In memory of Pete
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05-03-2018, 05:42 PM
In memory of Pete
Let me tell you about Pete. He taught me about death and freedom.

I went camping at this place in Germany quite regularly at the time. I lived somewhat close to it and it was beautiful there. "Externsteine" if anybody is interested.

There was a group of people that I always met there and only there but every time. We didn't make plans to meet there. We just did. One of them was Pete, a 65 year old homeless guy. He loved his beer and a joint. He was this skinny, English dude, living in Germany.

Over the summer that I got know Pete, I learned a little bit about him. Not a whole lot because he didn’t like talking about his life etc. But I knew that he used to have a lovely wife that he loved very much but apparently she had died. I knew that technically he had a place to stay. He did have social security money that he received monthly. Just very very little. But even though he had social housing from the state he preferred to be outside. He didn’t bother anyone. Very nice guy, great sense of humor, a lot of stories, but generally more on the quiet side.
He did like the younger ladies and would sometimes hit on them but he knew he’d not get any of course. He just did it to have fun and as I said nobody would mind. Everybody really loved him. We were a big group of different ages and backgrounds and we would make a fire and sit around it together and do the whole hippie thing drumming and singing at the fire etc.
That summer was really wonderful and one of the reasons was Pete.

One night at the end of the summer I decided to sleep by the fire instead of my tent. Pete had no tent so he always slept by the fire. So we were just laying there quietly; saying something every 10 minutes or so and otherwise just lost in our own heads. Everybody else had gone to their tents to sleep already. This place was so far out that no city lights disturbed the sky so we could actually see the stars.
During the day we had talked a little bit and he had explained how much he loved his freedom out here. He loved that nobody bothered him and that he could just be etc.
So now, in the middle of the night I asked him about winter and he told me he was going to be here. I asked about the cold etc. He said:

“When my time comes, I will just roll over in one of those bushes.”

He did not say that in any negative way. He just wanted to not be found and be brought into the medical system that would not let him die in dignity or the way he preferred to. He knew he would probably not make it for many more years and this was just how he wanted to die. How he had chosen to die. He was not suicidal, don’t get me wrong. It was simply a truth for him. He was going to be there no matter what time of the year. And if it was his time to die, he wanted to die here, in the bushes.

I never forgot the night at the campfire and I think this conversation was what encouraged me to do it my way when the time comes too. I love my freedom too. I express it differently but Pete has left a big impact on me with his approach to life and especially how he saw death. Just a part of life, nothing to be scared of, and something that you can have a choice over to a certain level.

So even though Pete is dead by now, he still has a place in my heart and will be remembered.

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05-03-2018, 05:51 PM
RE: In memory of Pete
That was more than he expected, Rob. You honored him in the nicest way.
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