8 July 2015, Wednesday – States of mind

We´re doing worse than expected since Jens´s funeral and it feels like we´ve plunged into a deep abyss. Body and soul are rebelling and refuse to realise that our son is in the grave where we often stand. In contrast, our minds clearly grasp the finality of his existence – he is dead. Feelings, however, speak a different language. I dream that Jens rings me from the south of France and explains why he hasn´t been in contact. Of course he will come home straightaway.
This conflict is exhausting, makes sleep impossible and culminates in strange illnesses, leaving my doctors puzzled. My psychologist tries to help me and nudges me gently back towards life. The conversations are tiring as my memories are especially vivid. Sometimes I leave her office in a more agitated state than before.
The questions of guilt and responsibility gnaw at me intensely.
Lubitz was a copilot for a regional airline owned by Lufthansa. The passengers and crew trusted him and thus Germanwings. They believed in a system of controlled safety and were not afraid that there could be huge gaps in it.
As the French prosecutor announced at the press conference on 11 June 2015 in Paris, Andreas Lubitz had severe depression and was not fit to fly at the time of the disaster. He was despondent, unstable and mentally ill. The relationship between medical confidentiality and flight safety must be resolved. How and why can a pilot who has the intention to harm passengers be in the cockpit although there are medical standards for the flight crew? Within one month Lubitz had consulted numerous doctors, including several eye specialists, as he feared he was going blind. He is said to have suffered from massive vision problems. Why did he fly anyway?
I´m extremely interested in the answers to the questions raised by the prosecutor. If I knew them I could better handle the horror of the tragedy.
The three investigative judges appointed by the French prosecutor have opened an inquiry against “unknown parties“ for involuntary homicide.
At the beginning I forgave Lufthansa/Germanwings when something didn´t work, even when they never rang back to tell us, Jens´s parents, if he was on the passenger list. My firm conviction was that we and Lufthansa/Germanwings together experienced something incomprehensible.
That changed significantly in the two weeks before Jens´s casket was returned.
Has the airline ever even uttered the word responsibility? Our son and the other passengers were murdered, and the grief of our loss will accompany us for the rest of our lives.
We visit the funeral home director once again in order to pick up the photograph we gave them for Jens´s funeral.
The director immediately sees red when the conversation turns to Lufthansa as she is still upset at how we were all treated by the Care Center. Even she had to fight the obstacles Germanwings put in our way before the funeral. She feels guilty that she didn´t do enough for us, which we vehemently disagree with.
Memories of Jens overwhelm me no matter where we are:
The weather´s nice so we try to find a little peace at our long term campsite in the forest. Despite the sunshine and the birds twittering my deep pain churns my soul. The family were happy here. The boys romped around, we hiked together, went on bike trips, played table tennis like mad, etc. He loved the campsite his whole life.
Or, we walk past a playground. I´m happy to see children laughing and running around when suddenly I see a young Jens in their midst. Tears immediately spring to my eyes. I shake my head as if to chase away the illusion and quickly pull my husband away.
It´s like a vision. I feel a connection to him everywhere.
Pointless brooding and debilitating grief make sleep elusive.
We decide to ask our doctor to prescribe a health spa holiday. We simply want to get as far away as possible, to be alone and see and hear something different.

© Brigitte Voß / Translation: Ellen Rosenbaum


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