Uncle Hans
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Our Dutch uncle Hans died yesterday in his home in Driebergen. He was 67.
I first met him in Holland in 2000, before Jeroen and I got married, when Jeroen’s mom passed away and he delivered a eulogy during Mass.
He was crazy, funny, lived life to the fullest, and loved to smoke and drink.
He made Jeroen’s mom laugh so much while she was in the hospital.

Uncle Hans

He first came to the Philippines in November 2000, for our wedding. After that we would come often and stay with us.
He would cook Jeroen’s favorite dish, hachee, whose smell drove me insane when I was pregnant.

Dutch Hachee with mashed potatoes
Dutch hachee, pronounced “ha-shay”

He loved coming to the Philippines and hanging out with Jeroen until he contracted a mysterious disease on his leg, which they couldn’t figure out in the Netherlands.
He thought he got it in the Philippines and was afraid to come back. But I didn’t think so. I wanted to bring him back here and have him treated and taken care of at home, but he never made it back.
I cannot remember the last time I saw him. Maybe it was 2005. This was taken in Kimpura.

Thinking of Uncle Hans

He was devoted to Our Lady. I gave him a beautiful statue of Our Lady, which he took home to Holland. On one of his trips he also brought back a Christmas parol to Holland.

hans huis
Uncle Hans (L) in his home with Opa

I woke up this noon when Jeroen came home for lunch, and he told me that Uncle Hans had died in his bed at home.
He didn’t die from the skin disease, but basically poor health.
I truly wish he had died in his sleep and that Our Lady and Jeroen’s mom welcomed him to heaven.
It felt like Steve Jobs all over again, just a dark feeling of gloom and sadness. Jeroen and I went to the 6 PM mass today where I cried for Uncle Hans as I want to say I’m sorry for my shortcomings. I’m sorry I cannot hug you and hear you say “ik hou van jou.” But most of all, we miss and thank you for all the help and love you gave our family.

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