18262 Candles

 

… and the Moon

 

Floating Candles

 

You’d be 18262 days old today
The big Five-O!

I remember when I made a big fuss
congratulating you on your 40th
and you corrected me,
that it was your 41st

Where was I on your 40th?
Over the Atlantic?
Or back on the island?
I called or texted you on your birthdays
but I missed making a fuss on you 40th

I seemed to have missed a few things
in your life
even your death
your cremation
the cause
replying to your email …
I missed a whole lot
didn’t I

I never imagined that less than
5 years after my miscalculation
you’d be gone
Just like that

I was too late
with the concert
too late to inquire
too late to hear

Since 1539 days
you are gone
or 1538?
or 1540 …

If you’d knew
what a mess I have become …

But I am getting better
and in a cliché way try to turn
the mess into a message
and I can hear your advise
I still read them from time to time …

Happy birthday großer Bruder!

©2019 poetrasblok.com

 

For my big brother Thomas 25.02.1969 ~ 09.12.2014

Music: Cat Power “The Moon” / Video: poetrasblok.com

 

 

Durch die schweren Zeiten / Through Troubled Times

Es geht nicht immer geradeaus
Manchmal geht es auch nach unten
Und das wonach du suchst
Hast du noch immer nicht gefunden
Die Jahre ziehen im Flug an dir vorbei
Die Last auf deinen Schultern, schwer wie Blei

Jeden Morgen stehst du auf
Und kippst den Kaffee runter
Deine Träume aufgebraucht
Und du glaubst nicht mehr an Wunder
Mit Vollgas knapp am Glück vorbeigerauscht
Was dich runterzieht
Ey, ich zieh’ dich wieder rauf

Ich trag’ dich durch
Die schweren Zeiten
So wie ein Schatten
Werd’ ich dich begleiten

Ich werd’ dich begleiten
Denn es ist nie zu spät
Um nochmal durchzustarten
Weil hinter all den schwarzen Wolken
Wieder gute Zeiten warten


There isn’t always straight ahead
On a big wide open highway
Sometimes things instead
Just keep going sideways
While you hide some other plans in mind
Years flew by and they got left behind

I’ll carry you
When trouble hits you
Like your own shadow
I’m always with you
I’m always with you
And if you lose your way
Or feel the power fading
Just look on the horizon
Better days are waiting
Better days are waiting

As long as we’re together
We’ll keep shining through
All the good and bad times
And all that I would do

I’ll carry you
When trouble hits you
Like your own shadow
I’m always with you
I’m always with you
And if you lose your way
And feel the power fading
Just just look on the horizon
Better days are waiting
Better days are waiting
Better days are waiting

Udo Lindenberg ft. siblings Angus & Julia Stone


Writers: Alexander Zuckowski, Simon Triebel, Udo Lindenberg

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing, Budde Music Publishing GmbH, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 


 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, expret.org, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, expret.org, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

You Went Gone

 

For my big brother Thomas

*25.02.1969 ~ †09.12.2014

 

 

 

 

 

An Urn is an even Smaller Domain

 

An Urn is an even smaller Domain

Not able to contain

A Heart once beating

A Life well beaten down to diminished Pain

 

A Rock is a restricted Lot

Yet better than a Stone

A Poor Man’s Plot

Forgotten not, and yet it stands alone

 

To Him who at His cumbrous Door

Bestowed His final Breath

Circumstances know we not

Nor Estimated Death.

©2017 poetrasblok.com

 

 

Inspired by Emily Dickinson:

 

A Coffin — is a small Domain,

Yet able to contain

A Citizen of Paradise

In it diminished Plane.

 

A Grave — is a restricted Breadth —

Yet ampler than the Sun —

And all the Seas He populates

And Lands He looks upon

 

To Him who on its small Repose

Bestows a single Friend —

Circumference without Relief —

Or Estimate — or End —

Emily Dickinson

 

 

TK Urn

 

 

 

Bild010_Neg.Nr.11

 

 

 

2017-01-31 Th Kerzen3

 

 

 

10 Running1

 

 

 

10 TheGreatest

 

 

 

05 Thomas CouchBett Urlaub CROP

 

 

Thomas Zugfenster

 

 

Thomas Brunnen

 

 

 

cropped-14-tk-crop

 

 

 

animated-candle-gif-29

 

 

 

Thomas+Frau_GoghsWorkshop1_SMUDGED

 

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.
©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

Pret A Manger Use Bereaved Against Bereaved

 

UPDATE March 2019 I tell my story for the first time verbally on a podcast based in California, at the bottom of this page.

 


 

Today is my brother’s (estimated) 4th year anniversary.

I feel like writing a second short blog entry today after my first post and tribute to him, a second brief post on the “perversion” of Pret A Manger’s dealings with bereaved staff. I am still in shock over this.

I want to highlight this again in light of how Pret dealt with two customer deaths, as the public for the most part is still under the impression that Pret just made a mistake like any other would. But from my trauma with Pret, I experienced them as toxic, calculated, careless and stepping on people’s dignity.

