My great friend and colleague Wim passed away yesterday, totally unexpected. During the night, probably while sleeping, he got a heart attack. My friends back home tell me he looks at total peace and they expect him to wake up any moment. As if it is a cruel joke. He was supposed to join us next week in Sri Lanka and we were all looking so much forward to that. It’s beyond comprehension.
The past years he has become immensely important to me. His love, his enthusiasm, his encouragement and stimulation and just the person he was. We enjoyed each others company enormously and he was one of the few for whom I didn’t have any secret. Or better: I could share everything with. He made me a better person by listening to me, sharing his stories and always supporting me. I’ve changed during the time that we were together and I feel grateful for that. He has left his marks within me. By looking inwardly I will always find him. That makes the loss a little less.
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Back home again from Sri Lanka. I visited Wim at his house. He looks soft and present. But he passed away definitely. Friday will be his funeral. It is going to be a day to remember, to celebrate his life. In the plane back I started to write a book about us. It brings structure to the parts that we wrote together last year.
Buddhism is everywhere in Sri Lanka. Reincarnation is a given. I felt closely connected to him and reassured that it isn’t over. We will keep connected for a long time.
Funeral was like the one I can imagine for myself. Cafe kind of setting, many people, songs and speeches, beautifully painted coffin and many many pictures of his life. Great that we skipped the traditional anonymous kind of places and routine speeches. We did it all ourselves in a beautiful way. That meant a lot of distraction while organizing. Now normal life without him starts.
Before he passed away he gave me my birthday present: reading my horoscope by an astrologist. What a wonderful gift 21 days after he died. The stars tell me I need to write my next book. I’ll dedicate it to Wim.
New York Times, The lives they loved,
Wim Beijderwellen, 1953-2013
Wim loved to watch the world through the lens of his video camera. He interviewed people with disabilities, their caretakers and managers for hours. Back home he edited it to wonderful documentaries full of love and compassion. With fresh eyes he showed us our human potential. He was trained as a biologist and that explained to him his rare capacity to see the connections invisible to many. He realized the power of video and dealt with it with the utmost integrity. He died unexpectedly in the middle of a new project: show the world how international well known leaders work on their inner and relational development.
It was always joyful to be together, no matter what my or his mood was. Unconditionally he supported his friends and colleagues. He made me a better person by listening to me, sharing his stories and supporting me with his loving kindness. I’ve changed during the years that we were together and I feel grateful for that. He has left his marks within me. By looking inwardly I will always find him. That makes the loss a little less.