(58) Would You Call My Friends

Some three or four days before her death she asked me whether I would call her friends so she could say her final farewell to them that Saturday. It is not a questions you would easily answer with yes or no. And yet, I did this for her because I had a gut feeling that the end of her life was approaching much faster than we wanted it to but also because I understood it was important to her.

Anne BirgitThis post is about the days just before the death of my daughter Anne Birgit.

Yes, I hear you thinking:
“You have written several times about this topic. So, what is different now? That you are sad… I understand… it’s part of your future that you’re missing… it is your buddy that you are missing… but… after almost 15 years…?

That our daughter wouldn’t live long, we knew one day after her birth. Year after year we lived with the thought that it might be her last one. Ultimately after almost 22 years, it was clear that she wouldn’t live much longer anymore. Her end came closer faster and faster. We all were aware of that… especially my daughter.

That her death was inevitable, I had accepted long ago. We had lived with this for almost 22 years.

Yes, it is different. Now… I understand.

Some three or four days before her death she asked me whether I would call her friends so she could say her final farewell to them that Saturday. It is not a questions you would easily answer with yes or no. And yet, I did this for her because I had a gut feeling that the end of her life was approaching much faster than we wanted it to but also because I understood it was important to her.

Today I understand that I received a lot of support from my guardian angels. Yes, you can laugh at this, or you can dismiss it but for me it is the truth. Where else do you draw the strength from for calling each of her friends and ask them to visit her a few days later in order to say a final farewell to each other.

There were calls that took more than an hour. There were calls, with the in one hand the phone I was using and in the other hand my mobile to make an emergency call in case her friend I was talking to did not respond anymore. They were all calls where you literally caught people by surprise with your request. What is still clear in my mind even though I did not know many of her friends personally, even after 15 years, was that these calls were very personal, emotional, warm and heartbreaking. My daughter wanted to witness the last two or three calls imagine my daughter’s emotions and mine. There were many tears during those 32 calls.

Calls of which I have always said after the death of my daughter… once, but never again. Calls of which no one has any idea what it meant for me and what it took from me. No one can even closely imagine my pain and distress brought on by those calls. Calls that took an enormous amount of energy from me and at the time I didn’t understand where I got the strength.

Maybe you find this all exaggerated… maybe even presumptuous, but the fact is that words… my words… are by far unable to describe what I felt at the time… and not even close to how I feel to-day.

These are moments in your life I always remember. And when I look back after 15 years, those calls give me much more pain and distress than the death of my daughter. Yes, she was terminally ill. That she had not much time to live there was no doubt about it. Although I’ve accepted her death years ago, the hurt related to placing the calls to her friends in order to say a final farewell to her personally, is still there in great fierceness. Maybe as I realize now; now, after 15 years I realize that at the end of each call, it felt for me as if my daughter died at that moment… and I died a bit also.

That, I think, is the reason why it still hurts.

The calls I made out of love for my daughter; just like everybody else would have done when they are needed to make calls like these for his or her partner or for one of their children. This month’s post is dedicated to them and I wish them a lot of support and strength in particular.

Author: Hans Fransen

Mourn & Grief Foundation

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