Whispering again

It has been so long, it feels strange writing in my blog again. I have been so out of touch with all of you, and much longer than I anticipated. It is just that I had no energy to write or keep my blog up to date. I must have been a combination of private life, work and wanting to write a post each day of the week. And as my private life and work has priority over my blog, I decided to take it easy for a while.

And so I did. For more than three years I kept my blog up to date with all the memories I wanted to keep, to share all things that I thought nice or funny or important to share. Sometimes with many people on my blog sometimes with a few. I never cared much about the numbers, I just wanted to record whatever I thought was nice to keep in some way. But as my days were full and full of stress the daily blog changed from a relieve valve into a duty and I felt I had too little time for keeping the blog my little one. Anyway you may have noticed I had to stop for a while.

And yes, I have been so very tired. As ashes burnt to the ground and laying there waiting for the wind to scatter all of it. So I went to an intense period of doing nothing at all. Now doing nothing is not something that comes naturally for me. My Calvinistic upbringing and the morals from my family says very clearly that you have to go on, even if you are tired, because we all are tired sometimes. So go on Han, you are not made of porcelain. But I simply could not, even if I wanted to. So I took my rest.

In my rest period I kept working though. I was months away last year because of my gallbladder problems, and I could not afford to stop working again for months. But I was open to my work about my problems, and often if you are opening up to other people, you will receive openness back. And I did, people understood that sometimes I needed some time off, I needed rest, and I could go to from work a bit early or just work a bit from home. I did not have any energy to go with my bike 90 minutes to work and 90 minutes from work each day. People told me how nice it would be if I kept some daily exorcize but 3 hours a day on the bike was just too much. I could not do it. So I went with public transportation (with all the delays it simply has, smile) to work each day.

Slowly some of my strength comes back. My memory loss is getting better. I still am blocked sometimes, I totally forget the sentence that I started, but it is getting better slowly I think. In the hospital new investigations showed there was a small problem with the decreasing dopamine in my brain that could well be the beginning of Parkinson’s disease. They are not sure yet what it is. I am going for a second opinion to a doctor in the Alzheimer Centre in Amsterdam. It is an academic hospital and they are more used dealing with vague complaints… I have an appointment somewhere in October.

But first I go on holiday the last three weeks of September. I look forward to it. In the meantime I will try to post each week if I can and read some of all your blogs to see how you are doing, because I missed you. Thank you to all that reached out to me, it is much appreciated. Understand that if I did not answer you, it was not that I did not wanted to, but simply because I could not.

Have a wonderful sunny Sunday.

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Sound of Silence

After blogging everyday for a while you might have noticed I have silent. The reason is not that I ran out of items to blog about, or just didn’t like it any more. The reason for it is just psychical, I’m afraid.

I just don’t have the energy at the moment. I wish I had, but my body is telling me to slow down. So I will listen for a change, and hope this feeling disappears just as fast as it came. I will just rest now, and hope to see all of you very soon again.

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OG3NE

Tonight is the second semi final of the European Song Contest. If you have never ever seen it, it’s a kind of Idols, Xfactor kind of thing but it’s old. Ancient. And “millions of viewers all over the world” are watching it. Let me lend a bit from the official website to tell you how it works:

Song contest explained

This year in May, 42 countries will each send one musical act to Kyiv, Ukraine, where the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest will take place. Each participating broadcaster that represents their country has chosen their performer (maximum six people) and song (maximum three minutes, not released before 1 September, 2016) through a national televised selection, or through an internal selection. Each country is free to decide if they send their number-one star or the best new talent they could find. They have to do so before mid-March, the official deadline to send in entries.
The winner of the Eurovision Song Contest will be chosen through two Semi-Finals (9 and 11 May) and a Grand Final (13 May).


Traditionally, six countries are automatically pre-qualified for the Grand Final. The so-called ‘Big Five’ — France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom — and the host country.
The remaining countries will take part in one of the two Semi-Finals. From each Semi-Final, the best ten will proceed to the Grand Final. This brings the total number of Grand Final participants to 26.
Curious about last year’s Grand Final? Enjoy the show!
Each act must sing live, while no live instruments are allowed.
After all songs have been performed, each country will give two sets of 1 to 8, 10 and 12 points; one set given by a jury of five music industry professionals, and one set given by viewers at home. Viewers can vote by telephone, SMS and through the official app.
To keep things fair, you cannot vote for your own country. 


Only those countries who take part in the respective Semi-Final vote, along with three of the six pre-qualified countries. Which countries take part and vote in which Semi-Final is determined by the so-called Semi-Final Allocation Draw in late January.
In the Grand Final, juries and viewers from all 42 participating countries can vote again, after the 26 finalists have performed. Once the voting window has closed, the presenters will call upon spokespersons in all 42 countries and ask them to reveal their jury points live on air.
Next, viewers’ points from all 42 countries will be added up, and revealed from the lowest to the highest, culminating into a climax that will eventually reveal the winner of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest. 


The winner will perform once again, and take home the iconic glass microphone trophy. The winning country will traditionally be given the honour of hosting next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. 


