Sometime in the next few days I am going to be allowed to leave my body, my prized but faltering airplane, behind and swing in a big arc to the loving beyond. I can feel the thick swinging cables on either side, with which I remain connected to you. I look forward to meeting you there again someday. Hopefully, just as I have had the privilege of doing for 50 years, you will continue to enjoy the many beautiful things this life has to offer with all your heart, soul and mind.
All Dutch blog posts have been compiled into a Dutch booklet that, for those who want a copy, will be available during my farewell service. This booklet will also be available for download as a PDF later on the same web page mentioned above.
My parents gave me the beautiful names Ingeborg Pauline Margarethe van Dijk. They chose the name Ingeborg because they wanted to name me after my beloved Frisian grandmother Iebeltje. In a book about the meanings of the name Ingeborg they had found the beautiful description ‘fighter for the noble’.
My youngest brother, then just five years old, thought the name was too long for such a little baby. He successfully advocated calling me Inge first. So my birth announcement card had ‘Inge’ on the front and the full names on the inside. When I was seven years old I decided that from now on I wanted to use my full name, Ingeborg. Anyone in the family who accidentally called me Inge paid a penny. After a few weeks we got used to it and ate cake bought from all the pennies.
In the name Ingeborg I have always heard two sounds: on the one hand, the playful Inge, the creative, discovering girl, always full of fun plans and optimism. On the other hand, Borg, the part of me that dared and wanted to take responsibility for actually realizing plans in order to make the world a more beautiful place: the planful, down-to-earth and analytical side of me. At the age of seven I apparently felt I was ready to make that side known to the world as well.
Sometimes the two sides competed with each other in me and then I was usually unintentionally inaccessible to the outside world. If they work together with mutual respect, beautiful things can happen, as I learned by trial and error.
Before we got married I lived in a cozy student house. There was a gray telephone in the hallway; cell phones had not been invented yet. If someone called and it turned out to be for a roommate, it was customary to make a short note of the conversation and place it on the roommate’s desk, with a mention of your name underneath. Repeating myself has not become one of my strongest traits, so when I wrote my name for the umpteenth time under such a note, one day I decided to stop at the b: ‘Your mother called again, Ingeb’. From that day on, my housemates and then more and more intimates started calling me Ingebee.
At the start of this blog, I wanted a blog name with Ingebee in it, to remind myself not to lapse into just an analytical enumeration of medical facts and treatment steps, but rather also to openly show the personal side of my journey to those who wanted to follow me on my journey. In other words: a little b (of Borg) and a lot Inge. Dear Friend came up with the brilliant, sounding names ‘leefmeemetingebee.blog’ as well as the English variant ‘allthewaywithingebee.blog’.
The effect was so much greater than I could have imagined. Because how much and how warmly people sympathized with me and how good that did me! The two swinging cables connected to me show me their full strength, ready to bring me to a new phase in permanent connectedness with you. Just as will happen to you one day with the same cables in your swing ropes, cables which are also permanently connected with me, among others.
In my student days I met Wouter and instantly fell in love with him. For more than half of my life I have also been allowed to bear his beautiful surname: Griffin, the sturdy lion, with the sharp head and wide wings of the independent eagle and the sensitive ears of a horse.
I am Ingeborg Griffioen.
Beautiful people have loved and carried me from childhood.
I have lived, loved, enjoyed, carried, fought for the noble, made mistakes, made excuses, always been allowed to try again, and I have been allowed to learn abundantly and with great pleasure.
An important lesson turned out to be that I, like the other seven billion people on earth, am most beautiful when I am myself, as created by God, i.e. in love.
I was allowed to get to know myself and -how incredibly beautiful that was- you too! I discovered how wonderful it is to be allowed to see people without prejudice in all their beauty and value. To be allowed to feel all their beautiful intentions.
A rich life. I used my little airplane, my little school uniform to the last fiber. Connected forever in enduring and ever enriching love.