My last goodbye

4 years ago april 28th 2020.

Covid had just taken over the world and all of the sudden my dad passed away in his sleep.  

My dad meant the world to me, he was my superhero, my advisor, critic and supporter in one. 

And I always stayed his little girl.  We called at least one time a day sometimes or well a lot of times without a reason haha. If I didn’t call he would come up with an excuse.  

Now I wonder how he even had the time, as we now know that he also did the same with my brother but all the people that later told us how often they spoke with him was amazing.

How he always helped other people or wanted to help them how much he meant in other peoples life aside from mine and my family. How many lives he changed  that people told us later on. I wish he realized that while he was still alive, it makes me even more grateful and more proud for having him as my dad.

The whole week from his passing to the actual funeral there was a lot to arrange and take care of. We all believe we gave him a better and beautiful goodbye then he wished for, thanks to Covid actually as that gave us some options that we wouldn’t have before I guess. And all through the week there was a lot of sh*t to laugh about as well. 

Grief comes in waves, and I wasn’t able to process the loss well as there was too much sh*t coming one after another, until  months ago I was mentally pushed to the edge and I had no other choice then to have a pity party myself and look all the grief and pain in the eye. 

It’s been a whole proces, painful and often lonely but also very insightful, educational and grateful, filled with love on a whole different and new level.


Today I  feel everything at the same time, the missing him part is as a heartache you never recover from, but all the great memories warm my heart at the same time. And even when I am at the saddest I feel so grateful that I had someone that special in my life.


I was the last person to speak at his funeral at the cemetery just before we had to leave him behind.  I’ve put the text down below.

If you have lost someone you love, remember that it is okay to feel everything you feel, no matter what it is, no matter how long it’s been, no matter what connection. Your feelings are legit, don’t ignore them. Because from my experience the longer you do the harder it will hit you later on.  

It’s okay to not be okay all the time….. 



When we were little we didn’t go on holiday to a place far away. Johan had built a hut
in the garden and persuaded me to sleep in it. Dad didn’t think this was a very
good idea and decided to get Grandpa’s folding caravan and set it up in the

That thing smelled really musty, but we were camping all summer holidays, we even
had a TV, so we first looked at what channel Dad was watching and then we put
that on too. Every year we did the same thing, the entire grass in the front
garden was brown, but the caravan came back every year.

In the summer we went to a tour of an American automobile club. Together in a red

convertible, we had not put on any sunscreen and it was nice in the sun, but we
were badly burned, we looked like 2 tomatoes. Dad sold the car there right

 We went on holiday to England in an American car. It broke, and seemed to be repaired

by friends, so we went back home. Only mom had turned the map upside down while
reading a map and when we found out we were already in the center of London.

Dad had asked a taxi driver to lead the way for us, and we followed. Yes which taxi is
it? Yes, the black one, but there are 10 driving in front of us?

Of course the car overheated again and we were standing there waiting for it to
cool down so we could continue driving.

Suddenly a sight of a homeless man at Dad’s window asking for some small change, and
suddenly Dad could speak fluent English and shouted Shut Up!

Johan and I sat in the back, quickly kicking the baseball bat we had bought the day
before under the couch, you never know.

Such an adventurer as he was, he also sent us on a trip, Johan and I together to 

England where it turned out that Dad had given us old banknotes that were no

longer valid and had to watch a whole movie to get them exchanged so that we
could simply pay. Where the car also broke down and he said on the phone: It’s
exciting, you’ll learn something from that. But in the meantime I kept calling
to see what was going on. To Florida, where we have practically the same photos
of us as our parents together.

Later he encouraged me to go to Canada, and last year to New York. When I was so afraid
to go on stage I quickly called home, he answered, I started crying and he
asked isn’t it nice? Yes, it’s great, but what if people don’t laugh? He just
said… So what? And I thought huh? Yes, that was the shortest and best advice,
so what.


When I was a fan of a band and traveled everywhere by train, Dad decided that I should
call him on the way and tell him that I wasn’t coming home but that I was going
to another gig and would sleep at the station or something because a girlfriend
kept made me sit and went everywhere. Because he said, you call and I will come
pick you up there. Then the band had another performance, dad was already ready
and said come on, hurry up, I got in and he said we’ll quickly drive to the
other performance. It was a long drive from Brabant back to Gelderland, but he
did it.


