"... I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and for that I'm grateful."
The Fault in Our Stars
What can you say about a little boy who died when he was only almost 4 years old. That he was so incredibly wonderful and full of energy and zest for life, that he loved dinosaurs and monster trucks, jumping on the trampoline, riding a bike ... his Papa ... and me!
I start OUR “Love Story” in a similar way to another, but with the big difference that ours is real, the other is fiction, an invented story from the pen of Erich Segal. When the thought solidified in me of writing a book about our wonderful Noah one day, I knew immediately that my first lines had to read like the beginning of Erich Segal's Love Story . Since I read the story of Olli and Jenny for the first time as a young girl, it has accompanied me through my life. Every few years I would either re-read the book or watch the film. And every time I was as deeply touched as when I first read it. How unbelievably bad it must be, the thought always occurred to me when you love a person so, such an incredibly love and then lose him.
But it was just a story, it doesn't happen to you yourself ... so we thought ...
And now I am sitting here and writing these lines ... because it happened to us ... we have lost the one person who means EVERYTHING to us! And although I'm not writing the book yet, I am writing for the website of our association, which we founded in honor of our little man, our Noah, and tears run down my face so that I can hardly see what I have written. I can't stop these tears, I don't want to stop them, because they belong to me now - these tears ... for the rest of my life.
History and birth
I have to go back a little so that you can get to know the three of us, Adam, me and our Noah, better, because our path was a little different from the start. It is true that a girl meets a boy here too at the beginning, but the girl met the boy on a completely different continent, namely in Africa, more precisely in South Africa. When I was 30 I decided to take a year off from my job to make the world a little unsafe. And so in November 2008 on a two-week safari tour I met Adam, my guide on this tour - and what can I say, only six months later he came to Europe to work as a rafting guide in Austria in the summer To work in Salzburg so we could be together because Munich, where I lived, was only 2 hours away. And so we always spent the next few years "in summer" - that is, from May to November in summery Europe and December to April in summery South Africa.
Because of this back and forth, we didn't think about having a child for a long time ... but then at the beginning of autumn 2014, Adam and I still remember it, we went home from our favorite beer garden in Munich and decided - now, right now the time has come, now we want to have a little human being. And just a few months later, in early January 2015, we had the positive pregnancy test in our hands.
I was in my late 30s, so no longer the youngest, but I had a wonderful, completely uncomplicated pregnancy. Adam was sure from the beginning that we would have a little girl and infected me with this thought and so we were amazed when we found out that a little boy was coming to us. It quickly became clear to us that it would be a little Noah ... when I think back now, that is no coincidence either ... we never looked up what Noah means or when the name day is ... only later ... and in fact, Noah means "the comforting one" and name day is always December 16th, I'm pretty sure that Noah "came to us" on December 16th, 2014.
The summer of 2015 was very hot and my stomach was now huge and Noah just didn't want to come, he apparently liked it very much in my stomach. So 10 days after the due date, we started with the introduction, but our little man decided that he wasn't ready yet and we went home again. One day later, on September 26th. Noah was ready and actually everything would have happened very quickly, but our giant man was too big and didn't fit in with me and so I went to the operating room for an emergency caesarean section. Snap-snap and there he was - our little giant man! Exactly at 21:19 pm (both numbers that have a meaning for us and should get even more meaning later) Our doctor's first comment when he held Noah in his hands was: "We have a big boy!" Adam thought he looked like a giant Asian Smurf. We overflowed with love for this wonderful little person who would be with us from now on.
Two months later we flew to South Africa with our "big boy", because we kept our rhythm, we still spent most of the European winter in the warm. When asked "Yes, but what do you do when Noah has to go to school?", We always answered, "Oh, that will be fine, it's still a long time and a lot can happen there". In retrospect, this is also a sign for us that we somehow subconsciously "knew" that it would never play a role. There are also many other things: signs, premonitions, experiences, etc., which, if we look at them now, all make sense ... and also confirm our current knowledge: everything is what it is, we could not have changed anything!
