8 April 2015, Wednesday – The Passenger List

Dr. Rau, the emergency response psychologist from Düsseldorf, rings me as promised and tells me it´s difficult to find a suitable psychotherapist. She made at least twelve calls. Many of her fellow doctors flatly refused or had no appointments available, and sometimes she received strange answers which she didn´t want to specify. Only one psychologist agreed immediately although she would have to squeeze me in. Dr. Rau gives me the name and address and I thank her.
“Please stay in touch. I´d like to hear how you´re doing.”
“I will.”
We hang up. I´m glad that I reached out.
I open my laptop to do some research and discover that Frau Blume is an expert in treating cancer patients, trauma and bereavement counseling. She is exactly the right person for us. I ring and make an appointment for my husband and myself.
I sit back down at my computer. Apparently the passenger list from Flight 4U9525 is online. I can hardly believe what Melanie said but unfortunately it´s the truth. I find the list, the names of the passengers, their ages, genders, nationalities, professions and of course their seat numbers. Jens was sitting in a window seat on the left side near the front of the plane.
I am horrifed.
How was it for him as the cliffs neared during the rapid descent until the plane scraped against them? How long did the passengers have to endure what must have been sheer terror? Did he notice the pilot frantically pounding on the cockpit door with a hard object, shouting to be let in? Did they take any safety precautions such as assuming the brace position?
How long were the passengers in agony?
These thoughts gnaw at me every day and burrow deeper and deeper in my brain. Maybe Jens was asleep and hadn´t noticed anything? We will never know. At least Melanie received an SMS from him before the flight saying he was knackered and looked forward to sleeping in his own bed.
And what am I to make of the news that a video of the last minutes before the crash has surfaced? Is it a fake? Should I look for it?
No, I better not. My nerves couldn´t bear it.

© Brigitte Voß / Translation: Ellen Rosenbaum

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