 

  • I learned of my brother’s death on Monday 12. Jan. 2015
  • He was found on 15. Dec. 2014 in his flat, estimated date of death around six days before. As the date is an estimate, the council put the date of 15.12.2014 when he was found on his grave instead of the estimated 09.12.2014. We didn’t know they’d do that and again we were NOT informed or consulted on what OUR wishes were! I wanted to let this date be changed but my mum didn’t want me to struggle with this and just leave it. So many strange things happened like sending his urn from his city to my mum’s village council via POST! I didn’t even know this was “normal” procedure in Germany! For some people, like some of my friends this isn’t a problem, but for me it is! Terrible to send the urn of a loved one via post! Shock after shock after shock!!!
  • The police was so sloppy they couldn’t be bothered to search extensively as they ruled out fowl play.
  • They cremated my brother before finding us! Only recently I found a video of a family in the USA who’s son/brother died and was cremated without finding the family. I thought these things don’t happen.
  • When I learned he died, I learned it in one loaded email that amongst other things he was completely gone!
  • I am still in thoughts and communication with people on what I can do about how all of this was dealt with.

 

  • Fasting forward through a horrific period of trauma, confusion, unclear information, horror and on top of this being bullied in Pret during this time. If anyone doubts my story, I have written evidence that could fill several books!
  • In complete trauma, on autopilot having to work and like a zombie I raised grievance after grievance not realizing that Pret’s toxic HR department was behind my ordeal at work. It was a waste of time and energy. I just stumbled through an emotional minefield in a mental war zone.
  • Because I was so instabil, in the end calling sick increasingly, Pret used a Development Manager from HQ, who worked with Pret for around 15 years at the time, to sanction me. She had a brother who also died in his flat alone and was not discovered until days later, like my brother died and wasn’t found until days later. There are some minor differences between her brother’s and my brother’s circumstances in death, but overall the major parts were like a twin story.  Her brother died roughly 5 – 6 weeks before my brother died in his home country, like my brother in our home country. But instead of introducing us for mutual support in our common grief, Pret used her to sanction me via the tool of gaslighting because I spiraled into traumatic emailing, even though she wasn’t even working in HR. I learned of my brother’s death via email, was targeted and bullied via group emails from my line managers and other emailing incidences that started an emailing sprint lasting for months.  Straight away the day after the disciplinary she and I entered into personal contact solely via text messages and emailing for which she sanctioned me! I was so out-of-sync that initially I thought Pret was supporting me through her even though I was always confused and questioned her why she was used to sanction me instead of someone else doing the disciplinary and her just having normal, non-secret contact. But in hindsight and after having ignored a friend’s warning, she was “spying” on me, on my mental state and if firing me would be a risk for them as a disciplinary is the first and pretty secure step to fire people.

I was so out of it I didn’t see the scheming in this and to this day I don’t know if she even had a brother who died like he did. If her story is NOT true, she is an extremely good liar because the way she described everything was very graphic which I could relate to because that’s how it was with my brother! But if it is true, to allow Pret to step on her as well as my dignity like that is beyond me!

Not only was this the most corrupt thing I have experienced, I have also gone through another kind of loss of having met a person with the SAME loss to just be tricked and lose that support, even though after what she allowed Pret to do via her, I would not want any connection with her again.

My traumatic grief that NO-ONE understood plus the bullying in Pret was like going through a torching desert, then reaching an oasis and someone handing you fresh cold water, and just when you reached out to drink, they snatched it away!

THIS is Pret A Manger behind their PR facade!

 

And in Pret the bereaved are still treated badly as a former employee from NYC left a review in November:

 

2018-11-01 Funeral

Link

 

To keep it short, after initial improvement of my traumatic emailing, I restarted as I was confused and further traumatized with the Development Manager’s conduct. I just became really unwell. My grief turned complicated. Her manipulating and gaslighting me was a very easy task for her as she is also a Hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and in 2017 studied to become a Psychotherapist. She is registered under The National Hypnotherapy Society that wasn’t interested in pursuing my complaint.

I was fired three days after Christmas, days after my dad came out of his coma still in intensive care when I was summoned back from Germany to London for the dismissal hearing. Two months before I was fired Pret’s CEO Clive Schlee patronized me by calling me his “late night girl” because of emailing late at nights after work. He had a laugh while they all pretended it was so wrong, tricking and trapping me all the way. Therefore I named my website this to be a sore in his and Pret’s sight!

My dad died in March and in a new Twilight Zone I started in May 2018 to write about my ordeal after initially just having posted videos and poems for my brother. I will eventually re-blog everything for my brother and/or separate my Pret ordeal from my brother’s blog as my brother should not share a website with this corrupt and toxic company that is Pret A Manger.

I rejected 4 settlement offers if I resign and be silent about what I went through in Pret. These are the brief bullet points of my story with Pret. My story is spread throughout this website.

I know I am not dealing with this in a way I would have wished for, but I am still coming to terms and acknowledge after almost 4 years that I am actually doing extremely well under the circumstances! And I don’t care if people agree with it or not. It’s MY story, MY pain, MY loss, and MY way to try and navigate through trauma and grief. And I will eventually move away from this “ranting”, but the public is oblivious on how cold and negligent Pret is behind the facade. Unfortunately through deaths of customers becoming public and how badly Pret dealt with it do some of the public and the press slowly wake up.

 

My blog has grown with many writings of my ordeal with Pret, but to lead the reader to the main issues, please see the links below first before you get lost in all the other blog entries.

 

Some key blog entries of my story in more detail:

 

 (Links will open in a new window)

 

>>> In Memory of my big Brother Thomas. 

*25.02.1969 ~ †09.12.2014

 

Please visit my brother’s page I created today among other posts. I initially started my website and blog with videos and poems for him and will eventually turn this back for solely my brother and life in general.

He died alone in his flat, I want his memory to be known and not be alone. Pret has no place in my life even though I wasted 10 years in this company, it has almost destroyed me and postponed my grief for my brother. My brother is gone, I can’t recover him, but I will recover, tell my story and help people against workplace bullying under corrupt CEOs and toxic HR departments.

