I´m often irritated and impatient when something doesn´t work, for example, when the plumber doesn´t show up as planned, or that my computer and smartphone increasingly have a mind of their own. I swear at the drop of a hat. I don´t recognise myself — my friendly, down-to-earth self is gone.
My mind often goes blank when I watch TV as my thoughts are elsewhere. My husband has to explain what I´ve missed. I´m knackered and weary, and the lack of sleep is starting to take its toll. I feel my chronic pain more intensely. The scale reacts and shows 44 kg.
Friends often ring (most of them live in distant states) to hear how we´re doing. They help just by listening. It´s OK with us if they don´t talk too much. The main thing is that we feel they are there; that they care about us and sympathise with us. That does us good.
A package also arrives from Japan. We´re happy about the photo books which show the scenic beauty of the country.I reach for my laptop immediately to thank Seiji-san and his family:
“What a surprise to receive a package from faraway Japan. The colourful photos are just the right thing as I haven´t read at all since Jens´s death. I even wonder what some characters could mean, which under better circumstances I would have known. Thank you very, very much…“
Several weeks ago an international flower service delivered a colourful bouquet from Australian friends. That also gives us strength.
The media report on a letter in which the families of the Haltern victims attack Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa´s CEO. I happen to see the news on the internet. Their anger is understandable, but we feel we were treated worse regarding the return of Jens´s remains. It was as though, to the airline, we didn´t exist, coming from far-off Saxony.
ZDF (TV network) morgenmagazin moma (programme) asked if we would be interested in being interviewed for a TV report. We spontaneously declined as it would be too unsettling. I thought about it afterwards. The reporter made her request convincingly and sympathetically, and I almost relented on the telephone. I persuaded my husband and reached for the phone to let them know we were willing. We have a lot to say and want to let the public know.
The camera crew is arriving today because tomorrow we are flying to Le Vernet for the second funeral. The piece will air the day after tomorrow.
The flurry of activity will temporarily distract us from thinking about the second grave.
We´re expecting the ZDF morgenmagazin team from Berlin around noon. The reporter arrives first and prepares us by explaining the process and finding out what´s important to us. The cameraman and audio technician arrive a bit later. They set up the camera, attach microphones to our clothing, check the sound and lighting, etc. They also rearrange the room with our consent. They move the round table to one side and put two chairs next to each other where we should sit.
They start recording. The reporter asks questions but often just lets us speak. The light that shines on us is bright but not blinding, and the reporter´s pleasant voice and her encouraging manner are calming. I try to ignore the camera. We spend a good hour answering her questions.
Before they leave they put the furniture back.
After the ZDF team say goodbye we pack our bags for the following day.
© Brigitte Voß / Translation: Ellen Rosenbaum