Use the chance you have

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Maybe you wonder why I had been a bit silent over the last days and weeks. Or at least more silent than you are used to from me. Reason for this was the death of my second brother and a few days ago the death of my beloved 16 year old dog. I took this and a lot of questions I was asking myself as a reason for writing this blog post after I was thinking a lot about, if I should or should not, as I usually do not want to post family related things on the Web. But I see a reason for this and think that maybe I can help some of you avoiding possible mistakes or find a small piece of help.

This post also might be a bit more personal than you expect, but I somehow feel like I have to write it. When I started to write it on December 21st, 2015, I did not actually know, if I would ever publish it. And still today, on January 12th 19th, I am not sure. If you read this right now, I did.

The last 5 to 6 years had been some of the best years I ever had. Not only my private life with my wonderful family is just pure joy – as it always has been – but also business wise it was great. I started beyond tellerrand in 2011 and it turned into my full time business. The best thing at this job: I love organising, planning and running it.

Then, two and a half year ago in August, all of a sudden one of my brothers died. It hit us all without any notice and my brother has not been ill before this, so that you can say you would have expected it. I remember, I had a broken leg and we were on the way to the funeral of our grandma, when my mum called me and told me they found my brother dead. I never thought that my brain would not be able to process anything – this was the first time. I simply did not understand this. Later, when I realised what happened, I was asking myself a lot of questions.

Why didn’t I visit him in the last time?

Why didn’t I call him lately?

Should I have checked if he is ok more often?

… and so on.

I call these questions the “Why didn’t I” questions. Of course you will always ask yourself some of these questions, even if you did everything from an outside view, that was possible, but – maybe – if you use your chance todo something instead of saying “I should call my brother again these days.” or “I did not speak to my friend for a while, I should visit him to have a coffee somewhen.”, you’ll at least not argue too much with yourself.

I used the death of my first brother as a chance to try and find my dad (who is not the dad of my two brothers) again whom I have seen last about 25 years ago, just to speak to him and to find out if he is still alive. I managed to find him, only to hear that he does not want to have contact, which I accepted, but I was glad, I did not miss out the chance to find him before this chance does not exist anymore. And I made very clear that he still is able to get in touch with me, even though he said he does not want me to contact him (the background story of all this is way too complex and irrelevant to mention and explain it right here)

Then, last December right before Christmas, my second brother died. This time we knew that this would be coming as he was fighting cancer for 10 years already. Even though it was hard and very sad, I was so pleased that I had the chance to peacefully say good bye to him before he went. It still is sad and still not understandable, but the it was not as unexpected as with the death of my first brother and therefore somehow no as painful – at least for me. He died at home with his family being with him, just as he wished to.

I, again, used this chance to contact my dad, to let him know that also my other brother is going to die and I simply would not forgive myself, if I did not try my best to see if we could not meet one day. He got back to me and agreed, that we should sooner or later and that I was right.

So, what I want to say with telling you this story is not, that you all should be sorry for me now. It is really sad, but really only I want to state, that you should really use the chances you have to do what you are thinking about. Do not only think that you should visit one of your friends again. Simply do it! Do not only think about calling your friend one day, get your f***ing mobile out of your pocket and call now! It never has been easier to stay in touch with someone than these days. And I promise, that you won’t forgive yourself if you hear that your friend got hit by a bus just two days after you thought you should call or visit her/him again.

To finish, I want to add how important it also is to try to find something positive, even in the worst situation. That this helps – at least me – to see things in a much better light.

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