I had no work so he thought I could work in the garden center in Germany. I didn’t like
it at all, but hey, work is work. The best part was Tuesday morning, because
then he drove to TerHuurne, and since we were both in the car for a long time,
we called each other, usually until I had crossed the border.


Dad said you should go to some meetings, then you will meet new people, and that is
always educational and useful. So I just went along. We went together, at first
I thought we can’t go home yet? But then there was still someone who wanted to
talk to him.

Later he said, let’s go home, yes, and someone came to talk to me. That we walked
outside and he said I know a lot of people but you that’s not normal how many
people you know.

When we
went to congratulate the mayor and stood in line, Dad asked yes, should I give
her 3 kisses now? I said well, I would do that, you will never get that chance
again. He hesitated, she already did it herself. I suddenly say yes, everyone
was looking forward to being able to give you 3 kisses, so was I, I was also
looking forward to being able to give your husband 3 kisses too, so if you
don’t mind finds…. We all laughed so hard that everyone stood watching to see
what was happening.

When she said goodbye later, she hugged me all the way and I joked, well, Dad, you were
right, I have a new girlfriend.

Later we went separately again, because we never left at the same time. If daddy wasn’t
there they asked me, isn’t your daddy there? And they asked him, isn’t your
daughter here yet?

At the annual fair in Maarssen my stand became more of a tourist attraction, he came
up with all kinds of hilarious comments to sell, he even had a woman wait on a
walker so that I could find a suitable necklace for her. He and Mom once did an
entire market at the meeting point for me so that I could go to another market
and someone else could open the store. Did mom call me to find out what
something should cost and did I hear dad selling something in the background,
or did mom say yes, your father is now getting smoked sausage again, I said, he
eats the sales right away? It became a competition to see who could sell the
most jewelry.

Every Easter or Christmas Day dad wanted to have brunch, one year he called Van der
Valk and it was full, he was transferred from one branch to another and it went
further and further away until he found a place in Nuland. Day out, grab a bite
to eat.

Once when Wesley wanted to hide Easter eggs and Joyce and I had to look for them,
the whole family hid except dad who came to get us and said they were hiding.
We sat in the room thinking about how we could outsmart them, the rest climbed
out through the window so they couldn’t be found, we spent a whole afternoon.

Dad always enjoyed having fun together, a day of being a stuntman/woman for mom’s
birthday where we had to perform all kinds of stunts, all together, a day at
the zoo in Emmen because it looked so fun on TV and we had 4 free tickets, a
car had to be rented so that we could all go in 1 car, which was more fun.
Where he started talking seriously to people and they looked at him strangely,
but he was just making fun of them and we kept laughing. The Anne Frank house
was so busy that we went to Madame Tussauds and took a boat tour. The railway
museum, but also eating together on the farm every Monday evening.

Rule 1
was Dad is always right and rule 2 was, if Dad is not right then rule 1 comes
into effect.

When I recently thought that the minced meat was no longer good, he said to roast it
for the dogs, they will eat it without throwing it away. On Saturday evening
after dinner I was roasting minced meat for my parents’ dogs.

Dear Dad,

We your family were your why, the reason why you did everything you did, and we can never be grateful enough for everything you and mom did for us.

But at the same time you were also my why. The other day we joked and I said you can’t die at all because I don’t have a boyfriend or a man in my life, you are the man in my life and you have that task, so I can’t live without you at all. You said yes, isn’t it time you looked for a boyfriend and I said no, pff that stuff. This is going very well.

Building my house, someone else does that with his partner, you and mom did that with me. You were the supervisor and you checked how many times a day, you kept an eye on everything and made sure that everyone could go through one after the other so that I could get into my house as quickly as possible. When the kitchen came and we stood together with our mouths open, watching the cupboards close.

You recently arranged for me to have a bath in the bathroom because I missed it so much.

I called you for every little thing, you always knew what to do and had the answer to everything. And if you hadn’t spoken to me for a few days or if you needed something, you called, even if it was sometimes with an excuse to call.

I am a daddy’s girl, and it was sometimes difficult for you to let me go, because you always wanted the very best for us. Even though we sometimes saw it in our own way, the end point was the same.

You only wanted the very best for us.

I’m proud to be a daddy’s girl because you are the best.

And now it’s hard for me to let you go, because I wanted to make so many memories with you.

Love knows many languages, and even though we may not always speak the same language at the same time, you cannot spell love, you can only feel it. And everything I keep in my heart, I will never lose.

We miss you so much already, we couldn’t have wished for a better dad, goodbye dear dad.

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