We were allowed to spend 4 wonderful years with our Noah, accompaning him, showing him the world ... so much we have done, seen, experienced together ... it is such a gift for us to know that Noah has experienced more in his 4 years than many in a 70 year lifetime.
And Noah was a whirlwind, so full of energy, so full of life. He was always much taller than anyone else his age, loved to sing and dance, loved dinosaurs more than anything, he knew them all. He loved to explore the world, always went on his "missions", how often did we have to look for him and endured the sinking feelings, because he had simply set off again to discover the world or because he just needed fresh air.. He trudged through life without fear with so much joy and zest for life. He cast a spell over everyone, he was the child that everyone could remember, not because he was particularly cheeky, but because he was bubbling over with charm.
A girl he met two weeks before he left us later told everyone in her kindergarten that life was so mean because the boy she had wanted to marry had become a dragonfly. She had only spent two hours with him, but he is still firmly on her mind to this day.
Noah loved so much.
He loved his grandmother, his granny and his grandpa, his South African and German cousins, aunts and uncles, his buddies.
He loved his cars, his monster trucks and his dinosaurs.
He loved his green bike and refused to come in for dinner the first day he had gotten it, he just loved hitting the streets with his green bicycle...
He loved being cuddled up to us in the evening before going to sleep and when the light was turned off, it was still "Mama, Papa tell another story and only when there was another dinosaur story he did fall asleep. In addition, he usually ate a cucumber ...
Because he loved cucumbers. Best in one piece and unpeeled. He could eat a whole large cucumber at once, and sometimes he would rather eat his cucumber than a candy.
French fries, spaghetti Bolognese and cheese spaetzle were what he liked best, along with the cucumber, and the white of the egg, but only the white and the yellow he found terrible.
And there was no pain for Noah, he had no time for pain, because there was so much to do and experience ... he could walk barefoot with shorts through a nettle field and he didn't mind. Anyway, he preferred to run barefoot, he could walk on any surface. Once Adam took Noah to kindergarten barefoot on a hot summer day, his kindergarten teacher only noticed this when they wanted to go on a spontaneous trip to the alpine pasture. But another kindergarten teacher, who Noah knew well, just said, "don't worry, Noah can walk barefoot everywhere" ... and so Noah went barefoot to the mountain pasture and he loved it !!!
Oh, I could go on for hours ... and I'll do that, in a book, sometime when I have the strength, because there is so much to tell about our wonderful little Noah.
We spent the last year together in the mountains, we moved from Munich to Lofer near Salzburg and Noah experienced the rural picture-perfect idyll for exactly one whole year. Sometimes I couldn't believe how lucky we were, in South Africa we always lived on a farm in incredible nature and here in Austria as well.
The moment that changed everything
But how easily joy can be taken, from one second to the next everything collapses, the world as you have known and loved it lies in front of you in tens of thousands of pieces and you don't know how to sweep up the pieces ... how to live for just one second in this completely broken world.
Five days before Noah's 4th birthday, the birthday gifts had already been bought, the children's birthday was planned, the anticipation was great, the worst happened, the absolute loss -
On the night of September 20-21, 2019, Noah suffered a cardiac arrest, triggered by a reflex of the vagus nerve, which, when irritated, sends an immediate command to the heart to stop. We only found out later that there was such a thing. Noah was gone immediately, even an hour-long reanimation did not bring him back to us. He was gone from one second to the next, our perfectly healthy little man, sparkling with zest for life, was simply gone ...
How are you supposed to go on living, how are you supposed to endure just a second without your beloved child ...
