A friend of mine lost a daughter at age 17 on a ski slope couple of weeks ago. She was in the Turkish national ski team.
It is such a fulfilling event to support your child doing something they are passionate about – and then there is that freak accident that takes your child away from you.
I cannot even imagine the pain of this loss, and you would hope that the family would have the peace to mourn their loss. Rather than grieving for her beautiful daughter Aslı’s mum found out that a famous columnist working for a national newspaper had gotten a hold of one of Aslı’s personal essays. In that essay Aslı writes about a race when a lot was at stake and her feelings before, during and after the race.
The columnist had a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) trained “expert” interpreted the essay and his conclusions that were published has outraged many including myself. The NLP “expert” was audacious enough to state that Aslı predicted her own death. The columnist herself stated that Aslı was pushed to do a dangerous sport and barely stopped short of blaming the parents for the daughter’s death.
The article has caused an outcry of opinions and the columnist has been publicly chastised for not respecting the family. It has also prompted me, with Aslı’s mum’s full permission, to write my own interpretation of Aslı’s essay.
Please read Aslı’s essay below and discover the essence of this seventeen year old child who is no longer with us in a physical sense but very much with us in a spiritual sense – she remains our teacher.
It is 7am when the alarm on my phone woke me. It’s neither an early nor a late time to wake up on a race day.
I feel rested and fit but, when I remember that today is a race day, like always, I get that weird feeling inside me; fear, excitement, the anxiousness that comes from the question ‘What if?’…
While I am getting out of bed I am afraid to look out my window to see if the weather is going to be unpleasantly foggy and freezing again, then I feel the warmth of the sunrays hitting my face. Yes, exactly the weather I wanted; warm, bright, when I look carefully I can even see the racecourse. Wow, they already prepared it; the gates are in, quite long.
I believe, everything is going to be perfect, this race is an important one for me. The National Team will be taking the top three to the international races. Today I need to show my best performance no matter what, I have to take my chances. As coach Fidan says, either “hero or mero”. (Eastern Turkish saying loosely translated meaning “either way it doesn’t matter.”)
After breakfast and getting dressed, we head out to the racecourse with our skis on our shoulders. As always, everything is routine. We are getting to know the gates and then the race begins.
I am number three, so I quickly take off my jacket; I am in panic mode and I start warming up. We are all very tense, but trying to lighten the mood with our laughter. I hug Yasemin and Zeynep and after wishing everyone good luck I close my eyes and imagine the course. Yes I am ready, my skis are on and with the announcement of “Number three Aslı Nemutlu is she here?”, I am now next to coach Fidan.
As usual she tells me about the critical gates, right there I start feeling nauseous again. “Aslı, enough! how many times you have been racing by now,” I tell myself. I am trying to calm myself by saying “Think positive, let go of negative thoughts, do the best you can”.
It is my turn; Coach Fidan says, while patting my back, “Come on girl, show your best”. After taking three slow breaths, I am putting on my goggles and stare at the course with squinting eyes.
With the sound of “Attention, set…”, I am now all alone on the course. Only the race marshals, the gates, my skis, which disturb the silence of death — and me. This one minute long adventure will soon end…
What was the outcome? My skis suddenly came off in the middle of the course. Yet I still climbed with determination, continued, not giving up and after it was over I cried a lot;
- this was my unlucky day.
No related posts.