My Life Story Part 9: The Story of Farewell and Remembering My Father

Message to Dad

Dear Dad,

You were born on October 5, 1959, and left this world on March 30, 2017, now almost 7 years ago. You were and remain the kindest dad in the entire world. Your love, your calmness, and your laughter will always stay with me. I miss you and trust that you are now in a place of peace. Love you, Dad.

Yours, Floris

After sharing my personal message to my father, I now open a new chapter of my story for you. Just two and a half months after returning from Yes We Can Clinics, I was faced with the sudden loss of my father. His long battle with Parkinson’s disease, countless surgeries, and the exhausting chemotherapy had pushed him to his limits. Ultimately, he made the brave decision for euthanasia. The absence of my father is a constant in my life, a void that continues to echo.

The thought that my children will miss out on experiencing his influence directly and future partners will not know who he was to me, makes the loss more painful. Yet, I find comfort in the memories and lessons he left behind. I am determined to keep his legacy alive by sharing stories, photos, and the values he imparted to me. Thus, despite his physical absence, he remains a part of our lives and future generations.

My uncle took on the task of organizing the funeral, something he had done in most part with my father, as much as was possible. This period was challenging for me, as shortly after my time at Yes We Can Clinics, my brother was also admitted to the clinic. It was a struggle to be there for each other during that time. The fear I felt was definitely there. There was half an hour of knocking on the door asking if I wanted to open up to see my father. Although I wanted to, I couldn’t muster the courage.

One thing that has stayed with me the most is how special the funeral was. It took place at a natural burial ground, a concept I wasn’t very familiar with at the time. A natural burial ground is a resting place in nature, where graves blend into the landscape without disturbing the natural environment. It is a place of peace and tranquility, where the memory of loved ones is preserved without the permanent structures of traditional cemeteries.

Despite the deep sorrow I felt during the funeral, not much later I experienced a sense of strength. My father had reassured me with simple, yet powerful words just before his passing: “It’s okay.” These words brought such peace over my mind, which I hadn’t felt before. It was a life-changing moment.

The way my father structured his life was always something that fascinated me. In our home, there were no junk drawers; everything was perfectly organized, labeled, and often creatively decorated. My father was, in my eyes, a calm and kind man. His passion for photography is something that will always stay with me. He didn’t just take photos but also created photo albums that were true works of art. These books, compiled with carefully chosen photos, texts, and decorations, tell the story of my childhood in a way no standard photo album can match.

It doesn’t really pain me that I don’t possess the same creativity as my father. I am impatient, and my creativity expresses itself more in business ambitions and large-scale thinking, as opposed to the finer, non-commercial creative expressions my father so loved. It’s interesting to see how different you can be from your parents, but at the same time, love and appreciate them so much.

The love for my father and the grief of his loss are feelings that deeply resonate with me. But above all, I feel strength. My father was always a paragon of calmness, and his last words have helped me to better understand and respect him. This experience has made me an advocate for euthanasia when life no longer offers a dignified way out. I am grateful to my father for the years of care and love, despite the difficulties we had to endure together. It’s comforting to know that he is now in a place of peace and tranquility.

The realization that my father made a conscious choice for euthanasia, after a long and arduous battle, brings a bittersweet comfort. His decision, though difficult, reflects his wish for dignity and peace at the end of his life. This experience has lessened my fear of death.

The care and attention my uncle devoted to organizing the funeral at the natural burial ground have left a lasting impression on me. It was a celebration of my father’s life, in harmony with the natural beauty that had always so inspired him. This unique form of farewell, returning to the essence of life, was both healing and inspiring.

The strength I felt after the funeral was not only a result of my father’s comforting words but also of the love and support from my family and friends. This period of mourning has brought us closer together.

The contrast between my father’s creative spirit and my business ambitions shows the diversity of human expression and the unique ways we shape our lives. In loving memory of my father, I promise to honor his legacy by living with the values he taught me. His life, though too short, was rich in love, creativity, peace, and wisdom. I am thankful for every memory.

This concludes this special journey through one of the most impactful chapters of my life. I thank you for walking with me along the paths of memory, reflection, and tribute to an extraordinary person: my father. With every word I write, I hope to keep his spirit and the indelible impression he left on me alive. My stories are a bridge between past and future, a means to cherish his love, wisdom, and the unforgettable moments we shared.

In the next parts of my story, I’m going to share about a very hard time – the worst episode of psychosis I’ve ever had. This happened without using any drugs, and it was both a really tough time and a moment that changed me. Just before my dad passed away, he told me, “Everything is okay.” This simple message helped me a lot, and because of it, I was able to make some really good friends quickly. I want to tell you how these friends became a big part of my recovery. They were there for me, giving me lots of support and helping me see a way to get better.

I am determined to share and cherish the memories of my father, his life lessons, and creativity. Despite our differences, I have learned to see the value of our unique qualities and how they shape and connect us. This path of personal growth and the experiences surrounding my father’s death and my psychosis offer valuable lessons and inspiration, which I hope to share with our community.

Looking back, I feel gratitude for the shared moments and the lessons learned. These experiences form the foundation of my strength and motivation to lead a life full of meaning and compassion, in memory of my father.

With a forward-looking gaze and a heart full of memories, I close this chapter, ready to share the next pages of my life story with you, carried by the love and wisdom I have gathered and learned over the years. Thank you for reading.

The next story I’ll share again on my Threads account >

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Floris Meulensteen
Floris Meulensteen
Articles: 75

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