Adam and I were in a state of shock. It was incomprehensible, incomprehensible ... trapped in a nightmare from which there is no more awakening. I don't know how we survived the first few days, most of it is like fog. There are moments that I remember, but many of them I cannot place in time.
i recall a moment when I was lying alone in a darkened room shortly "after" a couple of hours later, since Noah departed not knowing how to endure another moment longer without Noah, when suddenly a huge wave of energy rolled towards me. I really can't describe it otherwise - a wave of energy, somehow also visible and it slowly came towards me ... it wasn't scary or anything, it was just unbelievable and I couldn't assign what I was experiencing at the time. Today I know that it was Noah's energy that enveloped me, he wanted to show me, "Mama, I'm still here, everything is fine".
Another moment was a few days "after" when we were lucky enough to meet an elderly lady who lost 2 of her 4 children, her first son with a few months and her last child, also a boy with 4 years. Both strokes of fate were a long time ago and there she was standing in front of us and she radiated such an incredible zest for life and joy, her eyes shone and she listened to us and told us about her pain and her way back to life. It was so important for us to meet this dear woman at this early stage of our journey because she gave us the belief that we could make it ... back to a life without Noah by the hand, but always in our hearts , always with us. Shortly after she left, we sat together on the balcony ... it was a peaceful moment with the belief in survival and it was precisely in this peace that a message reached us on the cell phone. A dear friend sent us a short story with the words that he hoped these words could perhaps comfort us a little. It was the story "Of the Water Beetles and the Dragonfly" and it came at just the right moment. We thought it was beautiful and we imagined Noah whizzing through the air free and exhilarated, maybe even with his great grandpa, who had also gone ahead. We sent the story to all of our friends to share the image of Noah happily flying around. And strangely enough, from this point on, the dragonfly was to play a major role in our lives as well as in the lives of many friends, as if Noah had sent this story to us all so that he could send us his signs through real dragonflies, dragonfly pictures, dragonfly figures, etc.
With the impulses we have a chapter where we tell about our signs and messages, because we have already received so many. Noah is very busy and since we are "open" to it, we can mostly see, hear and feel him.
Only 5 days "after", on September 26th, 2019 was Noah's 4th birthday. We had been looking forward to this day "before" and now we just panic, how should we survive this day ?! But here, too, we received words that would help us again and again in certain situations, because a dear friend told us about the "shadow giant of Jim Knopf" written by Michael Ende: In a desert, Jim and Lukas notice a huge figure on the horizon. Jim is scared, but when Lukas goes ahead, he follows him with trembling knees. Lukas encourages himself and Jim and as they get closer and closer to the figure, the "giant" turns out to be a man of normal size. And so our friend said maybe it is also like this with Noahs birthday, maybe this day "appears" to you as a terrible giant figure, but when it has come then it may not be that bad. And she was right ... Noah made sure that his birthday was "special", we all felt him, he was there and he carried us all through HIS day.
Noah's memorial service
For Adam and me it was clear from the beginning that there would be no classic burial in a cemetery, because like his soul, Noah's shell should also be free, not buried somewhere as a body. We wanted to celebrate it, together with all our loved ones ... but here, too, we gave ourselves time, didn't put ourselves under pressure, because we quickly realized that the right time was coming for everything and so we concentrated for the first few weeks to pure survival. We dragged ourselves through the days and just tried to breathe in and out regularly. After three weeks the moment came to go one step further. We packed our backpacks and went on a 3-day hike on the Wilder Kaiser and alpine massif. From the beginning and for the whole three days, Noah showed us in the most incredible way that he was with us. Signs and messages that were so clear and precise that we could not ignore them. He carried us through this hike and let us take another step. We were now ready to face the world and celebrate our Noah with our friends! And so we all met on a golden autumn day at a place that has always been special to us, a group of trees with a wonderful view of our mountains. We cried, laughed, painted, made handicrafts and let balloons rise together. It was special! Just as Noah was and is a special little boy!
And so we are now on a new path that is incredibly painful and only ends when we see our Noah again. But it is up to us how we shape this path, whether we only walk it in pain or whether we also walk it with love, joy and gratitude. We choose the second, because at the end of this path we want Noah to be able to receive us with the words:
"Well done papa and mama, I'm proud of you!"