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Crazy in the kitchen

Frans was, as the title of his book said: Crazy in the kitchen.

Frans was an amazing person. He was amicable, funny, a super-skilled chef, and really a master in the kitchen. He could do anything, and he would say yes to every challenge handed to him.

A good example of his skills was a moment at the Festival of Love in the Netherlands.

With a team, he cooked a week long for nearly 300 people. One day he had roasted potatoes on the menu. This would mean he had to have 60 kilograms of potatoes peeled and ready to roast. This would take the whole team away from the other numerous tasks that needed to happen, so Frans gave it a thought. He asked his colleague Ruud for a power drill and a (new and unused) loo brush. Ruud scratched himself behind the ears but decided to go with it. A few minutes later, Frans was drilling in a bucket of water and potatoes, and 15 minutes later, all potatoes were clean. No challenge was too big for Frans...

Masked anger

Frans had a huge heart. He lived in Bali and cooked there for poor people twice a week. Whenever he ran out of money to cook, he would come over to the Netherlands and take on these massive cooking jobs. Just to gather enough money to go back, support his wife and care for the poor people and orphans in Bali.

I worked with Frans several times, and whenever I did, my whole system had difficulty keeping up with him. There was so much energy and so much drive, and Frans did the things he did with so much ease, skill, and speed. I admired it on one side; on the other, I was worried. When I saw him work, I always wondered if Frans could feel the boundaries of his body. If he could hear the alarm bells when too much was demanded from his system. Working with him was a lot of fun, and I noticed I was exhausted at the end of the day.

I believe Frans also carried a lot of anger and grief with him. In my perception, he was angry at the world. This anger was hard to see; I believe his kindness and generosity masked it. However, Frans was triggered easily, often making it hard to really talk to him.

Sometimes I felt the tension and what I perceived as loneliness behind the smile he often put up, and somehow I felt he would not let me touch that. He would always keep some distance, make a little joke, or through himself at work.

He represented my fear

When Frans talked about his life, I felt a tension in me. How he lived and talked about his life made me imagine he did not have a lot of friends or connections with his family, and he did not seem happy at all with his situation. He seemed stuck in what he did and sometimes shared he wanted things to be completely different but did not know how to change things around.

He was a chef for over 35 years, and that's what he was good at. He felt that was the only thing he could do to maintain himself and his wife. And life was hard on him; he suffered and struggled with money and life itself.

He touched me in the moments when he shared his struggles. Those were the moments I was allowed to see him, where he came out of his shell and was vulnerable. Those were moments I felt connected to his heart and felt my care for this wonderful man.

It scared me too. In all honesty, all my life, my deepest fear is to get stuck and end up lonely in life. As a child, I had nightmares about being alone or, worse, lonely.

I always avoided this fear by traveling, working, meeting many people, and doing many different things.

After deeply confronting the feeling of loneliness in 2013, I enjoy being alone nowadays, and the fear of loneliness is not controlling me anymore.

But being with Frans somehow triggered this fear again, especially during the pandemic when he shared a lot about his anxiety and his aversion towards the world. Afraid of being controlled by my fears again, I gradually decreased connecting with him.

His body gave up

Last year his body gave up. Day by day, walking was more difficult, so he could no longer cook. He separated from his wife, could not travel to Bali, and was stuck in the Netherlands. His view of the future seemed even darker than before, and his present life fell apart simultaneously.

His inner protector seemed to have given all it could to help Frans not to deal with the deep pains he tried to avoid. And now that his physical body had given up, all this pain seemed to come at once.

I had several communications with him in the past six months and could feel that pain. He was alone, struggling with physical and mental pain. I also noticed that I energetically took a distance from him to avoid feeling my pain. It pains me to realize this now. I am sorry, Frans.

Last Sunday, I heard Frans had passed away. Frans made the transition to the spiritual world. I hope he found the peace and rest he deserves. He worked hard for it. So hard...

What if...

I can't help hearing these 'What if...' questions echoing in my head.

It started with:

What if I had contacted him more?

What if I listened to him more?

But after much reflection and feeling into my system, other questions popped up.

What of Frans would have connected to and listened to his body more?

What if Frans followed the signals from his body and made different choices as soon as they appeared?

I believe Frans would have been happier and more at ease. I am convinced he would have enjoyed life even more and would have been able to connect to others more.

What if I listened more to my body, and what if I followed my needs?

Thank you, Frans, for everything you have given me. Thank you for making me realize how important my body is and how important it is to take care of it and listen to what it has to say.

Thank you, Frans! Safe travels!

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