Caecil: Toast or stun

For today I had prepared myself for my weekly blog for Ik Pas; I had chosen my subject, I had simmered on it and devised storylines for it. Somehow I couldn't get it right on paper. As if all the ideas in my head kept running around and refusing to line up. Old-fashioned procrastination took hold of me, because that's how it works when you want or have to do something and you don't have the form. I turned on the washing machine, let the dog out for a while, made another coffee. But in the end I grabbed my laptop anyway to discharge my task. Beautiful, old Dutch language ;-).

Then, about an hour ago, the message from the NOS came on my mobile about a shooting incident in Utrecht. Two of our children are in Utrecht today, one for work, the other for study. The first thing I did was message our family app to make sure they were okay. Fortunately that was the case. Student daughter first texted that she had been on the bus in the same neighborhood at the same time as the incident and she just reported that all doors of the Hogeschool are closed because it is suspected that the perpetrator is nearby. My heart is racing and I force myself to stay calm. It is of course horrible what is happening in Utrecht, but let my children be safe.

Now it's Tuesday. The attack in Utrecht is over, but has cost the lives of at least three people. The perpetrator has been arrested, his motives are currently unknown.

Many people will have opened a bottle yesterday to toast to the good outcome for them and to the fact that they and their loved ones are safe. Life is usually celebrated with a glass of wine or a beer. That increases the festive spirit.

There will be other people who may pour themselves and their loved ones something because they have a great sorrow to bear. Alcohol numbs and softens, though temporarily, our suffering. I know people who have such tremendous sadness in their lives that drinking at least gives them a little bit of support. I don't want to judge; been there, done that. I wish those who, in addition to drink, also have the right people around them who surround them with care and attention.

The great sorrows in my life lose their sharp edges and the peace of aging becomes more and more anchored in me. That forms a basis for me to participate in IkPas and to turn the switch. Maybe forever. But if life should surprise me with something that feels too heavy, I hope above all that I am not alone. And I'm not talking about alcohol.


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