choice.

During bereavement emotions add another dimension. Decision-making is not becoming easier… on the contrary. In addition to that these choices have most of the time an impact on your path-of-life.

I used to think that making a choice is just like when you’re standing on a crossroads. You see different streets coming together at the crossroads. In the streets, you can see what’s out there but the view is limited. And beyond is uncharted territory. And yes… how do you proceed from here?

  • You can make a choice based on what you initially see. And accept the unknown for what it is and what it represents.
  • You can make a choice based on your sense of direction in which you feel your destination is. And accept the street and the unknown for what they are and for what they represent.
  • Perhaps there’s a bench where you can sit at the crossroads. Where you can contemplate how to proceed. Where you can weigh all cons and pros for the different choices that are available to you until you’re sure of your choice.

You’re not proceeding with your life when you’re not making choices. And, you’ll never get total certainty for any choice you make. After all, things that were originally hidden when you made your choice are becoming visible once you’ve put your first steps again. Hence, there is no point in reasoning out (in detail) what steps you should take… but do listen carefully to your feeling.

In my opinion everyone has a purpose in life. However, that purpose is not important… what important is, is the path you’ve followed to accomplish your purpose. And in particularly the lessons you’ve learned and still learn on your path are important.

To reach your goal you’ll have to make choices to move forward in life. What those choices are? That’s not for me. That’s up to you! You are responsible for the choices you make in your life. It also means that you must accept the consequences of a choice made… after all it’s your choice.

What I’ve learned so far is that it really doesn’t matter what choice you make to achieve your goal. When you keep making choices you reach your goal eventually anyway. Only the road towards it is different. One way is harder or longer than the other way. What is important, is to have confidence that the path you’ve selected is the proper path.

It also amazes me time and time again is that you unwind once you’ve made your choice. You’ve put a step forward. And whatever the situation was where you’re coming from… or maybe even still is… you’ve put a step… a step forward. And with that you opened new opportunities to move forward in life. Make sure you make use of what you discover… what you see… what you get… what you receive… what you feel. Exploit it fully! Get all out of it!

Maybe you’ll discover at some point in time that you’ve learned new things, new capabilities… something that you otherwise never would’ve done…something that might be a revelation for you… something that made you happy (again)!

But please do realize that it’s your own responsibility to make and to keep making your choices, how difficult and annoying that every time may be, to achieve your goal on your path-of-life.

(75) Impossible Choices

A choice that is made with love and that is accepted by all involved with their heart is not a choice at all… but a matter of course! To me that is unconditional love!


They love each other. But the thing is… her parents are not really happy with her relationship. They do not stand with her! And that she finds very difficult. She finds it difficult because she loves the other deeply… and she also wants her parents no sorrow because of her. She feels lonely… all alone… but she’s being forced to make one of the most difficult choices in her life.

A choice? Can you even speak of a choice in this case? Essentially it’s almost impossible to make a choice! After all, whatever the choice is, as long as it is not accepted by all involved with their heart (emotionally), there always will be people who consciously or unconsciously do not agree with it.

How often does it happen that you have a bad feeling about the choice that was made… but you don’t understand why? How often does it happen… that you are aware that you do not agree with the choice made? In all these cases, loss, whether it’s hidden or not, plays an important role in our life. Loss that translates itself into helplessness, sadness and in extreme cases even into bereavement.

One way or the other, we always have to be aware of that loss before we can accept it. And with that we end up in one of the many variations of processing grief. It also means that in this particular case loss has a (completely) different meaning for all involved. Because of that each person involved processes the resulting grief in a different way.

An illustrative example.

They both agree that they get divorced.

They both used to work at the same company and when at home they could discuss what they experienced during the day. They were a happy couple. She started to work with another company. A company where everything that was carried out was confidential and one was not allowed to discuss this with other people. Their relationship started to deteriorate because of that. She, on the other hand, was pushing hard to maintain their relationship on the level it used to be. He was promoted and the company needed him to work abroad for prolonged periods. The job required to work closely with others, so closely that a relationship emerged with one of the staff.

The both agree that they get divorced… but for different reasons. He, because he felt he couldn’t close the gap between his wife and himself. She, because he was cheating her.

Processing their grief will be different for each of them. Not just because they have different personalities and cultural backgrounds, but also because the staring points of their loss (the divorce) is different.

Now back to the choice at the beginning of this blog.

Every person is responsible for their own choices. But the other one, who loves her deeply… can only observe with all the love that person has… and can only be there for the one who makes the choice. Whatever you may think of this, however deeply they love each other, it’s my opinion that you are never allowed to influence the choice of your loved one. The parents are important too. And it’s my opinion that also the parents are not allowed to influence the choice of their daughter when it relates to love. Whatever happens, they may only observe and be there for her.

