3 April 2015 (Good Friday) to 6 April 2015 (Easter Monday)

How will we celebrate holidays like Easter, Christmas, even Jens´ birthday in future? I have no idea. Our lives are changed and reality is a hard slap in the face.
I feel like I need professional help as the tension inside me grows. I can barely sleep, am plagued by nightmares, concerned about my huge memory gaps, my concentration is shot, etc. I flinch at the slightest noise and whenever the phone rings. But I am most worried about my emotional unrest and irregular heartbeat. And who knows what kind of future implications this will have on my health? The mind can take on a life of its own. But I, of all people, should see a psychologist?? In the past, if I ever suffered a setback I had psychotherapy, but then I decided never to do that again!
At least we have chosen to accept the invitation for emergency pastoral care in Düsseldorf. Next week they are organising a meeting with the families of the victims´ of the Germanwings disaster and experts from various specialist fields.
Jens´ best friend plans to visit us on Easter Sunday. It´s a strange feeling when we talk to him or about him as he has the same first name as our son. He cautiously said his name on the telephone but quickly added his surname.
We had always been fond of each other but unfortunately lost contact over the years. This terrible disaster has brought us back together. Although we didn´t know his parents, they knew our son, and both wrote condolence cards filled with memories of Jens. The boys had practically lived at each other´s houses when they were young.
Jens and his wife sit on the couch and are very upset by Jens´ death. We talk about the horrible event and the sadness that threatens to tear us apart, but we also remember the wonderful times when he was alive. They are gone for all eternity!
The young couple offers their help whenever we need it and would also like to stay in touch. Maybe we could take an excursion together sometime? We would like to but who knows if we´ll ever be up to anything like that again.
They say goodbye. Being together did us good.
We´re alone again and I am haunted by pictures of the past. I see Jens as a child before me, hunting Easter eggs with his brother. Once again I hear their shouts of glee as they discover the sweets. We should have enjoyed this time much more.
I´m pulled out of my thoughts by the doorbell: Thomas and his wife and daughter are here. It´s nice when we´re together, but I can´t really play with my granddaughter the way I used to. I just don´t have it in me to frolic with exuberance. I do enjoy her baby talk. She keeps up a running commentary of everything going on around her and what she´s doing at the moment, just as uninhibited in her babbling as Jens once was.

The three of them, Melanie and Olli from the Düsseldorf triathlon club just returned from France yesterday. They, too, stood at the memorial in Le Vernet, near the site of the disaster. They describe their experience and tell us that they lay Jens´ triathlon suit at the memorial. He loved to wear it in competitions.

It´s not easy for any of the family members to visit the crash site, but nonetheless they do. They want to see it to try to make sense of the horrific thing that happened there. It will probably always remain an attempt. I will never be able to comprehend it!

© Brigitte Voß / Translation: Ellen Rosenbaum


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