Farewell to my beloved wife Grit

Farewell to my beloved wife Grit

Part 1 – written between 12th and 18th November 2022



The Diagnosis

It began at the beginning of the holidays that Omicron afflicted us all and took away 14 days of our holidays. My wife developed Long Covid symptoms. At least that’s what we thought.

At the end of August we went to her new family doctor who, after a blood test, immediately sent her to the hospital for a complete check-up. While our daughter and I waited all day to be able to pick her up.

When I drove to the hospital to pick her up, it took another almost 2 hours. After waiting for over an hour, I made my way to her so that I could personally pick her up from the examination room.

When I then saw my wife, her expression was sad and confused at the same time. The doctor then came to us and said in a trembling voice that we had to go to the nearest breast center immediately the next day – it was already late in the evening. This should have had no respite. So we did.

It was only 2 1/2 months from the diagnosis to the moment of her dramatic death.


We found a little consolation in what the doctors told us shortly after her death, namely that without the chemotherapy she would have died even earlier.

Like this we were able to make her wish come true so that she could attend the wedding of her eldest son from her first marriage.


The Path

The days from being admitted to the emergency room on a Thursday in early November until she breathed her last passed quickly and were short. For us, who stood by her side and still hoped for a miracle, all hope was already taken by Friday evening. The way I stared in that moment at the doctor told her that we hadnt been aware of the fact that from her diagnosis her cancer was fatal.

Even when she taken into the palliative care unit she seemed to notice us with half-open eyes, which gave us hope and happiness that there would be soon time to talk and say goodbye differently.

We never left her side. We were with her day and night for up to 7-8 hours, hoping for a miracle. The employees and doctors were at our side with their offer to talk. They played meditative music and the sound of the sea and waves from a CD. Even the scent of roses from an aroma atomizer could be smelled in the room. Everything our beloved Grit loved.

It helped a little to ease the time waiting and to endure the reality that was very different from ours. As I prepared to hold her in my arms at the time of her dying breath and ready to help her walk her soul over to her next life, my daughter didn’t give up hope, even as she slowly realized that hope was gone.

Some employees (doctors, priests and nurses) of the palliative care ward told us independently that they had often experienced that people would and could go if the loved ones in their hearts were not near them.

So it happened that we were with her on a Tuesday morning, seeing her with her half-open eyes hope flared up in us again. We could feel that she was hearing and probably also seeing us as shadows.

She moaned and caught her breath. I gently stroked my hand over her right cheek and said to make it easier for her to walk: “Honey, we are here, we are with you and you can leave anytime, because nothing can hold you anymore except pain. We are ready to let you go.”

Tears shed down our cheeks and we hugged her tightly again.

Her mother and children from her first marriage accompanied us. Not only did they support us with their presence, but each of them wanted to say goodbye personally during this time.


The End

My daughter and I decided to go home to get something we had forgotten. We didn’t have to go far and wanted to be back within 15 minutes.

We were on our way back to the hospital, when we got the message shortly before we arrived that we didn’t need to hurry any longer. She had breathed her last breath without us. What was implied to us in advance actually happened. She left when we weren’t there. She cared for us even in that last moment.

I was in tears and I felt like drowning in the Niagara Falls. This time it was my 16 year old daughter who held me tightly in her arms.

Arriving at the hospital, we were received by a very peaceful and loving atmosphere. And everyone who came across expressed their condolences to us or simply took us in their arms without a word.

And this was Grit

My dearest Grit, wife, loving mother and self-employed bid us farewell while we were still making some plans for 2023 and beyond this year. Even shortly before her admission into the ER, she wished she could go for long walks and do sports together with her friends. She wanted to take small steps. Her friends loved her modesty and generosity. And they saw how close the three of us were. What saddened my sweetheart the most in the last few weeks was that she was no longer able to keep her promise she had made towards my mother when she died: to take care of me for the rest of my life. Now we are two.

She was someone who stood up against injustice, donated to orang utas, gave our daughter a sponsorship for an Indian girl for her education. She loved and exemplified sustainability for us with her small business for organic clothing. In 2017, manufacturers withheld her severance pay for flimsy reasons. She gave up the fight to claim this because of the high court costs in other EU countries.

