Author Topic: Welcome to Holland  (Read 436 times)


  • Member
  • Posts: 309
  • widowed 2012
Welcome to Holland
« on: November 23, 2017, 10:28:04 PM »
I don't know if someone has ever posted this essay here, I first read it on the ywbb. And, even though it's about raising special needs children, it does in fact relate quite a bit to the experience of widowhood.


Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.


  • Member
  • Posts: 79
Re: Welcome to Holland
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 07:32:14 AM »
Thanks for posting this.  I spend a lot of time in Italy (gondolas overrated) - but I've never been to Holland.  What I can say is that I got the double whammy - a dead husband and a special needs kid, all within less than 10 years.  She is the light of my world - every day is an adventure with her!  Windmills and tulips and who knows what else?  She is one surprise after another.  She is my husband's one lasting gift to me.