So I’m dead. That’s not so bad, at least, not for me. I do not want to diminish your grief. I wish I could comfort you all, I hate the idea that my death is hurting you. But, for me, it’s not so bad. I have done as much as I possibly could do and died with a smile. Satisfied. I died like myself, like Garmt, the man I am. Used to be.

It has been quite a luxurious death. I had been dying for weeks. My head ached while life was gradually slipping out. With every farewell I died a little. As every day dawned I gave up a part of the fight. It is a beautiful way to (let) go. I could almost fly with all the feathers I have received in the last few weeks (shoved up my ass). With all the love and so many loved ones surrounding me while dying, for years already, I have been permitted an exceptional luxury.

My message, the one I want the whole world to hear is quite clear, isn’t it? No? Then just buy my book! Ha ha! Okay then, here are a few last tips – apart from the fact that everyone must live and die just like me, damn it.

  • Buy the most expensive speakers you can afford – seriously.
  • Loving yourself is empty of meaning if you don’t learn to balance it, by being tough on yourself too.
  • I have learnt recently from Iris that there are some things you must learn to ‘let go’. Pick your battles and don’t hold grudges. Please try to learn this quicker than I did.
  • Don’t scratch your balls if you have been cutting up red peppers. This is something I can’t repeat often enough.
  • Learn to listen. “Everything” will give you an answer if you listen well.
  • Do as I do, or actually don’t. Discover who you really are and then be yourself.

I pick a few names from the endless list of those to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude.

First of all, Iris. It is difficult to imagine how you kept on going. Through it all, we managed to stay faithful to each other, in our own way, a way that even we ourselves did not always quite understand. I am so amazingly grateful that Zoë will grow up with you by her side. It is a wonderful thing that we found each other and that we stayed together. I am with you still.

I was a pain in the ass for the health system. Worse still, I was actually proud of that. For example, the rehabilitation specialist had to call me to order when once again, I accused a well-meaning dietician of being like Hitler. Sorry.
The combination of euthanasia and organ donations was not yet practiced in this province. So an obstinate paralysed professional critic was indeed a fine first opportunity for the hospital, wasn’t it? The complexity of the whole operation was almost unimaginable. The full team of specialists in the UMCU and everybody working with them, deserve my profound thanks for making possible my last wish. Thank you so very much. The two doctors who monitored my care at home gave me a service beyond price. Thank you, Inge. Thank you, Irene.

ALS, I wish you’ll drop dead and I know you feel the pain of my kick in your balls. You’ve taken my future, you caused only pain to those whom I love and you robbed my family. You are a bastard and you will die, eventually.  And yet, and also… Thanks for your inspiration and the fight. Thank you for your guts to stand up to me. Thank you for what you brought out in me and thank you for the luxurious death.

Zoë, without your love I could not have coped for so long. Iris, I love you.

My love and light remain. Just feel, take a look. I’m still there. Thank you.

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