De hemel kan wachten
About daring to be vulnerable instead of creating a safe emotional distance.
Belle (12), from Gideon Samson’s De hemel kan wachten (Heaven Can Wait, 2017), comes across as a nasty piece of work. But when you read her bitter-sweet story, you realize that there’s a good reason for that.
Belle’s in hospital and she’s angry: with her illness, her weepy mother, her selfish father, her hypocritical friends – with everyone who feels sorry for her.
With her bitchy and bitter (and sometimes funny) remarks, she creates a safe emotional distance from the people who care about her. As Belle writes down her memories from the time when ‘everything was still normal’ and has touching conversations with her grandad about her parents’ divorce and the meaning of life and death, she increasingly shows her true face. Belle isn’t a bitch. Belle is vulnerable, just as vulnerable as you and me. And that is exactly why you take her into your heart.