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

Interview:

 

©2018 expret.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

You Went Gone

 

For my big brother Thomas

*25.02.1969 ~ †09.12.2014

 

 

 

 

»Death Came And Got Me« ©Rosie Thomas (Added & altered text poetrasblok.com)

 

 

An Urn is an even Smaller Domain

 

An Urn is an even smaller Domain

Not able to contain

A Heart once beating

A Life well beaten down to diminished Pain

 

A Rock is a restricted Lot

Yet better than a Stone

A Poor Man’s Plot

Forgotten not, and yet it stands alone

 

To Him who at His cumbrous Door

Bestowed His final Breath

Circumstances know we not

Nor Estimated Death.

©2017 poetrasblok.com

 

 

Inspired by Emily Dickinson:

 

A Coffin — is a small Domain,

Yet able to contain

A Citizen of Paradise

In it diminished Plane.

 

A Grave — is a restricted Breadth —

Yet ampler than the Sun —

And all the Seas He populates

And Lands He looks upon

 

To Him who on its small Repose

Bestows a single Friend —

Circumference without Relief —

Or Estimate — or End —

Emily Dickinson

 

 

TK Urn

 

 

 

Bild010_Neg.Nr.11

 

 

 

2017-01-31 Th Kerzen3

 

 

 

10 Running1

 

 

 

10 TheGreatest

 

 

 

05 Thomas CouchBett Urlaub CROP

 

 

Thomas Zugfenster

 

 

Thomas Brunnen

 

 

 

cropped-14-tk-crop

 

 

 

animated-candle-gif-29

 

 

 

Thomas+Frau_GoghsWorkshop1_SMUDGED

 

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.
©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

DeadDotCommunication

 

12.01.2015

Dear Ms. Sister,
unfortunately I have to bring you sad news.
Mr. Thomas Brother was found dead in his apartment in X-City on 15.12.2014.
From his paper work no next of kin could be determined so that I was appointed as curator for your deceased brother’s estate. …
Your brother has been cremated under order of the city council. Copy of order attached.
His urn has not been buried yet and you can decide where to bury the urn.
Unfortunately I have to also inform you that his estate is in debt and have to therefore advise you to reject the inheritance.
Please inform me of any other family and addresses.
The contact details of the morgue are…
With kind regards,
Mrs. Ice Cold Curator
….

 

 

2017-01-31 Th Kerzen3

 

 

Dear Thomas,

I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your last email, I don’t even know why I didn’t reply. Maybe I expected to see you, but then life just keeps happening and we always assume next time, next time… And maybe I was upset that you couldn’t come to the concert I invited you to. Apart from being busy you were also honest enough to say that this wasn’t your type of music. But I got us on the guest list, with backstage meeting the artist I worked with. I wanted you to be proud of me.

But I have no right to be cross. I didn’t pay much attention to your 20 page business plan you sent me, maybe you wanted me to be proud of you. And I was, but it didn’t cross my mind to say something. I just replied that your business plan looks impressive but reads like Chinese to me as I don’t understand business language. I’m sorry I never told you how impressed I was, how proud that you had the courage to start a business. I could never do that, I’m too cowardly to start something like that. It takes a lot of courage, strength and determination to start a business. I always played it safe, just being employed and do my real passions and hobbies in my private life. You went further and gave it a go. But being employed did me no good after all. And now I don’t even have the courage for regular employment.

Can you believe the email this woman sent? She didn’t try to find out my phone number or mum’s address she lived at for 30+ years, in a country with a high sophisticated ID system where everyone is registered under law. She didn’t email and ask me to phone her or give my phone number and warn or prepare me that I urgently need to get in contact as she had to inform me about you. She just wrote a few sentences in a typical German efficient and straightforward way. No-nonsense, not wasting time, tell it like it is, no mercy. And she made sure she covered everything in one email. I cannot describe the hell, I cannot describe it. A huge hand of a monster thrust inside my gut and ripped it out in one fast move.

Do you know that the next day when I flew over to tell mum that you were gone, I called this woman but she didn’t want to give any more info. She sounded nervous, was upset that I called her at 9pm and said that she had no further information and that her husband is getting impatient in the background.

Do you know why? Why was she so short-cut and angry that I called? I kept calling the police, but they had no answer either. I am still confused. Why did the police handle this so poorly, why could they not give me a clear cause of death and couldn’t answer my list of questions? The only explanation the police guy gave me of why they didn’t do an autopsy was that they ruled out fowl play and suicide, and once they ruled out especially murder, they hand the case back to the coroner and close it on their file. Just like that. They have many cases to work on. A former police detective who was a customer of mine confirmed that if they don’t find anything suspicious, they just close the case as it would otherwise involve too much paper work. He told me that deaths in flats happen more often than we think. I’m sure if one of their family members was found like this, they’d go to town to find the cause. But there weren’t able to tell me what you died of. And they frankly didn’t care.

Everyone since then keeps telling me to not pursue any legal action as this would just add to the turmoil and the police always covers themselves. I had to put puzzle pieces together, with bits and pieces of information from your neighbours, your ex-girl friend C. etc. If you could hear me, I wouldn’t tell you that they sent your urn from your city to mum’s village council via post! Via post, Thomas. I’m sorry, I didn’t know they’d do that in Germany. If I’d knew they send urns via post, I’d made arrangements with the funeral service who arranged the funeral later, to bring it over in a dignified way. No one told me they send urns via post. I didn’t know so many things they’d do. I’m sorry, everything was a mess. Everything. Your three cats survived and they were able to catch two, but the third slipped through the door. I don’t know which one, but your neighbour said that she sees the cat outside sometimes, but it won’t let anyone catch it. I’m sorry your cats went through the six days seeing you lie there.

