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The story of an accidental plant on a grave - an in memoriam to Berre

The story of an accidental plant on a grave - an in memoriam to Berre

" In 2019, Berre left us. He still came to the community center on Christmas Eve to the Christmas dinner. Then he slept quietly at home. Berre was a rock in our operation, already from the 70s. An icon. A symbol also for 50 years of community work 't Lampeke.

Fortunately we were able to say goodbye to Berre together in a large group in January 2020. A few months before corona struck. We said goodbye and reminisced. We were able to honor and appreciate Berre during the service and coffee table. With more than 200 people from the past and present. With a look to the future. We are glad we were able to do this together. This was so valuable. So important.

And then came Corona. Pretty soon it was clear that the big celebration for 50 years of community work 't Lampeke in September would not be able to take place. It was postponed until 2022. A good decision. On Saturday, September 26, 2020, the day of the postponed celebration, we went to Berre's grave. We had to do something. Impulsively, we jumped on our bikes, passed a store and took two (the same) plants. Plants, which we felt suited Berre. We put these two plants down in beautiful pots at his grave. And thought for a moment about Berre. About us. About 't Lampeke. About the world.

Afterwards, it turned out that they were not just any plants. What a coincidence. Or maybe not ...

It was Lampeke's grass. The Latin name is Pennisetum Alopecuroides. The plant requires a slightly humid soil or soil that is well-drained and permanently slightly moist. It is a very richly flowering plant. This grass grows excellently in a place in sun to semi-shade. It can be used as a loner (solitary), but much more comes into its own in a large group.

A description that completely fit the person, which Berre was and for us still is.

A month and a half later, this story was given a place in a window art project, seeking stories from chance. The artist was touched by this story. A long chat followed, which was at the same time quite emotional and powerful. A chat about Berre, about his place in 't Lampeke. About his funeral. About the warm human being he was. And still remains in memory. The mayor of the street. Because of corona, the window project had to be changed. It could no longer go ahead as planned. But a tailor-made solution was found. And customized solutions, Berre knew all about that too.

On Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, all the coincidence stories came on different windows in Belgium and the Netherlands. All this was filmed and photos were taken. The result of the Lampepoets grass story is now on a window in Ghent. Where it stands is not so important. But just before Christmas 2020, a year after his death, this became a beautiful tribute to Berre. A commemoration. An In Memoriam for Berre van ' Lampeke 1937-2019.

We find this beautiful. Moving. And at the same time hopeful. That past, present and future can find each other. In these corona times, we want to share this powerful story in our yearbook. With at the same time the explicit request to be caring for each other. To care for that woman, man, child you think could use extra care right now. Maybe to do that one extra phone or push (with sanitized finger) on a front doorbell. Or something else ....

And .... maybe you should also just happen to buy a plant somewhere. And give it to someone, with whom this plant fits. And then ask for the name afterwards. You never know what all this might bring about."

Lieven Verlinde

Berreke Artoos


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