This also plunged us into unwanted outstanding debts. All she wanted was her personal peace. This modesty and inner wisdom did not come naturally from her life. She grew up in the former GDR, married and had 3 children. Here, too, she evaded a war of roses during the divorce by giving in to the pressure and giving up everything for the children just to avoid losing custody. That’s how she was. She was there for others more than for herself. Sacrificial, loving and generous.

Always balancing giving more for inner and outer peace and fighting for others than for herself. She was a great support, a pillar of life for me, our daughter, her other children. At the beginning of August, she even got a job offer, which she was happy to accept, because my income alone is currently not sufficient and her small business had no chance of continuing due to the pandemic and then the global energy crisis. The diagnosis ultimately prevented her from starting a new job life.


Our reality

This sudden, dramatic event, which entails the loss of our loved one, is now throwing us into a big financial hole, which is progressing due to my severe disability, caused by polio with a degree of disability of 90%. Due to the long-term effects of the post polio syndrome (PPS) we will not be able to manage the financial crisis ahead at all without any support. In addition, it hits our daughter very hard at the age of 16, because she is in her high school phase and will be finished with her A-levels at school by next summer. Then it is for her to start an apprenticeship and studies at the University.

Our daughter’s education

We had planned that she not only be able to start her training and studies next  year, but also work in my wife’s office.

After her A-levels, our daughter wants to take over and continue her mother’s office and small company in addition to her training and studies.

Our daughter would very much like to become a photographer and also study communication design. She inherited her love of photography and art from her mother. The influence of us and especially her beloved mother to pursue her dreams in her life and make them come true has always been very important to her. Our daughter loves to paint pictures, draw graphics and take photos. And that’s exactly where she wants to go from the bottom of her heart.

Polio, post polio and the financial abyss we are on

As for me, I don’t know how long I will be able to continue working. I’ve been waiting for a new motor-assisted wheelchair for over a year now, because in 2020 I  had torn my rotator cuff on my right shoulder due to the weakening of my arms. Although the operation was successful, the strength in my arms left me and instead of an improvement I am facing progressive deterioration with pain in my shoulders and arms.


This is a deterioration of the muscles and nerves, so I suffer from fading strength in my arms and legs. But the late effects of polio and the post polio syndrome are not only expressed there, but also in breathing and concentration and some other bodily functions.

I grew up with polio and at the age of 13 spent a whole year in Berlin at the Oskar-Helene-Heim orthopedic hospital on the children’s ward, where I underwent several surgeries that year so that I would no longer have to wear a leg brace in the future. Crutches followed and later even a simple walking stick and orthopedic shoes were enough to stabilize my feet and let me walk on my own.

This is a deterioration of the muscles and nerves, so I suffer from fading strength in my arms and legs. But the late effects of polio and the post polio syndrome are not only expressed there, but also in breathing and concentration and some other bodily functions.

I grew up with polio and at the age of 13 spent a whole year in Berlin at the Oskar-Helene-Heim orthopedic hospital on the children’s ward, where I underwent several surgeries that year so that I would no longer have to wear a leg brace in the future. Crutches followed and later even a simple walking stick and orthopedic shoes were enough to stabilize my feet and let me walk on my own. But since 2008 I’ve been walking with crutches again and since 2020 I am independent on a wheelchair if I want to cover more than 20 meters. My arms are weakened, my legs can not longer carry me. The muscles of the legs cramp in the evening. I haven’t been able to help around the house for a while now like I used to.

The tiredness, despite sufficient sleep, overcomes me several times a day. One does not want to think what is yet to come and how it will continue to negatively affect my ability to work in order generate a decent income.

My beloved wife has always been a great help to me. We were here for each other. She was my constant companion. For example, she lifted the wheelchair into the car and pushed me when I no longer had the strength to roll myself. I cooked the food and helped as good as possible in her social media journey for her business.

We went shopping together and often drove our daughter to school or picked her up together. We made plans for where we would like to travel when the pandemic finally came to an end. During the last 2 months, when she would have recovered, she considered starting sports again with a good friend. She started to paint mandalas and discovered this as a new and beautiful hobby. Above all she loved our dog who gave her lot of love, happiness and strengt

But what she had been worried about for a long time was that her online shop hadn’t generated enough income for quite a while, so I had been using my savings for a year to keep the office running. These are now completely used up.

We never talked about preventive care, nor about a funeral, because we didn’t assume that she would die before I did. The complete opposite was the case.

Years ago, however, we were talking about which cultures bury their people and how, and she was very taken with the Hindu worldview and rituals. So she said that cremation would come very close and if that ever happened I should decide for her.

