What loss or trauma would you like to share a story about?
As a young twenty-something, my brother left to travel through Venezuela, but he never returned. I wrote a book about it, in which I describe the intense search for him, but also the search that is part of every grief process. Because that’s what it is. I had to search for a way to make the unbearable bearable, to be able to go on living without him.
How did you handle it at the time? What did it mean for you?
The whole search and the waiting for his repatriation was an exhausting time in my life. But I was young, and I still wanted to grab hold of life at the same time. I made space for my sorrow, but I also carried on studying and did the things twenty-year-olds do. I visited Casper’s grave then cycled on to a party. I sobbed as I recalled memories, then packed my bags and went travelling myself. Back and forth between loss and living on. The real standstill didn't come until later, when I wrote my book.
Where do you stand in life today?
With a lot of curiosity and a need to grab chances or create them. I love to approach something with all of the baggage I have got from life. In doing that, I combine my knowledge and experience as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, with my love for language and storytelling and my experience of grief. I love to work collaboratively, so a lot of my projects get their added value from working together, in connection with each other. I am allowed to live, so on the way to death I am consciously making it something beautiful.
Are there issues related to this event that you are grateful for today?
I have managed to fill the void Casper left behind with beautiful memories, but also with new twists and turns, surprising encounters and a kind of profoundness that people who have had similar experiences will certainly understand.
Which woman do you look up to?
Every woman who dares to follow her heart and her ideas courageously and openly, who does good, who prudently gives it their all.