“Silence”, A Guest Blogger’s Homage to His Grandmother

December 8, 2019

“Silence”, A Guest Blogger’s Homage to His Grandmother


Jan’s Story

Honoring Grandma with a Translation of “Still”

My grandmother was incredible and did many things her own unique way. I’m forever grateful that I had her in my life. To honor her memory, I translated the song Still (German for “silent” or “quiet”) by Jupiter Jones. I love her and that song, and it’s a good match for the way I feel about my grandmother. The original lyrics don’t really have any rhyme, but I added a little in my translation.

Silence - an Homage to My Grandmother
So quiet 
That everybody knew this is for good
For good and for a lifetime, and it was
So quiet
That everybody sensed no words could
Ever help describe this loss
So quiet 
That all the clocks were silent as in a still-life piece of art
So quiet and so lost you had to part
So quiet and so lost you had to part
I’ve heard so much, but it never gets to me
That’s what keeps me up at night and think of thee
Even if I write a thousand songs ‘bout missing you
Doesn’t mean I understand 
Why this aches so much and stays so true
So loud, 
The hours after impact when I had
To understand what’s happening and it was, too, 
So loud,
That everything we thought of brought nothing but an emptiness to us
So loud and so departed as it was
When silence lived with us instead of you
I’ve heard so much, …
So quiet, and still missing you at every bend,
And wherever you today may stand
You showed me this silence has from now become your friend
I’ve heard so much …
I’ve heard so much…

About Grandma and Me

My grandmother was blessed to live as long as she did and for most of her 93 years, she was in good health. It was hard to see her getting worse in her last years, and maybe because I had her in my life for so long, I miss her a lot. Just to show you her inventiveness, she used to walk with those walking
sticks in her later years, because she had an issue that she easily stumbled over things. She used them almost till the end; a walker for definitely NOT for her.

Grandma and me in The Hague in 2010

Grandma was always there for me and would do anything for me. She taught me to do Origami, and taught me how to knit. She taught me all I know about photography, as my grandfather, who actually was a photographer, died too early to teach me. So we developed photos together—she knew all the tricks.

Grandma had the same knack as I do for all digital matters and still communicated with me at the age of 92 via her computer. She was the first and maybe the last person I ever heard of recording movies and documentaries with a special recorder, to cut them and burn DVDs of the result.

Grandma read many poems to me that I learned by heart. Some of the poems and stories were verboten by my parents when I was young, but now they are grateful that she shared them with me. Inspired by Grandma, I write and recite poetry; that’s me below at a poetry recital in 2013, and my beloved Grandma was in the audience.

Grandma and I had a special bond—that’s why I miss her so much.

Thank You, Jan!

I love Jan’s stories about his grandmother, who sounds like a truly remarkable person. When Jan sent me his draft, he said: “Thanks Kim, for giving me the opportunity to tell people about my grandma and our bond.”

Jan, I can honestly say that the pleasure is all mine.

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