The day’s theme was “Above the clouds” -
It began with an organ variation of this song and it weaved through the whole celebration in form of songs and contributions by friends and family.
Dr. Frank Hettlich had his farewell celebration in the charming little church St Lambertus, Donsbrüggen. People arrived from all over Germany, France and especially the United Kingdom to say farewell to their friend and fellow pilot Frank. Many friends and patients joined the family for this occasion. It was, however, not meant to be a final good-bye:
Death is nothing at all, ...I have only slipped away into the next door room,
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still!
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together,
Pray, smile, think of me.
Life means all it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was,
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Frank’s positive spirit seemed present – it was the first sunny day of spring in Germany and suddenly a little butterfly appeared, flying through the sun-drenched church. (Who might have been flying there...?)
Music and touching speeches – given by Sir Clive Loader and Dr. Kevin Gibbin – gave the celebration a wonderful and personal edge. On this occasion the sermon was not written by our friend Father Bernhard Weskamp; Dorise had prepared a little „sermon“ about Frank and his life for the patients. Frank will have particularly enjoyed the epilogue from “The little Prince and the Pilot” - masterfully recited by Robin: „You, though, you will have stars like nobody else...“
Intercession/Petitions were read by Claudia, Bianca, Malaika, family, friends and colleagues. (especially touching was one in the Russian language). The church was full and there was a deep feeling of unity when all held hands whilst singing the ancient German folk song “Kein schöner Land”.
Now brothers, have a quiet night,
The Lord above will guard you right!
In his almighty grace
he sees to it
that we are sheltered.
We will all fondly and positively remember Frank’s farewell celebration.
...and we were singing,
the songs were ringing...
Frank loved nothing more than this – and that is how we should remember him.
The Lord may make it,
The Lord may give it,
it is His gift.
Dear Bernhard! Thank you for celebrating Frank’s life with us in your church. It means a lot to us! We are especially glad to know that following the lovely service a young mother decided to have her baby christened by you. That’s life: one leaves – one arrives.
Dorise, Claudia und Robin, Bianca und Malaika