Isn’t it sad? On the one hand you do not want to grieve your parents and on the other hand you do not want to lose your loved one. You’re in a dilemma… it’s just not fair… it’s hardly possible to make a choice. And… should you even make a choice?

shutterstock_223648765The person who makes the choice, should do this with the heart. And it doesn’t matter how bad it is for the others… they are only allowed to watch and be there. For one thing is sure, when they interfere with the choice it’s my opinion that that choice is the wrong one.  Either the relationship ends or… the relationship will be infected one way or the other with the choice that was made… or there is a feeling that choice is enforced by one of the persons that are involved. The person who makes the choice should be able to do this freely, with the heart and without influence from anybody.

When everyone involved cannot accept the choice that was made with their heart then it’s my opinion that every person involved will end up with a mourning process from bewilderment through helplessness, awareness and hopefully understanding to a kind of acceptance. Because one way or the other, whatever the choice is that was made, the relationship with her and her loved one is damaged. And, also the relationship with her and her parents is damaged.

We really don’t think about it when we make these kind of decisions. Whatever the choice is, relationships will never be the same again. It’s my point of view that when this kind of choice is either influenced or enforced you cannot speak of true love between the one who makes the choice and the one who influenced whether it is the loved one or (one of) the parents. It is certainly not fair to the one who was “forced” to make the choice… and not only that… this person is scarred for life!

The alternative… a choice that is made with love and that is accepted by all involved with their heart is not a choice at all… but a matter of course! To me that is unconditional love!

(61) Has God a Plan?

The answers to question whether He really has a plan, or what the purpose in our life is, or whether there is life after death, are not unimportant. They determine in a large extent the processing of, and the way we process our mourning after the loss of a dear one.

Sometime ago I came across a quote from a movie: “God has a plan, but I do not always agree with that.”

Unfortunately I do not remember from which movie the quote is. Please, provide me with its details when you do know. It would give me the opportunity to make a proper reference to the movie in this blog.

Personally, I would not want to be limited to one single religion in particular and therefor replace in the word “God” or “The Almighty” in this blog by “He” or “Him.” In this way I hope to embrace all religions and do them justice.

Whether we believe, or maybe even know, there is life after death, we always remain with questions like “why are we here,” or “what is our destiny in this life and in this universe?” And what about those people who assume that after our death… there is no life, nothing at all… what is in their opinion the purpose in life… why do they do the things they do?

The answers to question whether He really has a plan, or what the purpose in our life is, or whether there is life after death, are not unimportant. They determine in a large extent the processing of, and the way we process our mourning after the loss of a dear one.

What is that purpose or objective in our life? Personally I have an opinion about that, but since every person is unique I assume that everybody’s objective in life is also unique. Moreover, I have found that the view I have about myself does not always match with the view somebody else has about me. That happened to me e.g. shortly after my open heart operations. Resting was a necessary thing for me to do. What made it distinctive though, was that my resting was not so much related to the recovery of my body, but it was related to something else completely. It felt like a coming home… but where and why… I had no idea. Most people who know me well see the difference, but not me! When other people have a different view about you than you experience yourself… or perhaps you can feel, but do not understand or can put into words… then how would you to be able to formulate your purpose in life anyway.

In my opinion a quote from the movie “The 47 Ronin” starts to provide some insight. It goes like this: “My father told me, this world is only a preparation to the next world. All we can ask for is that when leaving we have been loved.” From the quote you could deduce that in addition to a life after death the central theme in our life is love.

Would it be that simple? If true then in our world we all have a lot to learn because many people are killed for reasons like ideas, opinions, money, religion, culture or power. Indeed, we have a lot to learn!

A quote from the movie “Winter’s Tale” is going a step further. “When true love is lost, life can bleed of all meaning. We are left blank. But the possibility of destiny remains. What we are meant for may yet be discovered. And once in a very long while, that journey to find our destiny may defeat even time itself.” Also this quote could infer that love is a central theme in our lives. But there is more. Although that “more” is not always clear in our lives.

Love is a central theme in our lives; as is in mine. And yes, my true love has gone on her journey to the next world… and me… I stayed behind… “empty.” Despite my loss I am “traveling” again to find my destiny in life. Where that will be is not yet really clear to me. But one thing I know for sure… the destination will completely amaze me and will exceed my expectations.

What is that purpose in my life? Although still vague, I think I am starting to see and maybe beginning to understand the purpose in my life. I also expect that everybody else could see and understand the purpose of their lives. You could do this by imagining what has happened over a prolonged period of time in your surroundings and to you. What has changed for you and with you? How decisive were those changes on you and your way of life? Those changes do not need to be very impressive at all; most of the time it happens in a very subtle way. However, when you monitor those changes over a long period of time some changes will stand out… then you’ll see and understand.

On such moments you may ask yourself the question, just as I did: “Would he have a plan nonetheless?”