Courage plays an important role in the life of Simone Plaschke. And this does not only regard the planned skydiving experience, but much more the process of learning to be true to oneself and to show what kind of person one is. What this is exactly about, what she connects with cranes and ravens and what she thinks about topics like dying, death and grief, she tells us at REHACARE.com.
Name: Simone Plaschke
City: Brunsbek, Germany
Occupation: Living and dying nurse, pain nurse, working with elderly people, blogger
Impairment: Multiple sclerosis since I’m 18
When did you last laugh heartily and what about?
Simone Plaschke: Recently, when me and my boyfriend were both totally tired. We were lolling around on the sofa and only able to fool around. In that moment, we only talked nonsense and could only laugh out loud the whole time – these kinds of moments are so good!
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Simone Plaschke: The topic courage plays a very important role in my life. Be it regarding physical skills, during traveling or be it the "showing yourself" and being true to yourself. This might be a small goal for outsiders, but for me it is a very big goal to be wearing a swimsuit or short pants while being among other people. Being totally relaxed and confident. Since I’ve lost very much weight since last year – and this travel is not finished yet – many tests of courage are still ahead of me. Also, I really want to try skydiving once (I already was able to try out paragliding). Oh, there are so many things…
Which person has influenced you most?
Simone Plaschke: It is difficult to relate this question only on one or two people. Sure, our own parents and longtime friends have a great influence on us. But in the last ten to fifteen years I got to know so many wonderful people, from whom I could learn many things and to whom – I hope – I was able to give much of myself.
You have the chance to become the German Federal Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Simone Plaschke: I don’t really know where to begin with! I’m very much involved in nursing care facilities and being often asked, how I can "bear" such a profession. Therefore, I think it is very important that the staff who is looking after and tending for our old and/or sick people, should be trained on a psychosocial level and at the same time also be supported. Dying and mourning people only have a small or even no lobby at all in our culture. Everyone has read or heard the term "empathy", but here it will not be adequately lived and put into practice. You can’t learn sensitivity up to 100 percent, but observing and sensing is something that can be schooled and improved. I’m happy that the topics dying, death and grief are being more and more recognized in our society, and also in the media, but there is still SO much to do. And it is very important, to take people at the end of their life and their relatives in our midst, to not push them off or to ignore them with all their needs. Self-determined dying and the open and individual handling of grief and parting are very important to me and for that I will always give my best.
Simone Plaschke: I have thought about this for quite a long time and I really cannot think of anybody.
I would like to be ...
Simone Plaschke: A crane or a raven. I love these birds and observe them whenever it is possible. In some way, I feel connected to them.
Which questions would you like answered the most?
Simone Plaschke: Why do we human beings think that we are the gold standard and treat our surrounding and nature like enemies? Do we all have old souls and can we connect with them? Why does it seem so difficult to live in peace? When do we lose our stereotyped thinking and come closer together? When do we trust more in the great intuition and the ability of our children and stay much longer much more childlike?
What I finally want to say...
Simone Plaschke: You wonderful people, the luggage we all have to carry is often heavy. Hats off to the people who have to walk through these valleys and overcome it all by themselves or nearly on their own. Please believe in yourself, your rights and your abilities. It is a phrase, but: never give up. Every one of us makes a valuable contribution to this world, everyone can participate and stand for and do something better. If we support each other, and carry each other through difficult times, if we don’t deny our fears or talk them down, but instead look at them and unravel them, then they still may be heavy, but they are easier to overcome.