Today 9 years ago Ben, my partner, ended his life. 9 years seems a long time ago, but sometimes scenes from the past come back to us as if they’ve just occurred. The human mind and memory is a strange thing. This scene was introduced by a song I kept hearing in my head last couple of days.
Two weeks before Ben died we went to Rotterdam to choose a kitchen and equipment, I had just bought an apartment and we still had some things to sort out for the house. We were both tired. Ben because he was tired of life, me because I was at my rope’s end and really didn’t know what to do. With him and with us. The salesman asked us if we were going to live together in this new apartment. I said yes, Ben hesitated. He already knew he wasn’t going to be there. We walked through the store and I remember standing with wood samples for cupboards in my hand, asking him: „What’s the point?” He said: „I don’t know.”’ He held me, but there was nothing he could say. Putting down my signature on the purchase order of the kitchen should have been a happy one, but it wasn’t. It didn’t feel right. On the way back home Ben put on a CD and kept one song on repeat: „Nothing’s impossible” from Depeche Mode. The song that’s been in my head.
Ben sometimes said: „I wish I had your strength”. I’ve always believed and still believe that everything is possible. I told him that the power and life force that’s been given to all of us the moment we are born is always there and that our spirit is unbreakable, it transcends the mental and the physical. Life is a chain of events of which some of them are good, bad or ugly. For some of us very ugly. That’s when our power and life force is being affected. Ben somehow couldn’t get himself back to believing he still had that power. He has manifested himself many times after he died, especially in the first year: the lights that flickered or just went out with a bang, objects moving about, him standing beside my bed and touching my cheek. Almost a year after he died I was close to give up life as well, I was so bloody tired. I allowed myself to lose my power after what had happened (not just because of Ben’s suicide), even to the point that I literally couldn’t walk and had to crawl on my hands and knees for 4 days. Lying in my bed I became aware of light at my left, I could see the outlines and lights of a few persons, one of them reaching out his hand. Although I couldn’t see a face I knew it was Ben. It’s still impossible to describe what I felt, I only know it’s been a life changing experience and one I will never forget. His spirit is unbreakable, that’s for sure. And so is mine.
People sometimes say we should forget the past. We can’t and we shouldn’t, because it’s part of who we are. We are the sum total of everything we’ve experienced in life and the people we’ve been in touch with. We can’t change the past, but we can change the way we look at it. We can choose how to live the rest of our life, knowing that there is something inside us that is always going to be there, no matter what happens. I know Ben is good wherever he is. I’m good where I am right now. My life has changed, not for better or for worse. It changed. I’ve had amazing experiences and I’ve met wonderful people, for which I’m thankful. I’ve heard so many stories, stories like Ben’s. And to those people I would like to say: don’t give up. Go back to the start, the power is still within you. Nothing’s impossible.