The police said that they rampaged your apartment. I know how clean you liked it, we had to take our shoes off, like in my place as well. But after you died, the cats just rampaged. They must have been distressed, the mum and her two kitties. The mum-cat in this picture you sent me before she had kittens, I wish I knew where she is. I’m sorry.

 

DSC00221

 

I dislike this country of ours. And if it wasn’t for mum, I’d never return. I buried dad in March, near you.

I saw an amazing play yesterday, Bury the Dead in which six soldiers who fell in a war refused to be buried. They got up from the ground where soldiers were digging out graves, but they just stood up and refused to be buried because they died too young. They died under the lies of the leaders who brainwashed them to fight and die for “honour”.

But they were too young to die and haven’t seen the world yet, or haven’t had the chance to start a family, or couldn’t finish that university degree they started before getting drafted. I wept through half the play and imagined you to refuse to be cremated until we got the news that your corpse was in the cold chamber. But then I thought if they would have found us before cremating you, mum may have wanted to see you. But what does a six day old corpse look like? Once an image is ingrained in the mind, it will never leave.

I wanted her to keep you in memory of this last photo she took of you a year before you died.

You looked annoyed as usual of her taking photos all the time. I had to forbid mum to go to the police station as they spoke about photos they took when they found you. The way they handled your death and case, I panicked they would show her the photos. Mum was extremely angry that you didn’t have her address and phone number in your flat. I had to explain to her that I don’t have that either as we live in the Internet age and we know her address and number by heart, as she lives there since over 30 years. She slowly accepted that.

I’ve written you many emails since until your account was shut for lack of you logging in and sending emails. I kept writing though and my emails bounced back as if you replied. But getting “Mailer-Daemon” responses wore me out.

Remember when you visited me in London and I showed you around? We took the tube to Tower Bridge and as we walked towards the bridge that was hidden behind the trees you asked me what “castle” this was. I said that this is the Tower Bridge. You asked, “Yes, but what castle is this?” It is the Tower Bridge I repeated. “Yeah, but what’s that castle?” Thomas, this is the Tower Bridge!!! And as we came closer where you could see the full bridge you laughed and looked at me embarrassed “Ah, yeah!”

It was one of the rare occasions that I knew something more than you did, as you were always too smart for me! I beat you on this one! Stupid, I know. I have to think of this every time I am at the Bridge.

 

tower_bridge_tower_garden_moat_view

 

And remember when we sat in the café by Piccadilly Circus and you called mum from your mobile pretending to be in your home? You chatted for a while with her and then just handed the phone over to me to say hi to mum! That surprise surely worked! I asked her several times since you’re gone if she can remember you calling her from London to prank her to think you were calling from your home, but she can’t remember. I don’t know if she blocked it out or if her dementia is getting worse. She’s more forgetful now, you know? But she’s doing okay. We went through rough waters these last four years. It’s normal they say.

All I know now is that I let you down.

And I don’t know how to forgive myself.

Knowing you, I know you’d forgive me, but I can’t forgive myself, Thomas.

I made this silly “video” for you, one of many, but this is the only one with a German artist. He sings about his best friend, Michael, who was like a brother to him. But his friend died. I mixed in another song of a Swiss artist and wrote my text to it. I’m not sure if these would be your taste of music, as our tastes was often very different. I am not into German much but I wanted to use German speaking artists. But you can’t see it, I know. I did it to cope. I messed up in so many ways, Thomas. I can’t forgive myself.

 

 

 

3 Months That Are Supposed to be Good

 

November, December, January have become months I’ve come to dislike.

I was moving around these past days and weeks extremely down and tried to figure out why several consecutive days I am just very low. It’s not the weather, I love October and November, and fog. My heart is tight and heavy as if something is suffocating the life out of it. On the verge of a panic attack, I seek quiet places. Anytime, in random places I tear up, just out of the blue.

I realized that on 19.10.2014 I received my brother’s last email. And I never replied.

He was supposed to meet me for a concert in November. But he couldn’t make it. He wished me to have fun, till later. I didn’t see the need to respond and assumed I’d seen him anyway while I was visiting Germany. But I got distracted and as he was busy anyway, didn’t even think to call him. Maybe I was disappointed that he couldn’t make it. I don’t know.

On 12. January 2015 I learned via an email that he was found dead in his apartment on 15. December 2015, approximate day of death 09.12.2014. No clear cause of death. No autopsy. They supposedly couldn’t find us and after a while just cremated him.

And I made the biggest mistake that I can see in hindsight. After flying back and forth for funeral, errand, family, investigating… I kept working as my savings dried out and without support couldn’t afford to take off. In hindsight I should have taken off at least six months to a year instead of flying back and forth and with the horrific experience in Pret on top.

I was in a fog, on autopilot, in a Twilight Zone, like a Zombie.

Three years of emotional horror while trying to pull myself together, but falling more and more apart. Guilt, regrets, self-doubt, everything kept crushing again and again into me like a building collapsing again and again.

After my ordeal in Pret, my father was submitted into intensive care, in a three week coma in November 2017. At the end of December 2017 with my dad just woken from his coma I was fired from Pret. Autopilot again, guilt, regret, existential fears … flying back and forth again to work and be by his side, back to London to look for work, back to my dad, back to London … back to Germany to bury him as he didn’t recover.

November, December, January, February my brother’s birthday, March, my father’s death. I want to cut some months out of the calendar. I shut everything down, most things and people that meant something to me, I shut down.