 She loved nature and we took our dog for a walk in the forest every day. But she also loved the Baltic Sea andwalks on the beach. So in the process of deciding whattype of burial it will be, we will need to go deeper into our emotions with that. Whether tree or burial at sea will be decided in the near future. All I know is that we wanted  to move to the Baltic Sea by 2024 at the latest because it was our dream and where we would have been very happy.  


Which comes close to our decision on where to say goodbye. Whatever outcome this will have, it will be our decision and last final act of our deep love and affection for her.

Our financial wish for the present and for the future

In order to be able to pay for a loving and dignified burial, which my wife would certainly have wished for and to secure the education and studies of our 16-year-old daughter and her future, 50,000 euros would be needed.

This sum would not only help us to cover the funeral costs of almost estimated 6.000 – 7.000 euros, but also to continue our daughter’s training/study in the first year and keep the office for at least 2 years and to absorb any outstanding debts that may have arisen. This would give us the chance to build and shape our lives on a new foundation.

Here again a transparency of the list of the expected costs:

Estimated 7.000 € funeral costs (approx. 4000 € undertaker costs, approx. 1000 – 2.300 € tree or place urn burial)

Estimated €14.000 school and training fees til 2026 for our daughter.

€21,600 office expenses for 2 years.

Estimated €7,400 additional costs for a wheelchair, rehabilitation costs and medical examination costs for post-polio syndrome specialists in Germany and abroad (no health insurance coverage)

My daughter and I had thought about choosing a nice tree. One who hasn’t grown too big yet or will grow in the future. One with many branches, which then join together to form a crown and whose tawny leaves turn a golden glow in the autumn sun. She loved that when she was still with us.

My deepest Thank you

I would like to thank all donors in advance for your support and I will keep you up to date in a personal contact about our living situation and the use of the donations if you like to.


For donations click here please

Click above line and you will be forwarded to the Gofundme Website.

Part 2

written between 20th December 2022

and 20th January 2023

11 weeks later

It has now been almost 11 weeks since my dearest Grit and the greatest mom to my daughter passed away. It took some time after her death before I found the moment to put my emotions into words again, to write them down for you, who have stood and still stand so wonderfully by my and my daughter’s side, so that we can share the beautiful memories and the moments of deep sadness that suddenly overwhelm us. Now you can read how our story continued!

I would also like to thank you again for the large number of donations that have been received and that we have achieved 1/4 of our goal. This has helped us a lot so far. Now the further arising costs – as described in the first part – have to be managed. I am very confident that we hopefully will get there step by step.

Hence my request: whoever of you feels to share our story as an encouragement for others who also find themselves in such challenging, emotional and difficult situations, please do so from the heart and please forward and share the link.

With love and gratitude

Viney (01/29/2023)

What happened the weeks before:

We got a lot of support from really extraordinary people. Not only financial donations, but also comforting support and many conversations that helped us to keep our spiritual contact with the universe up.

Without you, by that I mean my family and friends and the mutual network of friends and neighbors that grew up around Grit and I, we wouldn’t have been able to get through the last almost 11 weeks as we have.


For that we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

By this we also mean those of you who we do not know and who have written us comforting and loving words or have sent donations, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

After her death, we first spent a weekend away from Berlin to find some peace. When we got back home, it was an unusual feeling to open the door and to be just the two of us with our dog.

The loss of a loved one is a drastic change in the life of the loved ones left behind. Our last conversations and her words are still echoing in my head and now, looking back, I felt lonely, very alone and the loss deep inside me and by allowing all these feelings and moments I found myself.

It was also interesting that in the last few weeks I had a client whom I helped to process her grief for her loved one, which she had been grieving for for several years, in order to turn it back into joie de vivre. Looking back, I feel like this was a preparation for me for this moment to let her go.

I have already written important things about us and about the time of her illness. But I feel the need to tell you what happened after her soul left her body.


The place

On the recommendation and exchange with her children from her first marriage, we looked at a tree cemetery outside of Berlin in the north-east. About a 2 hour drive from us. But what we experienced there was exactly the opposite of what we had hoped for. I also realized that the wishes she had once imagined and which we talked about when her paternal grandmother passed away 10 years ago would not be fulfilled here, so I canceled the reserved appointment for the tree burial. The site, the inspection and the guide were not consistent but rather it was all heartless experience. Commerce and hustle and bustle do not suit me for a dignified and appreciative burial for beloved wife.

