Beginning of November, last year. My friend Bibian just turned 40. She’s very happily married to Klaas, a composer, and has three young, cute children of 6, 10 and 12 years old, called Valentijn, Swip and Lulu. She’s a fun, creative and busy woman: a graphic designer, bass player and lead singer in a band, she owns a record label, loves cooking and crafting… But lately she has been feeling very tired and suffers from a nasty tummy ache that doesn’t stop. When she gets the results back from some hospital tests, her whole life changes in an instant. She has metastatic pancreatic cancer. Incurable. With a frightening short life expectancy.
A shock resonates through her circle of friends. Panic. Tears. Immediately we start to organise ourselves, we will cook for the family during the week, take care of the kids whenever necessary, collect money to help them financially. And we suddenly realise how close death can be, how frail life can be, how we MUST live it, enjoy it, make the most of it as long as it lasts. Seize the Day! And that’s also the message Bibian is resonating when she starts her blog. To somehow cope with her situation, she has picked up an old passion: writing. Every day, she shares her feelings, her fears, her pains, her love, fragments from her daily life, and from her difficult childhood. Her writing is wonderful, witty, beautiful, funny, honest, and addictive. She gets many followers. There are interviews, articles in newspapers, and she starts to write a weekly column in a magazine. She’s approached for a book deal.
Bibian made the most of it. She finished the CD they were working on. Spent wonderful weekends in the countryside with her little family. Met with friends to go to the theatre. Taught her kids how to make the perfect chocolate cake.
She died end of July, at home, surrounded by her loved ones. And her book was published last week. If you’re Dutch, or read Dutch, then this book comes highly recommended. A CD with acoustic songs she recorded with her husband this past spring is included with the book.
Seize the day.
PS Bibian’s husband Klaas also writes a beautiful blog, about his love, and loss, and life. You can find it here.