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Last evening Jouk passed away. I feel deeply grateful to have known and to have worked with her. After taking care of her young children she started eight years ago working for a colleague. He introduced her to me and to UNOO. Since she lived one and a half hours from the office I never met her the first months. But our relationship was intimate right from the beginning.

She was already sick and that gave a depth to our telephone conversations and an intimacy that I hadn’t experienced before. I gave myself the task to bring some lightness in her life. So most of our conversations ended laughing. Business we did by email since my carkit is lousy and her phone wasn’t too good either. It felt as if we understood each other by just listening to the tone of our voices. We were there to support each other. Last week she was even sending books and invoices for me. Yesterday I rerouted her work email address to mine and it’s incredible how many emails she gets from people to update her about what they are doing. As her husband said: she was the glue and the spider in the web.

I wish her husband and teenage children all the strength they need. I promised her yesterday that we will be there for them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis picture is from September 23, 2010. Jouk send it by email:

“Dear Hein and Erik, my energy is coming back. My recovery is successful. Before we went to the hospital today I saw this sunflower that is broken by the storm. But do you see how she is coming back and blossoming now? That is me.

Thank you for your loving support of the past 9 months and please keep sending small angels.”

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Annelies Hupkes says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Jouk and me had some talks about cancer and how to deal with it since my husband was having the same disease. Strong woman, soft woman, wise woman.

  • Hein says:

    Thank you. Yesterday 300 people said her goodbye and the qualities that you mention were emphasized during her cremation. It was a special meeting and I felt honored to say a few words.

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