Now we were practically back at the beginning. But through recommendations from my family and also the undertaker, we found a wonderful and romantic place less than 15 minutes away from us, where we then went to choose a tree.

But before that came about, there were other challenges to overcome. The care, the cremation, the Vedic fire ceremony and finally the urn burial itself.


The care of the dead

This is an old ritual and at the same time a preparation for the upcoming ceremonies, which can be found in the same or similar form in nearly every culture around the globe. Namely the washing, the dressing of the corpse and lifting it into the coffin.

This is exactly what we did about 14 days after her passing. My daughter, I and our dog as well as the undertakers from Junimond Leo and Hendrik, who supported us very lovingly, were present. We entered a large room that was specially heated for us. 

The color on the walls which shone towards us was a friendly bright yellow. It was a very meditative and loving atmosphere that we felt and which spread in the room accompanied by Indian meditative music played softly in the background and slightly sweet, fragrant incense sticks.

My loved one was lying in the coffin, which was placed at a slight angle on 2 wooden trestles. She still seemed peaceful. Of course her face had changed and her skin was already slightly stained with death marks but even then in this moment she her love shined for us.

Leo and Hendrik introduced us to the topic very gently and lovingly, so that we were not afraid of what was to come. In my imagination I’m actually more worried about my daughter than about me, because I already had experienced something similar when  my mother passed away 14 years ago. The memory and experience of this also helped me in this moment to carry out the corpse care with love.

I also spoke our mantra (Gayatri Mantra) several times, which we both and she also alone recitated in the last few weeks and days before her death, because it gave her and us strength and also allowed us to endure the present together.

Washing and dressing her and then lifting her into the coffin also let us feel the love she had for my daughter and me. During the treatment of her illness, she often said very clearly that she only wanted to spend the time during the treatment with us and nobody else. She didn’t want to see or talk to anyone else either, she just wanted to spend this time with us as intensively as possible. For which I am very, very grateful, because it gave us more time to share our mutual attitude about life we had and our love with her.

The only exception was the wedding of her eldest son, where she told the doctor right after the diagnosis that she wanted to be fit enough for his wedding. The doctor promised her that she would be there by the time of the wedding with a new attitude towards life and that she would be able to enjoy, laugh, sing and dance with everything. We embraced this optimism and together drew strong hope from this picture. And so it happened that we attended the wedding of her eldest son from her first marriage, albeit not as enthusiastically as the doctor had predicted. On the way back from the wedding she was overjoyed to have been there and that in turn gave us hope and strength to continue looking positively into the future.

From a certain point, however, I had the feeling that she suspected her death at some point and was actually saying goodbye to us step by step. Something that I can only guess now and, looking back, with optimistic hope, was not able to see in the reality of that time.

After we had lifted her into her coffin, we started painting the coffin. We really wanted that. Especially because I was eager to paint an OM symbol on top of the lid of her coffin.

Meanwhile, our daughter drew a giraffe, a rainbow and a sunflower on the coffin. For her, these things symbolized what she loved and saw its beauty.

On the one hand we could have painted the coffin all night long, but on the other hand we did find the moment where we knew that there were no more painted symbols and animals needed on the coffin.

On the one hand we could have painted the coffin all night long, but on the other hand we did find the moment where we knew that there were no more painted symbols and animals needed on the coffin.

In between I had the feeling that our dog perceived and saw something that we could not see. Was it maybe Grit’s soul? It is said that dogs can perceive or see the souls of the dead.

Leo and Hendrik accompanied us to the car, which was parked right in front of the supply room. We hugged goodbye and got in and drove home. I asked my daughter how she would feel after the caring of the corpse. Her answer was very clear: “Dad, the care made me strong.” In that moment she made me very, very proud to be her father. It was more her self-awareness and calmness that I noticed throughout the evening. I told her that I found the care to be very meditative and calming and healing and that we could experience our vulnerability within a protected space. Vulnerability is healing, is a sentence that a friend gave us shortly after Grit’s death. This phrase gave us strength and still gives us strength. Above all, to feel what our love was and still is: the bond that made us inseparable as a trio.