My heart is tight and heavy, and I feel any moment an anxiety attack is approaching. But I have learned to not fear them so they don’t come heavy. Just ride it out, the doctor said the heart is perfectly capable to handle it. It’s not physical. If it wouldn’t have been for my mum being alive, I don’t know if I would be here right now.

To anyone reading this who knows me personally, I have said it many times, but I want to apologize again for letting people down. It’s not you, you know that.

 

 

Unquiet Grief (re-written / music: LAU)

 

 

animated-candle-gif-29

 

 

 

©2018 poetrasblok.com

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2018 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

My Brother Died

 

just like that

 

 

TK03a

 

 

Five weeks before he died he replied to my email inviting him to a gig close to his town. An artist I knew for a long time and had the privilege to work together would play there. I invited him, backstage and stuff, I wanted to make my big brother proud. But he couldn’t make it and I never responded back.

I never responded back.

 

 

 

My Brother

 

His name is Thomas, he isn’t with us anymore, but his name is still Thomas, that will never change.

 

When I started this website and blog I started it as poetrasblok.com, which still runs under this name as well as now also under LateNightGirl.org

Initially I only wrote about my brother as only poetrasblok with poems and videos I made for him and posted on this site. But after my ordeal with Pret A Manger, having also lost my father in March 2018 as well, I started to add the latenightgirl URL to write about my traumatic experience in Pret and show another side behind the PR[et] facade that almost ended my life.

Even while I dislike having my brother’s memory share one website with my Pret ordeal, I will eventually turn this site back to re-upload some of the poems and videos, and solely write about my brother as well as life in general. As this site has become quite large I periodically hide post entries that don’t seem important at a certain time, so that readers won’t be cluttered with too many blog entries to sieve through, and are lead to posts faster that I find important to share.

I currently don’t have the finances to start a second website for solely my Pret experience, and don’t have the strength to work on two website simultaneously at the moment. But in time I will separate the two sites, as my brother deserves his own space and website in his memory, and not share space with this toxic, greedy and dishonest company that is Pret A Manger.

At times my writings seem angry or bitter to the reader, that may be, but I am not apologizing for it. I almost lost my life in Pret after having worked with integrity, care and skill for almost 10 years. And all that happened to me was that my brother died, and I then became an inconvenience to Pret. My writing helps me overcome this trauma, and at the same time expose this company for what they really are.

 

Why I became a “late night girl”

 

In memory of my brother.

 

 

animated-candle-gif-29

 

Looking for a song for siblings loss. Tom Rosenthal’s for now is the best general grief song I can find.

»It’s OK«  Tom Rosenthal

 

14 TK crop

Thomas K. *25.02.1969 – 09.12.2014

 

 

 

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2018 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

 

 

Broke

 

Old_New_InvertedColours

8yrs    |    35yrs

 

In memory of my big brother Thomas 25.02.1969 ~ 09.12.2014 whose death has not been investigated properly by a lousy, indifferent police department; whose day of death could only be estimated; whose 3 cats survived in his flat while he lay dead for approx. 6 days before he was found; whose corpse they just cremated without our consent; whose passing we didn’t know for 5 weeks; and whose death I was delayed to grieve in peace while working in a bullying company in Pret A Manger under a toxic and corrupt leadership, surviving a hostile work environment.

 

I still dance like this…

 

 

Broke

Ft. Poem: Emily Dickinson “To know just how He suffered would be dear”
Ft. Music: Dark Dark Dark “Something For Myself”

 

To know just how He suffered – would be dear
I want to hold you
To know if any Human eyes were near
what happened to you?


To whom He could entrust His wavering gaze
couldn’t find a way out of this endless maze?

Until it settle broad – on Paradise
my lights went out

 

To know if He was patient – part content
I’m a mess, you know

Was Dying as He thought – or different
can we rewind and find the switch?

Was it a pleasant Day to die
what day was it?

And did the Sunshine face his way
what hour of the day?

 

What was His furthest mind – Of Home or God
something you always sought

Or what the Distant say
I was here, not there

At news that He ceased Human Nature
at news
I ceased

Such a Day
such a day 

 

And Wishes – Had He Any
wish ! was there

Just His Sigh – Accented
breathless shocks unanswered

Had been legible – to Me
too blind to see

And was He Confident until
no one could

Ill fluttered out – in Everlasting Well
find the everlasting will

And if He spoke – What name was Best
that belongs to you

What last
belongs to you

What One broke off with
our hearts broke

At the Drowsiest
no knock on the door

Was He afraid – or tranquil
a fighter still

Might He know
one showed

How Conscious Consciousness – could grow
you knew more than I

Till Love that was – and Love too best to be
missed you

Meet – and the Junction be Eternity
why am I still this side of it?

(So, I dance like this
for me …

Cats
don’t pull me in
let me breathe
don’t like to be)

 

Text: »To Know Just How He Suffered—Would Be Dear« Emily Dickinson, 1863 + »Broke« poetrasblok.com, 2015

Music: “something for myself” Dark Dark Dark, 2011

 

Emily Dickinson handwriting To know just how

Emily Dickinson’s handwriting »To Know Just How He Suffered—Would Be Dear«, 1863

 

©2015/2018 poetrasblok.com 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, expret.org, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, expret.org, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Unquiet Grief

 

 

Unquiet Grief

The wind does blow
today my bro

A few small drops
of rain

I’ll never have
such a brother again

In a cold grave
his ashes remain

I’d do as much
for my true blood
as any sibling may

I’ll sit and mourn
all at his thought

Forever
and a day

The months
and the days
been rough
the dead began
to speak

Oh, who sits weeping
at the thought of me
and will not
let me sleep

It’s me my brother
who weeps at your fate
and will not let you sleep

I crave one hint
of what occurred to you
and that is all I seek

You crave one hint
of what occurred to me
the truth may be
hefty strong

If you’ve one hint from my
cold grave, sis
your time may not
be long

I stand and wonder
at the past so green
and go where we used to play

The finest mem’ry
that has ever been
is broken down to clay

My life has turned to dust,
my kin
so will our hearts decay

So make yourself
content, little sis
till God calls you away

— for my brother who just left like that.

