I took this picture on July 1st 2014 in the back garden of our friends in Amsterdam. Susannah, mother of Arend, wanted some pictures of her two sons and the children of her day-care centre (very small, just a few kids, organic food, playing outside, lovely!). Just before we left on our canoeing trip through Scandinavia, Susannah was in her final weeks of the pregnancy of her third child, when we received a text in the middle of the night: “Arend has passed away…”

Thinking that she made a mistake, my wife called her. It wasn’t a mistake. Arend had stayed at home for a few weeks with some flu like symptoms. But that day it all went wrong. He woke up on the couch and fainted. When the first aid team arrived, they found Susannah trying to resuscitate her son. It didn’t work.

Four days later, Susannah gave birth to her third son, while her first born son was lying in repose in the same house.

Today is the day Arend would have celebrated his sixth birthday. His family will, but without him being physically present.

Why am I telling you this? Well, our friends were confronted with the enormous expenses of a funeral. Of course, they weren’t prepared for this. When everybody asked if there was something they could do for them, Susannah replied: “You can help us pay for a decent funeral”. And that’s what happened. In no less than a few days, all the expenses were covered by gifts alone.

And now they want to do something in return. Susannah and Mark founded the Arend-Lucas fund. A fund for parents that lost a child and cannot afford a decent funeral. Here you can find some information. If you don’t understand a word of dutch, here’s the number you can transfer your money to if you want: NL77 TRIO 0390 3354 79

We’ll miss this little guy…