The cremation – purifying the soul

For us, this was another step of the farewell we took. Some others may think and also felt the need that the burial should simply take place in order to be able to conclude with it. But what I learned from my mother’s death was that losing a loved one changes everything. Of course some say that „life goes on“ or „stay strong!“. Sentences like these were certainly well intentioned, but the real strength for me lay and lies in the fact that the farewell should be appreciated by accepting the truth and detaching step by step, that the soul of this beloved person from now on follows a new mission. Embracing the emptiness of loss so that it can be filled with love for the deceased. Turning grief into joy is a challenging endeavor because, I’ve found, when it’s not culturally anchored, it’s even more challenging to accept a goodbye without self-blame, guilt, powerlessness, helplessness, anger, and despair. Becoming aware of and individually processing these feelings are essential in order not to get stuck in them. Bitterness doesn’t change anything; instead, it worsens the grief and turns it more into an emotional suffering that can last for years and lead to emotional and energetic blockages. 

I was and still am, deeply touched of who suddenly stood by our side to hold us. And still are there. Above all my family, as well as very old friends. Some I hadn’t seen or heard from for at least 15 years and some for almost 30 years.

The cremation took place in Brandenburg in a very old cremation. The building exuded peace and tranquility. When we arrived, we were the first ones to be there, then the guests arrived gradually, who also wanted to pay their last love and respect and say goodbye.

Since there were no pallbearers at the crematorium due to the state of illness, everyone, without exception, turned up to carry the coffin up a flight of stairs into the prayer room. What I personally felt was a special appreciation and love of all pallbearers towards my dearest Grit. Even my 12-year-old nephew, who had traveled more than 500 km with his family, was determined to help carry it. He had his own loving and special relationship with my wife, his cousin’s mother.

When the coffin was in place, I said a few words and then I played a piece of music. It was one of our favorite songs together, Purple Rain. And as the song played, my tears ran into the ocean of love and gratitude. Then I recited the following verses from the Bhagvad Gita (a poem, several thousand years old, in several verses, which is a part of an even larger story of India).


Krishna reminds Arjun that the human body is fated to die, but that the soul is immortal:

The soul is neither born nor does it die at any time. The soul does not come into existence and does not cease to exist. The soul is unborn, eternal, permanent and primeval. The soul is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. (2.20)

Just as a person puts on new clothes after discarding the old ones, the living being or) individual soul needs (acquires) a new body after discarding its old body. (2.22)

The soul is said to be inexplicable, incomprehensible and unchangeable. If you know the soul as such, you should not grieve for the physical body. (2.25)

These words comforted me not alone, but the mourners present and also other people who themselves had already suffered the loss of a person or animal and until then still suffered from it.


But the thought and the feeling that the time is timeless and as soon as the soul leaves the body, it looks for a new mission, is not only a great comfort, but in the own conception in the heart of the feeling no more loss. The idea changes that the earthly time of the soul and that of its mission is over and a new one begins. At the end there is a new beginning. Furthermore, when someone is gone, he or she leaves a gift for everyone with whom he or she was involved, whether those people were very, very close or distant to him or her does not matter.

Find out what gift your loved one/loved one left for you and their grief will gradually turn into a new energy of life. Time will not heal except to accept the fact that a great change has occurred in the previous order of life. It is up to you now to listen to your heart and follow the flow of life in the knowledge of your own mind and the wisdom of your heart. Nothing matters now but to live in awareness, peace, bliss and love.

After playing Gayatri Mantra, I read my poem, which I wrote for my beloved Grit, while playing the song by Karat “Über 7 Brücken musst Du gehen“:

Thoughts of my beloved

It’s quiet

No sound

I open the door

In a moment you’ll call me

You’ll ask for our daughter


It’s silent

I call for you

No answer

It stays silent

No sound

You are gone

Your soul in a new place

I could not help it and my tears poured again into the ocean of her love.


Now Leo spoke a few more words and the coffin was again carried down a flight of stairs and from there to the furnace room.

Here at the coffin I spoke again the Gayatri Mantra, which she spoke in the last weeks and said goodbye to her with my family and friends present. Her soul was now purified by the fire and prepared for her next mission.


The Homa – the Vedic Fire Ceremony

This is a ceremony and ritual whose origin is in the Vedas of India and is intended for homeowners to make offerings back to the life energy with which they created their home. It is and can be considered a gratitude ritual, which is now performed on various occasions. Sometimes it is the birth of a child and other times it is the success in the career, a wedding or when a person has passed away. The fire is the offering that is given to the cosmos to give something back, as already described, but also to get something in return. The herbs and woods used, as well as the incense and water, symbolize the elements of fire. Water, air, earth and ether. The smoke purifies the air, the fire symbolically the soul.

