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Personal Story Lique

"Your life is always speaking to you. 

The Fundamental spiritual question is: Will you listen?

- Oprah Winfrey


...On a beautiful autumn day in 1971, my father and I were standing in front of a very old big house in a wooded area. Later this turned out to be a children's home in Wassenaar. We went inside and I felt that something was not right. I looked at my father: Why does he have a weird expression on his face, was he nervous? "Dad, where are you going?" I asked my father. "Dad will get something from of the car, I'll be right back". 

But why did not I believe him? I hung on his leg and had an ominous feeling, my stomach turned around and I began to scream and cry very loudly. My father had driven away and would never turn around. "Will he come to pick me up, why does he leave me behind, where are my sisters?" I was so intensely sad, my whole body was crying. I did not understand it at all and felt so let down...

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”

- Joseph Campbell


...One day I came home crying after school. "Why are you crying Lique," my mother asked. "They called me a 'little brown' and say that I do not belong here". "Why are we different from others, where do we come from?" 

My mother replied: "From the Dutch East Indies."

"But why are we here in the Netherlands, do not you want to go back to the Dutch East Indies?". My mother replied "Ah, sit down," and I could tell from her expression that she was sad. I did not get a real answer to my question. And because she was my mother I accepted her answer, she is my mother after all...

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

- Oprah Winfrey


...August 15, 2012, I hear Mr. Kees Jan Wiebinga pronounce the following sentence on the Indies Commemoration: "If Dutch society dwells on the victims and the deceased, to mourn about lost relatives and acquaintances, and about the small and big stories, pass it on to the next generations ". I think to myself: what stories does he have, how do small and large stories pass on to the next generation? What is the small story and what is the big story? Why does the Dutch government not understand us? It's not that difficult, is not it clear what Indo people have experienced in the Dutch East Indies?

Emptiness & Missing

Suddenly I feel a kind of emptiness, a kind of loss. I listen to the stories, and the common thread is that the Indo community has been silent for years. It is true, at home hardly any mention has been made of what my family has been through. Suddenly I had to think back to my mother, on the one occasion when she looked so sad when I asked her why she did not want to return to Indonesia.

I asked myself: have they told their stories but are they not understood? What does this mean for them? I know at least what it meant to me. What meaning do they give to their stories? Why do not my (grand) parents tell stories about the Dutch East Indies, why are they silent about this? I asked myself at that moment: are the stories of Dutch politics and of the Indo community so different?

Go looking

Something in me said: go look, find a way to see why the story of Dutch politics is a different story than that of the Indo people.

How can the silence be broken so that recognition

can take place for all those stories 

of the Dutch Indies I hear here...

“All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.”

- Joseph Campbell

MH17 Bryce & Daisy

On 17 July 2014 I lost my brother Bryce (23) and my sister-in-law Daisy (20) at the MH17.

"I felt that I had to stay calm and switched to autopilot without thinking about it. With two phones - foreign affairs on one ear, the national emergency number on the other - I spent hours trying to find out what had happened. Did I already realize how much impact all of this would have? I do not think so…"

"At the moment the first box came out, I broke. Suddenly everything was so real. During the minutes of silence one person was heartbreakingly screaming. I later heard from relatives that this had been me. That day it became real for me. All of a sudden I realized that Bryce and Daisy could be in one of those boxes. "

"Ten times we went to Eindhoven, in the hope that there would be" something "from Bryce or Daisy. Again and again we were disappointed, because whole bodies were not found. Pieces of thigh, calf, jaw and hip; we had to be content with this. That was all that was left of them. "

"The day we said goodbye to Bryce and Daisy was very tough. I kept the bits of bone that remained. I kissed them, talked to them. Then we put them in a box in the shape of a heart, in the middle of the incinerator. Through a window we watched how the last bits of our loved ones disappeared. "

"The only image I have seen - and I am very sorry about that - is the image of that meadow in Ukraine. 

That all those corpses lay there in the burning sun between the wreckage and nobody was allowed to. 

I felt so powerless! "

"My dear ones have come back in pieces, how do you deal with that?" I do not think anyone has an answer to that, I had to work very hard to see the sun shine, to be able to enjoy again, because no matter how gap MH17 has left in my life, there are more things that matter. "

"I want to focus as much as possible on those things. 

That is very painful and sad, but I do! Bryce and Daisy were so full in life. The best way to honor that, I think, 

is to do the same thing. I would fall short on them if 

I were crying on the couch 24/7. "

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”

- Deepak Chopra


After the MH17 I was diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (c-PTSD).

Part of my own healing process is to talk about my experiences and to write about them. 

I hope to be a bright spot for anyone who does not feel heard or seen. Nothing is so bad when you feel lonely or abandoned.

Believe me, I know.

“True forgiveness is when you can say, "Thank you for that experience.”

- Oprah Winfrey


Fortunately, I still have a lot to be grateful for: my beautiful sweet grandson; my son and daughter-in-law, my daughter; my partner; my family; my friends, my PhD study and my work.

Yes, it is painful and intensely sad. But that is no reason to be down. Life is too beautiful to let it pass me by. Does that mean it's easy? Hell no, I can tell you. Does this mean that life has beautiful things to offer, yes! There are choices that I make. A choice to choose where and with whom I want to be. I do not want to know if the glass is half empty or half full. I want to know where I can get the water.

My own healing process is a part of daring to look at, lovingly embrace and doing something positive about it. Therefore I am grateful for all the experiences I have experienced and for the future experiences. In this way I can forgive myself and others. In this way I contribute my bit to make the world a bit nicer.

“Curving back within myself I create the world around me...”

- Deepak Chopra

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