 

“Unquiet Grave” 15th century folk-tale

Music: Kris Drever / LAU

 

©2016/2018 poetrasblok.com

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – Present poetrasblok.com, expret.org, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

When His Ash was Still Warm

 

I must have been asleep
or working in the heated environment
of Pret A Manger
where there is no break from
customers
or bullying managers

My brother’s ashes must have just
come out of the furnace
when I had lunch, maybe?
Or was I at a concert?

I know that I was at a gig of
Piers Faccini on the 8th Dec. 2014
in London
a day before my brother
supposedly died + – a day or so
in Germany

I got a letter from court
two days ago
from the court in the city
where my family lives
reminding me after their
initial letter from April
to inform them
of my brother’s address
to be informed
of my dad’s last will
that he made 30 years ago
when we were kids

And I’m still thinking
why I am so fooled to believe
in a German system of efficiency
and registry

And I want to burn my German ID card
as it is of no use to find next of kin
should I just be burned after leaving

I decided not to answer the court
that wasted their postage on me
because they are the Law
they are a court
that need to get up and
investigate properly

My brother’s ashes are cold now
and I have come accustomed to
the tough soil
after 3+ years
that I was burning in grief
after I heard the news
and desperately trying
to unburn him
while being chased
and shoved around
abandoned
and torched with scorn
left on the wayside
at Pret A Manger

And I have nothing to give
not even a thought

My mind is empty
of any thought

 

 
©2018 poetrasblok.com 

 

 

Bild010_Neg.Nr.11

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Dying to a Common Veil

 

Since my brother died there is now a “before” and “after” his death. Before his death, apart from having had a normal life (whatever “normal” means, probably anything that is known and accepted by a majority as well as being familiar to us), I had a job, friends, projects, beliefs, dreams, flaws, hopes, bills, problems, ideas, family, a sense of security and belonging … I also had this subconscious assumption that things that are out of my league, be it emotional or physical, only happen to other people.

 

05 Thomas CouchBett Urlaub CROP

Yes, Thomas, make your faces. You beat me on this one!

 

Whatever we dread, that may be out of our league is different for everyone, and yet certain things are very common. I could not handle what others are able to handle, and others may not be able to cope with what I have to cope with. But whatever that monster for everyone is, we subconsciously assume that this would not, cannot, and will not happen to us. Not in our wildest dreams.

I have been to many funerals in my life, my first funeral was when I was about 10 or 11 when my paternal grandmother died. It was surreal to me of course, because I cannot remember my parents having explained to us kids why she died. But I remember having had this strong logical acceptance that this was normal, that when “people” get old, they die. That was that. No questions asked.

Apart from that, I didn’t grow up with my grandparents, neither the parents of my mother nor the parents of my father, as we lived in another state from relatives and both sets of grandparents did not approve of my parents getting married as both families had different religious denominations. At the post-war times, and certainly before that, in the 1950s / 60s and further there was this strong division and identity in the two major Christian denominations of Catholics and Protestants. And even though I was raised in the Atheist “belief” that there is no God, my grandparents on both sides just went through the religious notion, without really living any values of faith, as long as they had some kind of belonging to an institutionalized organization that brought structure, tradition and routine into everyone’s lives. It was still a no-go then for a Catholic to marry a Protestant and vice versa. So, I had no close relationship to my grandparents and their passing was “just” what happens to old people.

But my parents were true rebels ahead of their time, which when growing up frustrated me, but in hindsight I am proud of them defying stale traditions and daring to take a different route. But as a kid I felt left out because all my school friends went through their communion or confirmation, which only meant they got lots of money and presents! On our birth-certificates and passports in the section where it states our religion / denomination, it simply says: None. So, we kids hardly had contact with both our sets of grandparents, except for that last “point of contact” at funerals. Sad, but true.

My paternal grandfather died a few years later when I was around 13. Again logical. He was old, he lived his life, he died. And then when I was 15 a friend from school died when he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. That was my first shock encounter of premature death, but again, he wasn’t that close of a friend, even though we hung out with a group of friends on the day he lost his life. He died shortly before midnight on the eve of his 15th birthday on the operating table in A&E.

I remember the next day when we heard the news from our teachers in every classroom, my brother and I later at home were wondering if our friend would still have the hairspray in his hair, as he always wore hairspray as the only boy we knew. It must have been our shock reaction that was pondering that once someone dies and his soul “disappears”, whatever they are wearing, hairspray, perfume… disappears, too. The scent and the glue of life on the body just disintegrating immediately when the soul and spirit leaves the body. It was our shock reaction because we were with him and other friends just hours before the accident and his death. The whole school, it seemed, came to the funeral, again very surreal, but I was able to keep his death at a distance again, hiding myself in the crowd of funeral guests and the group of friends.

And then another shock of an ex-boyfriend who died of suicide. I haven’t had contact with him for 10+ years, and apart from us having been teenagers in our clumsy way of being boyfriend / girlfriend as kids, I had a lot of distance to him by the time he died and the effect of his death and circumstances I was able to cope with.