About 20 guests came to the Homa for Grit. My father and brother, as well as my daughter and I sat around the fire pot. Most of the guests sat on chairs. There were also friends there, some of whom I had last seen over 20 years ago. They all knew Grit very closely and personally and through my stories.

We lit the woods in a special square vessel and poured ghee into the flames, which were small at the beginning, and then we added the woods and the fire grew bigger. While doing this we chanted mantras and threw the herbs into the fire.

Again we played music. The atmosphere turned more and more into a very grateful and peaceful feeling.

A little later, my other cousin surprised me with her husband, who had also driven almost 600 km to say goodbye to my beloved. My cousin brought a beautiful lotus candle in a lavender hue that she had bought 30 years ago and was saving for a very special occasion and then wanted to light.

Of course, she didn’t know for what occasion at the time, but in confidence that when the special day came, she would know. She and my brother-in-law had come on behalf of her whole family, just as my other cousin came with her family 2 days earlier.

After the ceremony I served vegan Indian snacks and offered freshly made chai. 

A beautiful other gift came from an old friend and former NLP mentor, who not only made his institute available, but also hired a photographer to take photos of the ceremony. I think the photos turned out very impressive.

As always, a small circle remained, talking for a long time and helping to clean up at the end. It was a second step of a wonderful farewell in which our hearts had all connected and said goodbye to Grit’s life and soul. My heart was full of love and peace that evening.


The tree search

After the first tree search had failed so miserably, my brother, as well as the funeral director, recommended that we look at the Southwest Churchyard Cemetery. So an appointment was made with the administration, and my daughter and I went right after Christmas.

From the first experience, I was completely without expectations. Even though I had already looked at this place on the internet, as with the first one as well, but there it had still been a very special and high expectation to find a great tree in a great area. Probably this expectation was stoked in particular by the very exaggerated prices.

Here it should now be the other way around. When we arrived and were even allowed to drive up to the chapel on the grounds, I was already very taken. The area looked on the one hand like a well-kept park and on the other hand we saw many tombstones, tombs and statues made of stone, which looked very, very old and were ruins. Mostly they were expressive angels that we passed at walking pace. I parked right in front of the chapel, which was built entirely of wood. It was a Norwegian chapel and since Grit loved Scandinavia, I was sure at the sight of this chapel that we would find a place for her urn here.

A short time later, the administrator arrived by bicycle. He was very friendly and sympathetic and greeted us warmly and immediately expressed his condolences. He led us after an exchange of a few words immediately in the direction of a small forest, where we should then also find. While we were walking there, pardon! … of course I was rolling along in my wheelchair, he told us some historical facts about the cemetery. There lay here so some celebrities from the 19th and 20th century, because the cemetery was founded at the end of the 18th century, so that meanwhile also artists, actors, presenters and politicians found their last rest.

The caretaker led us through a maze of paths to a place called Charlottenburg. It was basically a small grove. We looked around and noted the trees we liked and took pictures of them. When we decided to come to the end because we had seen and photographed enough trees, my daughter saw a very beautiful, romantic and big tree in front of her. A big strong pine tree, whose crown wonderfully climbed up to the sky and with the view from the bottom to the top of the tree trunk, almost touched the clouds. Our decision was made.

The funeral

This moment was the one I was eagerly approaching in the farewell process. On the one hand, it was the last part of the farewell and on the other hand, it could not have taken place without previous ceremonies. The moment that brings home to you for the last time the unavoidable truth that my beloved wife is now no more. Her body was cremated to ashes to return her to nature and her soul is now dedicated to a new mission. All the moments of letting go were part of a process, at the end of which was not only the end of a life, but at the same time opening the doors to a new beginning.

When and where these doors open and I or we pass through, life itself will determine and reveal itself.

I arrived a little early to speak to Hendrik and his assistant Ria again and to see if everything could take its course as intended. Sounds a bit funny for me to write this and at the same time read what I wrote, because it was not about controlling everything, but it was simply that I wanted to tune in energetically to this moment, the environment and the people before the guests should come.

The first guest flew in from England the night before. A very close and good friend with whom I not only have business dealings, but we have been very close for 27 years. He knew Grit from the beginning. And it was one of the first friends from my closest circle including family who got to know Grit. So he knew us together from the beginning. So he already took a place in front next to me.