Tradition

So the rating is with points. And it’s tradition so watch each and every song contest and have your family members rate them. 1 = waste of time  10 = the best song I have ever heard. And yes, we always give 10 points to our own small country. We are not allowed according to European Rules, but we have our own rules. We did rate them when I was a kid and my father would make all countries in a long row and our names and scores next to it. Now I do it at home. Did I said sometime before I love traditions? In 1975 we won the contest for the last time. With Teach Inn Dingedong.


This Year

Every year we are convinced we will win this year. Not only our little family but all families in Holland know that. And each year we are very, very disappointed we end at somewhere around 30th place. This year we have three sisters and they sing very nice. And the are rising in the bookmakers polls! This year we have a fair shot at winning, I know we will. But first the semi-finals tonight. You know who will be watching…



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Not all those who wander are lost

My colleague at work has this quote in her signature. It is from  “All That is Gold Does Not Glitter” that is a poem written by J. R. R. Tolkien for his great novel The Lord of the Rings. It describes Aragorn, son of Arathorn. The poem reads:

    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.

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Dreams

Mysterious shapes, with wands of joy and pain,
Which seize us unaware in helpless sleep,
And lead us to the houses where we keep
Our secrets hid, well barred by every chain
That we can forge and bind: the crime whose stain
Is slowly fading ’neath the tears we weep;
Dead bliss which, dead, can make our pulses leap—
Oh, cruelty! To make these live again!
They say that death is sleep, and heaven’s rest
Ends earth’s short day, as, on the last faint gleam
Of sun, our nights shut down, and we are blest.
Let this, then, be of heaven’s joy the test,
The proof if heaven be, or only seem,
That we forever choose what we will dream!

Helen Hunt Jackson 
(1830-1885)

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Seven stages of grief

This week my aunt, the youngest of my fathers’ sisters, died at 79 years old. Two older sisters are still alive, and her two older brothers (one my dad of course) are still alive. It is so strange that from a strong family the youngest died the first. Life. Doesn’t have to be fair, per se.

Yesterday I read a blogpost about a completely different subject, more about that next Friday, and it mentioned the seven stages of grief. These are well known by now. And as in any model ( a model is a simplification of a complex reality) miss Kübler-Ross has been criticized and even added two more stages to her original model: Shock or Disbelief and Guilt. I don’t care much that scientists find her model from 1969 outdated, I like simplifications of the big ugly world, to make it more comprehensible for myself. Because you can apply it not only with the death of a beloved, but also with so many other tragic moments in our lives.

Shock or disbelieve 

The first reaction to a major disappointment or disaster in our lives is shock or disbelieve. A certain numbness when we cannot or don’t want to believe what we just heard. Feeling numb is like that “freeze” in the coping strategies. It cannot be true, this is not happening (to me). No, I just have seen her yesterday! No, other people get a divorce but not me, not us.

Denial

Denial refers to how you express your emotions surrounding grief. For example, a person who continually says, “I’m
fine,” after a life changing event is likely denying his or her feelings. We men have often trouble how to express our feelings, or we have been taught that we are the ones that people depend upon right now and that we have to be “the rock”. Denying our own feelings until we have the time to face them.Children can say after they have heard their parents are getting a divorce: “Mom and
Dad will stay together.”

 Anger

Anger
is not a universal emotion during the grief process. Not all will go through this emotion in this stage. Some people become angry at themselves or the
person who left them or simply at the situation they are left to face
alone. It depends a lot on your character. But at some point we are bound to feel angry (“Fight” in coping strategy) related to the fact that we miss something we once had. Again, related to your character, this Anger could become an anger problem. Some people do not get passed this stage.  Grief recovery coaching can provide a safe place to explore the anger and
help uncover the source of the anger.

 Bargaining

Bargaining
refers to attempts to make a deal, often with God, to change the
situation. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross noted bargaining in her observations of
individuals dying from a terminal illness. Bargaining may not be so
frequent when a loved one has died, but is likely present in other
losses such as divorce, break up, job loss, home loss or other
transition, where there is some hope the situation could be changed by
an all-powerful God.

Guilt

Guilt is not in the original “five stages”, but I have seen people feeling so guilty about the things they have said and done in the past, that they cannot overcome these feelings.You wished to turn back the clock and do some
things differently. It is very powerful, very common, and very, very, very self destructing. This is absolutely another area where grief coaching can be
helpful to give the griever a space to share their memories
and regrets in a supportive environment.

Depression

A depression is not (but often very similar symptoms of) a clinical depression. It is often described as a profound sadness. A natural human reaction to grief and loss.The partner left behind might feel discouraged that their bargaining plea did not convince the former partner to stay. Or sadness and hopelessness drug abusers feel when they are faced with the reality of living a life without their substance of choice.

Acceptance

Acceptance and Hope.
In the last stage of the 7 stages of grief one arrives at the belief
that although life will never be the same again after the loss, there is
hope that life will go on. Acceptance does not necessarily mean that a child after a divorce will be completely happy
again. The acceptance is just moving past the depression and starting to
accept the divorce. The sooner the parents start to move on from the
situation, the sooner the children can begin to accept the reality of
it.

Like I said not all people go through these stages in this order, but as I am going towards the stages where goodbye’s will occur more frequent, because of my age it’s important to know these stages. It is important to correct the things I did wrong in my life, and say I am sorry about it. Now, when I have the chance. Ask for forgiveness. It’s important not to wait, so my depression state will be a healthy one. So I can move on to acceptance…

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