Lijntje Elisabeth Pel 1943 – 2012

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This day 10 years ago my mother, Lijntje Elisabeth Pel, passed away. She was just 69 years old. A musical look back.

November 30, 2012

I will never forget receiving a phone call from my mother’s phone number around 8 o’clock at night. We were about to see each other in two days’ time to celebrate Sinterklaas (a Dutch children’s celebration), so I answered the phone cheerfully. On the other end of the line, my youngest sister proclaimed: “Mama is dead. Come over at once.”


A week of fierce emotions followed, spending lots of time with the family. Besides grieving, we had a lot of organizing to do, one was a funeral. What did we want? What music should we play? Albinoni’s oboe concertos of course, just like Bryan Ferry and John Denver. And then? O yeah, she liked October Roses. Bruce Springsteen? No, too heavy. Meat Loaf? Yes, great plan!

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She herself was part of a choir that had led to releases as well. She sang on mantra cd’s. The image pictured above is no joke. My mother really does have her own artist entry on the well-known The last piece we would play during the funeral service was culled from the first mantra cd she sang on. We chose Om Asatoma Sadgamaya, a mantra meant for providing aid to the soul during important transitional periods in life. A fitting message on that sad day of December 6, 2012, the day of her funeral. It’s somewhat bittersweet, and soothing as well, to realize she was guiding herself to wherever she is now.

Om asatoma sadgamaya
Tamasoma jyotirgamaya
Mrityorma amritamgamaya

Lead us from lie to truth
From dark to light
From death to immortality

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Goodbye speech

Fairly quickly it was decided that I would say something during the service. Luckily we all were able to say something, which was a good thing indeed. I clearly remember not being able to come up with the words, but the day before the funeral I finally sat down and wrote the speech in 5 minutes time. I think I did her justice. A small part of the speech is printed below.

Music played an important part in our family. All the music we selected for this remembrance meant something to her. When I was young she regularly visited concerts with us. There stood my mother, between the punks and skinheads in youth center “de Koog” as Herman Brood or Raymond van het Groenewoud performed there. My mother was cool, standing in between my friends. We saw many concerts together, including the big ones, like Prince, Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. But her favorite concert was the one by Bryan Ferry in Amsterdam. That was her idol. Bryan Ferry was the beautiful man she finally got to see in the flesh. She was ecstatic!

Play list December 6, 2012

Below is the play list of the music we used at my mother’s funeral.

The final farewell

So goodbye sweet, distant, warm, intelligent, talented, creative, addictive, loving, exuberant, modest, sexy, clever, cool, strong, fargile, interested, insecure, unwavering, stubborn, accommodating woman. I love you with all my heart.

Compliments/remarks? Yes, please!