 I rolled in my wheelchair in front of the chapel about a quarter of an hour before the beginning to greet all the guests who arrived one after the other. But my greeting began and also ended with taking everyone in my arms one by one. I did not want them to keep their sadness, some of it heavy, with them, but to feel through me that the sadness may turn into beautiful memories and joy of life after a certain point. And just as I am writing these lines, I remember her words full of worry and fear, which she uttered immediately after her diagnosis. I held her very tightly in my arms and whispered to her that we will make it together, that she will recover. How bad it really was and how little conventional medicine could really do at that moment was shown in the last 4 days of her life.

In the meantime, the first guests arrived and I greeted them with my hug and loving words of gratitude that they were there to say goodbye with me. Within the next 25 minutes, close to 30 guests arrived. This was very special to my daughter and me. I also knew that those who had not been able to make it and had to cancel on short notice were thinking of us and some even lit a candle at that hour. While the guests went into the chapel and took a candle to place by the urn, I played Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynts Suite No.1, Op.46.


When everyone was now sitting in the chapel and in front stood the mortician, who had agreed to read the speech of my stepson, because otherwise it would have become too emotional for him, especially because he shared with me a special insight about his relationship with his mother 2 days earlier, which visibly took him very much. But this realization will help him to find an inner healing and reconciliation with himself.

Hendrik read the speech very devout and dignified and played in between the songs of our playlist (you can find and listen to the playlist under this link). Songs that I am not even able to listen to at the moment, because the pain of loss would come out again. The emptiness will stay and life will decide if this emptiness will be filled with something new or not. Which does not mean that life, my life, has nothing more to offer me. On the contrary!


At the tree – ashes to earth

After Hendrik’s speech, I addressed a few very personal words to my guests. It would be important now to understand that although everyone grieves differently, we all came together because of one unmistakable truth. Grit was no more. To this end, I again read the verses from the Bhagvad Gita that had always given me and others comfort. At this point I simply write them down again, so that scrolling back is not necessary:

Krishna reminds Arjun that the human body is fated to die, but that the soul is immortal:

The soul is neither born nor does it die at any time. The soul does not come into existence and does not cease to exist. The soul is unborn, eternal, permanent and primeval. The soul is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. (2.20)

Just as a person puts on new clothes after discarding the old ones, the living being or) individual soul needs (acquires) a new body after discarding its old body. (2.22)

The soul is said to be inexplicable, incomprehensible and unchangeable. If you know the soul as such, you should not grieve for the physical body. (2.25)


After these last words in the chapel, Hendrik took over the moderation again and asked the guests to follow us. Anthony (name changed by me!), a very sympathetic member of the cemetery staff who was placed at our side, pushed me in my wheelchair while I held the urn in my hands. And while we took the walk to the big and strong pine tree, with the guests following us, the next songs on the playlist were played as we did so.

I held the urn very tightly, as if it was alive in my arms. I felt her breath, her tender loving touch and heard her whisper in my ear that she had left her sick body and that she was very happy where she was.

Grit was a person who always cared more about others than about herself and never let herself be distracted. In recent years, it had become increasingly difficult to get her to take time for herself. Particularly because she was always worrying about her children and grandchildren from her first marriage. In addition, after successful years in business, she also had a lot to chew on in terms of her bad decisions. Nevertheless, it did not stop her from continuing on her path. Together, we kept going, supporting each other where we could. And then came the pandemic, which was to make everything even more difficult.

The paths of the cemetery and the gravestones in the middle of the greenery on the trees and the graves overgrown with plants, whose stones had been shaped by nature and thus made a grayed and old impression, testified to a long time and at the same time had something very romantic by the wild growth. After about 15 minutes we arrived at the tree. I handed the urn over to Hendrik, got out of the wheelchair and took my crutches to walk the few meters to the tree through the natural growth.

Arrived at the tree, I saw a black hole in the ground. About 40 cm in diameter. Hendrik stood next to me and pulled a black net around the urn, that then all their children together let into the earth. Before that I spoke the Gayatri Mantra, which Grit had learned more and more by heart during her illness and recited for inner healing, in addition to what I recorded for her as a voice memo to play on her cell phone.

The Gayatri Mantra is one of the most important and strongest Vedic hymns of all, which are recited as a mantra written in verse. Its effect is about uniting with the inner sun of truth, being one with the creative power, to lead the soul to enlightenment.

