Adieu Marieke23 October, 2019
Lavinia, Wednesday 23 October 2019
Wheelemia, Marieke Vervoort passed away yesterday, after euthanasia…. I felt a shock through my whole body when I heard the news. I didn’t know her personally, never met her, unfortunately. It was common knowledge, and she never made a secret of it, that she wanted to commit euthanasia when it would get too heavy. I believe that she postponed that ultimate decision very often, because she always found enough reasons to go even further, despite the pain and the decline. She had incredible power, wanted to push her limits over and over again, take on new challenges that drove her body and her mind to the limit. Unbelievable! No one ever does that to her, no one, I’m convinced of that.
For those who have never heard of Wielemie, I include the link to the article in ‘De Standaard’ newspaper announcing her death, as well as the link to the programme on TV 1. I have always admire and worshipped her strength. What a woman, what a beautiful woman, her humour, her sensitivity, her strength, her zest for life, her energy, I would have loved to meet her! When I saw the reportage ‘Het Huis’ on TV 1 (Belgian television) in which Marieke was a guest, I was so impressed – just like the whole of Flanders I think – by what I witnessed then. It was the most captivating programme I ever saw. Only then did I see her real and true power. It sounds contradictory, but the moment she showed her real weakness, there, that night in ‘The House’, in bed, weeping in pain, the muscle cramps, where she lost consciousness because of the pain, at that moment she showed her real strength, her power. What guts do you need to show that to the world, to show how you almost howl like an animal, how you cry from the pain, how your body suddenly plays a cruel game with your mind, torturing you until it faints out of pure self-protection. How the person who assisted her every night could do nothing more than hold her, try to limit her cramps, against her better judgement. And almost every night it was her destiny. That’s pure guts, that’s strength, it’s so beautiful that she wanted to share it. Because she never wanted to arouse pity, because she didn’t want to do that, never. Perhaps she wanted – I think – to show people that she had the right to request euthanasia. But who would we be to judge whether someone has the right to call a stop to their own suffering? I am a supporter of the euthanasia law in Belgium, because at least it gives you the chance to decide for yourself when you have fought enough. It allows you to say goodbye in a very beautiful and dignified way with the people around you that you love most. It is planned, perhaps orchestrated, but it allows you to determine the exact time at which you record the most important moment of your life, your own death. It provides peace, also for the bereaved, at least if they can make peace with it and dare to let go of it. I am thinking with warmth of one of my best friends who, not so long ago, also made that choice. And indeed I hear from his loved ones that they gratefully remember the way in which he said goodbye. I can’t imagine how he and my girlfriend felt when he was on his way to his last date. Enjoying the beautiful sunrise, she told me afterwards…
This is a very heavy blog for the readers, I think, and maybe some also drop out, because maybe people don’t want to read heavy articles full of deep and raw feelings, but this is also part of life, part of my life. Also this makes me who I am, this is also showing my weakness which is my strength at the same time, in my point of view. Showing weakness makes you strong, or maybe even human, and that’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to be a superman or a superwoman, but pure, real, sincere, honest with yourself, that makes you a beautiful person. My experience has always shown that I feel that people who dare to show their weaknesses are much nicer and warmer people. When people try to hide behind a mask, I feel like a fake. This is the beauty of our new life here, of naturist life. Here you meet people who deliberately throw off a piece of mask, in the form of clothing. It creates a lot of vulnerability. And that doesn’t mean that people have to expose their whole lives and their souls, but I do notice that this happens a lot. That we often have very deep conversations with people we have never met, that we forge warm bonds here with people with whom we have an instant good feeling. What a richness, what an enormous enrichment for our soul!
Lavinia literally means ‘purity, authenticity,honesty, openness… We couldn’t give our lastborn a better name!
Annemie ofte Ana
Read here the article from de Standaard: Rolstoelatlete Marieke Vervoort is overleden (NL)
Review here the program with Marieke on TV1 (NL)