‘The days you say goodbye can be some of the most beautiful’

Saying goodbye. Everyone has to deal with that in life. We say goodbye to our loved ones. To the business we’ve built up with love. To the health we’ve come to cherish so much. In the podcast WATT IS FAREWELL, David van Iersel and Stefani de Bie discuss with their guests the value of saying goodbye.

Stefani de Bie is a Funeral Director at Hommage Uitvaarten. Everyday from behind the doors, she sees just how hard, but also how beautiful, saying goodbye can be. Stefani: “Approaching death is often an elephant in the room. It is hardly ever spoken about out loud because it’s too painful a subject. I often visit people’s homes where someone is in the last phase of their life. But calling it death is considered scary. And if we don’t talk about it, then it’s not there. But at the same time, everyone is busy processing it. The person who is ill as well as the people close to them. My hope is that I can lower the threshold by talking about death. Because the days you say goodbye can be some of the most beautiful in your life.

Sickbeds can be tough to handle, but there can also be kindness in them. Because you have the opportunity to make something really beautiful out of that time you still have left. I sometimes hear: ‘The last time we spent together was so precious.’ When you know that death is near, you start looking at life differently. You become more aware of every single day. Of every moment. You experience everything more intensely. Material things suddenly become unimportant. And, as harsh as it may sound, death creates space again for something new.”Farewell in the broadest terms
WATT IS FAREWELL is not only about death, but also about other forms of goodbye. Stefani: “One very good example is the story of Paul Ramakers, who lost his leg years ago. All of a sudden, he bid farewell to his fast-paced life. He had always been busy with his career. His family came second. Until he felt a lump on his leg and it turned out to be a tumour. The amputation of his leg literally made him slow down.”

“I asked Paul the question: ‘If you had two choices: either having your leg and your old life back, or keeping your life now without your leg. He didn’t hesitate for a moment. His gets so much more out of his life now. The loss of his leg marked the beginning of a new life. Now he’s on stage inspiring others to change the course of their lives.”

Listen to the Podcast WATT IS FAREWELL
The story of Paul Ramakers is just one of the many inspiring stories Stefani and David have collected. You can listen to them here.


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