As I recited the mantra, I was accompanied by my brother and cousin and my daughter, whom we had taught the mantra to as a child. Just as we had learned it as children.

After the children had lowered the urn into the ground, each of the guests present took a piece of earth and threw it into the hole. At the same time we played their favorite song by Karat “Über sieben Brücken musst Du gehen” (You have to go over seven bridges), which triggered another flood of tears in me. Many could not hold back and gave free rein to their grief.

We stood around the tree for some more time going back and forth talking and hugging. Some guests had already left and so the gathering of 30 guests thinned out until there were just a few of us, who then walked back to the chapel together and we then said goodbye to each other there with a final hug that day.

We, James, myself and my daughter and the funeral director with his assistant were the last to say goodbye to each other. Afterwards we spent some more time with James and drove him to the airport.



If the laws in Germany had been different, I would have loved to scatter her ashes in the Baltic Sea according to her dream and wish.

 It is the 4th of January 2023. My daughter and I have awakened and realize how exhausted we still are from the day before the funeral. Mentally as well as physically. Without words it was clear to both of us that today we had to surrender into the emptiness of BEING, in order to slowly and step by step make room for a new beginning. A new beginning that has no goal and no vision, but only one thing, to humbly accept the preciousness and fragility of life, to feel every minute of one’s own breath, in order to be able to transform the sadness into a new joy of life.


Do not wait for death, take care of your health and live your life in the here and now.

With love



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How I found out that I have the Post Polio Syndrome

How I found out that I have the Post Polio Syndrome

The idea of this blog came to me about 3 years ago. At that time I was but more busy than I expected and also it was the time were I started feeling more frequently fatigue and that was when my internal radar starting warning me about PPS (Post Polio Syndrome). But it took another 11 month to go to a neurologist. By the way the only one in Berlin who has the knowledge about PPS from his expertise and he is one out of three specialists in Germany for about 30.000 polio survivors living in Berlin.

It wasn’t  the first time I went to see this doctor and luckily he was also living in Berlin and not in another city. It was the year 2008 were I heard of him and went to see him too. My appointment was set for a checkup and diagnose regarding PPS. And he did a thorough checkup including a electromyography. Even while doing the checkup he told me that I am as far away from PPS as he is from winning a lotto jackpot. I told him if he´d ever win I´d come back for my share. We both laughed.

Many years back when I first came to know about PPS, which I personally think was quite late in my life, I was 31 years old and I thought it could happen but that it doesn’t have to and why should it happen to me. With this thought I ignored the whole issue until in 2008 I started feeling some weakness and exhaustion in my life. Luckily it wasn’t PPS. It was in 2019 when my new orthopedic doctor prescribed me a wheelchair to relieve my legs and arms from the weight I had put on my arms and shoulders for walking with crutches which I had been now doing so since 2006.

After 14 years I decided to have another checkup and I was happy when I found out that the doctor from 2008 was still active. I wrote him an email and got a call back from his secretary who scheduled the appointment with me. Actually I wasn’t surprised when he diagnosed me PPS. My internal radar had already told me but I needed another professional feedback based on medical facts. Before leaving his office I was about to give him my insurance card but then he told me that the insurance wouldn’t pay this medical checkup and that all costs are covered by a foundation for people with polio cases. I was positively surprised and told him so. He also recommended me to another Dr. who is an orthopedic close by another German city since he was a neurologist I would be needing also an orthopedic doctor specialized on polio and post polio syndrome for further treatment. Later it turned out that the other doctor had to be paid also on my own. There was no foundation covering this up for me. 

30 days after my 2nd checkup in 2020 I had an accident by falling out of my wheelchair with my full body weight on to my right shoulder. It really hurt and I wasn’t able to move my arm properly anymore. Every movement would be painful. A pain like if someone would prick me with a needle inside my muscle. Taking painkillers I went to the ER of a nearby hospital and had an MRT done which showed that I had torn my rotator cuff of my right shoulder and that I needed surgery asap. 2 weeks later I underwent a surgery and was out of work for 4 month.

After 2 years now since this all happened I have to admit that I actually new that PPS had hit me but beliving in my ability to move forward and not to stop kept me from realising that I need a different pace now. Not because I am getting older although my age mantra is: I am always 28; but because PPS teaches me now to look at life not too fast. Meaning slow down your inner train!