"In de stilte die ik werkelijkheid ben,
wordt alles geaccepteerd"
"In the silence that I truly am, everything becomes accepted"
Now is a time to grieve. The Focusing world and indeed the world at large, has lost an extraordinary member of its community. And I have lost my beloved husband and Focusing partner, Bob. At 18:00 on 22 September 2002, after his meditation soundbowl was struck three times, the ventilator which held Bob in this world was stilled. And, surrounded by a small kring of loved ones, he died. It was only four weeks earlier that he had entered the hospital after suddenly being taken ill, and just three weeks since he had been moved to Intensive Care and held with medication in sleep. Bob was 56 years old.
Bob was a Client-Centered psychotherapist and clinical supervisor at the Institute for Mental Health (Mediant) in Hengelo, The Netherlands and a certified Trainer and Coordinator for the Focusing Institute. He and I also travelled regularly to the USA to co-lead Focusing workshops at Seattle University.
We met at an International in Hohenwart, Germany and thus our relationship was very much rooted in Focusing. Focusing formed the basis of the workshops we developed and co-led together. But, more fundamentally, our valuing of the Focusing attitude gave us a fine, deep foundation on which to build our new life together in this country. And additionally, Bob's 22 years of zazen practice and his deep, abiding faith in the power of a person's life-affirming energy to reach in the direction of healing and growth formed the unshakable ground under his feet.
The intensity and purity of Bob's presence and attention was of a quality so unusual that it always stirred people deeply. I share here a few of the words that were spoken at the funeral service, by the friends and colleagues whom I had asked to speak.
Bob was an optimistic man. He had a steadfast conviction that good comes as people receive what they need. His faith in the power of the individuality of each person was as firm as a rock.
And as I now reread these words, I think over how much more there is that I would want to say about Bob that remains unsaid. That cannot be said. In the end, there are no words...or not enough words...to really describe someone in a "good enough" way. And especially in the case of Bob. On the other hand, I think that one short sentence, from the cards that we sent out to announce his death, comes close: Bob Sikkema: a man with endless love.
With great care, with much patience and love and persistence, he gave people back to themselves. I shall hear his words for a long time yet: "Stay calm now, just give them the space...it will come. He did not care much for advise or quick solutions. What is good needs time. So was he in his work, so was he in the rest of his life.
. . . Klaas van Dijk
The ground was solid under his feet and you never had to doubt about his trustworthiness. I think of Bob in superlatives. The only disadvantage from contact with him was that other friendships paled in contrast. Paled in contrast to the depth and intensity of what in relation with him arose
. . . Hans van Doorn
He had all the attention and interest for his friends, absolutely not placing himself in the foreground. Was modest, yet never let himself be walked on not pushed into a corner, knew quite well what he wanted and knew very well what he didn't want. You could not go around Bob. Yet he gave everyone space, let everyone be in his or her worth.
. . . Harry Dijks
Wednesday 27 November 2002
The time goes on
without request. The night descends
What joy in your face
in the frame of the film.
How can one go on living
I am left sitting here
This page was last modified on 07 November 2003