What they do …

16. Ceciel

The sixteenth story in this series, and it’s probably the sixteenth time I’m telling you: this story is so special, precious and beautiful! But this time I’m sitting here with a lump in my throat writing this intro, realizing it’s special that Ceciel lets me share this story with the world. I feel honoured that Ceciel is willing to tell her story in such an honest and open way, honoured because I know her and her family personally.

The last couple of years I sympathized (unfortunately from a distance) with this great family, which I got to know during my time at the church Het Baken in Eindhoven (The Netherlands). I went there ever since I was a teenager (until our move to Canada) and feel connected with this church. I can still picture Ceciel’s parents at church; a ‘cool’ couple, who were very sweet and friendly at the same time. It will be weird not seeing them in ‘their’ spot next time I’ll be in The Netherlands. At the same time, it is so special to see how Ceciel turned her grief into something really positive and how she is creating a space full of love for others.

As you might understand by now: I’ve got nothing but love for her!

Psstt … Ceciel wrote her story in Dutch and I strongly encourage you to read the Dutch version if you’re able to read in that language!

“Kracht in Onmacht
[Power when powerless, it’s the name of a foundation]
It’s such an honour to write for The Better World. The vision of The Better World completely fits my ideas about idealism: small steps make big changes! With this story I hope to inspire others to look at their situation from a place of hope, so they will get empowered by the things that are happening to them. That’s not always the easiest way, and at times it feels unnatural, but through trial and error a lot of surprising opportunities will present itself.
This is where my story begins …

My Mom got sick when I was eighteen years old. It turned out to be stomach cancer and a period of being at the hospital with a lot of insecurity started. She was sick for a year and a half before she passed away.

People asked me if I was angry with the world, or with God, but I realized that sickness can happen to anyone. This time, it was my Mom who got sick, but it could also have been my neighbour. It was just bad luck.

I lost both of my parents within three years and that was just too much.

This sober attitude changed when we found out my Dad was sick as well, only two and a half years later. He died after being sick for only six months. I lost both of my parents within three years and that was just too much. I had to say goodbye to the most loving people I can imagine. My head was full of negative thoughts, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to process this at all. But in this difficult time I made the decision to handle the situation in the most healthy way I could think of and at that moment my healing started.

I knew I didn’t want to stay a victim of my circumstances and in the past couple of years I’ve learned that sadness and joy can go hand in hand! Going forward was my goal and processing these losses was an important part of being able to reach that goal. But I had to do this in my own way. I talked a lot with the people around me, I wrote, danced, played sports … These are the things that helped me, it’s different for everybody, so you have to find out what works for you.


A couple of months after my Dad died I realized that talking to people who went through the same thing, would help me. It would be good to know I wasn’t the only one going through this, and to recognize my situation in other people’s lives. However, I found out there weren’t many opportunities for this, so I made sure there will be in the future.

With pride I present to you the ‘Kracht in Onmacht’ Foundation! It’s a place for young people who are faced with a terminal disease within the family. These people can meet each other online and offline; not in a melancholic but relaxed manner, over a drink or dinner. I also made coaching available if somebody is in need of that, and there will be meetings to discuss some relevant subjects. The website will be online soon and will also have information that can be useful to somebody in need. I’ve contacted several coaches and people who went through losing a loved one and we’re all in the same boat, wanting to help more people through my Foundation. With their knowledge and experience they can advise others on how to deal with these extreme situations and emotions. The combination of coaches, people with experience and youth make ‘Kracht in Onmacht’ a strong, loving Foundation to help people grieve in a healthy way.

Do you want to know more about this? Check out our Facebook-page [the website will be online soon too!].
Thank you for reading this story. I’d love to know which small steps you take to make big changes together with me and the people around us!”