Your Name Will Remain

Last year, Johannes-Hospiz was 20 years old. We celebrated this anniversary with several events and accentuations. We looked into the development and the history of our house on the “day of the open hospice”, we presented aspects of our work at an exhibition in the building of “Bezirksregierung” Münster (local government Münster), we looked upon our team in order to better get along together, and we are reflecting our attitude and our work by revising our mission statement.

One of the main concerns we feel obliged to in the hospice is “to keep the memory”. In the beginning of each team meeting and at the regular memorial services we commemorate the deceased. Our “books of remembrance”, which you find in the chapel and one of which always lies open on the lectern, bear witness to that memory. So the idea came into being to conclude the jubilee year with “a silent look inside” and to focus on the residents. They are the centre of our work and it is for them that we are here. 1957 persons have died in Johannes Hospiz since its opening. 1957 personal histories with experiences of life and achievements, with broken and unfinished moments, with relations and relatives, with hopes and dreams, have come here to a close, to their accomplishment. We could accompany 1957 persons up until their deaths, invest time and energy for them, offer them an open ear and an open heart. In a twenty hours’ project, the names of all these persons were read out while we remembered them in a moment of silence. We started in the afternoon, read the whole night through until the late morning which we concluded with a service. We wanted to show that they are not forgotten with us but that their memory is alive in the middle of our lives.

Actually, it was “only” names and a couple of numbers we could present. We have no way of knowing what is hiding behind them, we have known these people only for a few days or weeks, in rare cases for some months. Still, so many memories woke up, memories of conversations and meetings, of many a peculiarity and of special, sometimes funny experiences, so that these 20 hours became for us all –readers and listeners – a time of special fullness. And it was the night hours which had a special magic.

We learned once more during these hours what a precious treasure these people are who do not simply belong to the history of Johannes Hospiz but who are the one and real history of Johannes Hospiz.

Reading the books of remembrance showed us their precious legacy: Your name will remain!

Stephan Allendorf, Hubertus Deuerling