In the years to follow several more deaths happened of acquaintances, maternal grandparents, an uncle I’ve never met, friends of friends, most of old age or cancer. Funerals that became part of life, a routine, a courtesy to attend. It was all a reality that was kept at a distance from my fenced-in security. I moved on and matured from the simple accepted reality that people die when they are old to a new reality and acceptance, that people die when they are young, too. Okay, but being the “realist” that I am, I had to come up with a new coping mechanism that was to reassure me, that this still does not apply to me personally. My reality, my illusion, my subconscious fear and desire was kept behind a veil that blinded me until the scales where ripped from my eyes.

And I know I am not the only person who is covered and blinded by that veil. In these last painful years I had to come to realize firsthand how cruel it is to have been falsely protected and plainly lied to in this society we live in, that holds the truth and reality away from us. The founders of The Good Grief Project Jimmy Edmonds and Jane Harris, parents of Joshua who died aged 22 while traveling in Vietnam, faced this brutal reality head on! They make beautiful and relevant films out of their grief, and in support of other bereaved parents. They recently toured with their documentary, “A Love That Never Dies” the UK cinemas in the summer of 2018. In the Q&A of the London screening I was privileged to be in the viewing audience in May 2018, Jimmy Edmonds commented that in Victorian times it was very normal in conversations to speak about death and dying, but it was absolute taboo to speak and mention anything about sex. And today it is the complete opposite!

No wonder we drift away like emotional corpses ourselves when a premature or any kind of death occurs in our lives. The death of my brother was not straight forward and has no clear answers, lots and lots of speculations, opinions and mostly questions which made it even more unbearable and traumatic. Not to mention HOW the news of his death was delivered.

But the reality that death IS part of life and that it happens to all of us, at any time and most brutally it happens to those we most hold dear. It happens for any and no reason, in gracious age and traumatic ways and unfair premature ages with little or no explanation. It happens to the best of people, and not “just” to those who we think deserve it. None of us is safe from any circumstances, time, expected, unexpected, acceptable and unacceptable forms of death.

 

14 TK crop

 

None of us is guaranteed that we will have an opportunity to say “Good bye”, to say for one last time, or even for the first time, “I love you” or “Thank you for having been my friend” or “Remember when we were kids and stole the cherries from the neighbours tree and ripped our pants on the fence running away when the neighbour chased us?” or “Yes, I promise I will take care of your kids” or “We will arrange the funeral and the music exactly how you wish”…

We are robbed of the reality and chance to deal with death in a normal way from an early age, which then catapults us deeper and much worse into trauma when death actual hits us out of nowhere, unprepared and incapable to deal with this reality. We are not prepared out of false comfort and political correctness to keep our lives thriving, young, healthy, successful, smiley. Just don’t bother us with this eternal reality. And then to face our own mortality is another ballgame altogether.

This is why it is so important and timely that people like Jimmy Edmonds and Jane Harris are courageously and openly presenting this reality in such a beautiful and creative way.

There is a way to take the veil off and die to a false “life” that doesn’t last. A veil that aims to blind and falsely protect us from the reality we all face, and look at death in a healthy and authentic way. Since we can’t avoid it, why postpone preparing for it and with it leave the bereaved person behind, traumatized and alone and in our grief drown in hopelessness and paralyzing fear?

This video by The Good Grief Project is a very personal and also beautiful portrayal of a family and friends in how they deal with the unexpected and premature death of their loved one, Joshua. They conducted and arranged the funeral by themselves and even built the coffin themselves. It is not a gloomy or depressing video documenting grief and saying good bye. It is a very personal and gracious way in how a funeral can also have a rightful place in celebrating a life while saying good bye.

I still have to find my own way to celebrate my brother, as his death, the learning of the news and the funeral was a chaos, with an indifferent police not having bothered to find the cause of death nor thoroughly look for next of kin, but being very efficient in cremating my brother before reaching us! No chance, no choice for us to decide what we want to do with his body. And the process of getting his urn and conducting his funeral was a fogged up occasion of autopilot and disorganization. I felt then and still feel that I did not give him the funeral he deserved. It was the first funeral of a “significant” death and the first I had to help organize. And no matter how many funerals I was part of before, I was utterly lost in how to do this while also trying to protect and hold up my mother. And not to mention after that the postponing and complication of my grief due to work-related bullying and mistreatment on top of my loss! I survived just about to now write about it.

At times I watch this video below and know that I can accept how it went for my brother, as I did the best I could under the circumstances and time frame. In Germany it is against the law to have and keep the ashes and urn of a loved one. Urns are kept by the council and only released to the funeral conductor, but at the funeral I just grabbed my brother’s urn out of the hands of the funeral director and carried whatever was left of him in my arms to his grave. I had to let go, not being allowed for health and safety reasons to lower his urn into the dug-out hole myself. That last part the funeral director had to do. And I have my own celebration for my big brother in my heart and have no choice to leave it like it is.

That’s why creative people like The Good Grief Project is such a breath of fresh air and a great inspiration to me and many others.

 

2017-01-31 Th Kerzen3

 

Please watch this video below and don’t be afraid of it. As painful as this is even to observe or witness, this is a very hopeful project Jimmy and Jane have started out of their own grief, helping countless others who are faced with a sudden or even expected death. As paradox as it sounds, but their project is a celebration of life.

Thank you for reading and thank you for watching the memory and celebration of a beautiful young man by his family.

