1 April 2015, Wednesday – Home Again

We get up early as our flight to Leipzig leaves at 6.50 AM. The windstorm is over so we are able to land safely at the airport.
I am at home and once again fall into a deep void. During the last few days we got into a normal routine, but that´s over. Now we´re on our own and have to force ourselves to do the necessary things or kill time.
I find an email with a photo attached which Olli from the triathlon club in Düsseldorf sent me. He and other group members took part in the winter run in Duisburg which Jens had also registered for. Olli crossed the finish line wearing Jens´ start number under his sport shirt and the whole group wore a photo of Jens on their backs during the run.
He also writes: “In addition to the photo on our backs we also wore white armbands or wristbands with Jens´ name written on them. You can only see fourDuisburger Winterlauf of us in the photo but on race day there were more than ten of us. It was a very special moment for all of us, especially as we crossed the finish line with Jens!! We all linked arms – we knew that on that day it wasn´t about the best finish time. Jens´ smile gave us strength.” I am impressed and very touched.
The clock seems to stand still. I sit on the couch and think about what I could do. I have lost interest in my old hobbies: learning languages, reading books and writing stories, which used to be fun. I can´t bring myself to accomplish anything and do only the necessary housework.
I pick up the newspaper. On the cover it says that the baby elephant in our zoo had to be put down. It was only six days old. After a leg operation it was too exhausted to survive.
Everything dies, I think, and fight back tears. At least the baby elephant could have lived.
I leaf through the paper. Germanwings! Information on the crash is the only thing that interests me:

Investigators discovered torn-up medical leave notes from doctors in the co-pilot´s flat in Düsseldorf. He was unfit for work on the day he crashed flight 4U9525 into the mountainside. A doctor isn’t required to inform the patient’s employer about any illness. Prescription drugs used to treat manic depression, a large amount of sleeping pills and unopened packages of psychotropic drugs were also found. – The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane was suicidal years before the crash and underwent psychiatric treatment. – He had recently been suffering from a detached retina and severe vision problems which can cost a pilot his job if not treated promptly. He could only see about 30 % of objects. – Six years ago he interrupted his pilot training for several months.

How could no one have noticed the co-pilot´s depression? What about his mother? What happened in his childhood? Something must have happened to allow him to commit mass murder in cold blood, to show such evil. Those responsible did not do their jobs! Should health data be made available to employers? The questions haunt me and sadly I have no answers. I hope that one day the investigators and lawyers will.
I sit on the couch for a long time and brood.
When will we finally be able to find peace?

© Brigitte Voß / Translation: Ellen Rosenbaum


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