 

Remembering Josh (Longer version of “Beyond Goodbye”)

 

In memory of my big brother, Thomas (1969 – 2014) – and – my Father (1939 – 2018).

 

Thomas+Frau_GoghsWorkshop1_SMUDGED

 

 

1971-07-14 WK PK2 crop

 

 

animated-candle-gif-29

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

In Germany they send Urns via Post

 

And the postal service in Germany is very reliable and on time. German efficiency, hey?

What is it with an efficient country like Germany that has a well working ID system to find anyone’s relatives, anywhere who is registered in their system, to then not bother finding next of kin of a loved one who died?! Not finding a mother who’s address and phone number has been the same since 30+ years, safely tucked in the ID system, but she couldn’t be found?!

And what is it with this highly sophisticated system to then cremate my brother without our consent?!!

And what qualitative organized people, after they finally find one family member, then give the message of my brother’s death via email?!

And what highly educated people of this efficient country later sends his urn via post?!!

Where did they lose their emotional intelligence?! Did they ever have any?! What school taught them the art of stepping on dignity like this?!

I received a second letter recently from the court in my family’s town that deals with inheritance issues, since my father died in March this year. The court asked me again to provide contact details of my brother, whose ashes are in this urn because of the last will of our dad that is registered and stored with this court. I have decided since this efficient system didn’t bother to find and inform us in time of my brother’s death and then just cremated him and allow a system that sends urn via postal service, that this efficient system needs to do their homework properly to find my brother. Dead.

 

 

TK Urn

 

An Urn is an even Smaller Domain

 

An Urn is an even smaller Domain

Not able to contain

A Heart once beating

A Life so beaten down to diminished Pain

 

A Rock is a restricted Lot

Yet better than a Stone

A Poor Man’s Plot

Forgotten not, and yet it stands alone

 

To Him who at His cumbrous Door

Bestowed His final Breath

Circumstances know we not

Nor Estimated Death.

 

— ©LateNightGirl

 

Inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem:

 

A Coffin — is a small Domain,

Yet able to contain

A Citizen of Paradise

In it diminished Plane.

 

A Grave — is a restricted Breadth —

Yet ampler than the Sun —

And all the Seas He populates

And Lands He looks upon

 

To Him who on its small Repose

Bestows a single Friend —

Circumference without Relief —

Or Estimate — or End —

 

— Emily Dickinson

 

TK candles

Thomas, I’m sorry we’ve let you down

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

The Legacy of an Abnormal Load

I have been extremely angry for a long time now since my brother died and the mistreatment at work which added to so much turmoil and pain. I have reacted very badly in so many ways, had no tools to wiggle my way around trauma, the anxiety and subsequent illness I have found myself in.

But I want to be “sweeter” again like I used to write, encouraging people, but this time with a good pinch of salt and where needed some hot chili!

I cannot and don’t want to change other people who think it fit to mistreat vulnerable people. I certainly cannot and don’t want to change a multi-million pound company that is toxic and hurtful towards people who are traumatized. I can only change myself. I know that of course, but anyone who knows about excruciating emotional pain and loss knows that without wholesome navigation it is impossible to get through this emotional mine field alone. To get through this you will bump some fellow travelers on the road.

In my darkest time on my way to work I was sitting in the bus looking aimlessly and on autopilot out the window. I saw one of those cars that have the task to not only navigate oversized Trucks through the streets so they don’t bump into other vehicles and buildings, but to warn the traffic ahead that a “monster” is approaching and that they should steer safely along the way.

Abnormal-Load

I thought figuratively speaking that I needed a car like this to navigate me and warn oncoming traffic that I am carrying a load in me that I cannot safely bring to wherever I was going. I had no vehicle like this. I bumped into others, some so hard their cars totaled, and they either steered away from me in fear or bumped into me in frustration and some frankly being pretty mean!

I found this depiction of how I stumbled through this nightmare:
Sesame Street’s version of my turmoil courtesy of AntiBullyingAtWork on Facebook.

I wrote last night on this blog another angry message regarding Pret. I wrote that if I had to put into one word what Pret is to me, it would be the word: Arrogance. With that I meant a company that feels invincible to treat people so hurtfully and believe they get away with “murder” so-to-speak. I deleted that blog entry again because I never mean to offend or hurt others, no matter how big they are. And yet, my life is so out of sync and even this morning I woke up with an anxiety attack again. But I learned to ride those out as they don’t take long. But it makes me angry what I have become and have let others treat me so poorly.

I remembered a song yesterday that I heard years ago about what legacy we leave behind. My legacy for sure is messed up as this angry, crazy, ill, bonkers… fill-in-the-blanks… person. But one thing I will not be remembered for is that I step on people who suffer in whatever way or form they suffer. I may be remembered for having been insensitive, clumsy, hectic, loud, super angry… but not taking advantage of vulnerable people. And that “legacy” is enough for me.

If I can get back to the person who used to give people the benefit of a doubt and who was fast forgiving and moving on in life, I’d be in good shape. And if I can become like this vehicle here above, to help others who have a monstrous load on them, navigating them safely to their destination, I’d be in really good shape.

A good balance of self-care and care for others without burning out or breaking on the task to love myself as I love others, that’ll be grand! As my favourite poetess put it into better words:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

— Emily Dickinson

 

“I want to leave a legacy

how will they remember me

did I choose to love…”

— Nichole Nordeman

Legacy

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

You Went Gone (death came and got me)

For my big brother.

I miss ya….

 

(»You Went Gone« by LateNightGirl.org aka pk4tk / »Death Came and Got Me« by Rosie Thomas – text slightly amended by me.)

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – Present expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved.