(25-JUN-09) Yesterday, when I got home, Petra told me the news with tears in her eyes: Our friend Florian did not wake up after a surgery in the hospital. He had had a broken toe that was almost healed and was asked to perform a standard procedure to correct some minor issues he had experienced. At first he had resisted the surgery in his typical fashion, with a wide smile – “it’s getting better, it’s not that I can’t walk” – but the doctors convinced him to do it. And then, during the surgery, a problem occurred. It’s not yet clear what happened exactly after he entered the surgery room, but whatever it was, Florian did not get back into life again.
And at 35 years, he had a full life. Known as the “Party Flo”, Florian was where the action was, and the action was where he was. In his spare time, he organized the biggest parties for his friends, ranging from simple BBQs at his home to dozens of tables at the Oktoberfest and wonderful ski meetings in the Alps. It was next to impossible to imagine him sitting alone on the sofa at home watching TV (except when his favorite soccer club, Bayern München, was having a match). We always joked that he should quit his day job to do event planning and event management full time. That was his true passion. Yes, he enjoyed life to the fullest.
Munich, 18th August 2007
I first met Florian two years ago when he was a new colleague of Petra. He had joined Petra’s company, and he was planning the wedding with his lovely wife, Daniela. At first they did not think about hiring a wedding photographer. Then Florian saw my work and the couple decided to go for it. It was one of the biggest and most joyful weddings I have ever photographed, thanks to the friendly families and numerous friends attending the ceremony and party. And over time I enjoyed to become also one of Florian’s friends.
If the joy he found with Daniela could be topped, it was the birth of their daughter Marie two months ago that actually did this. Following Marie’s birth, Florian became even more relaxed than before. He had a very natural way of handling the kid – it all looked so easy with him. If you told others how naturally Florian had assumed his role and responsibility as a father, people were stunned. Despite of the new family member, he did not need to give up too much of his previous lifestyle, though, and so the tiny Marie appeared as a silent admirer on various smaller events with Florian and Daniela. It was all just natural to them.
Munich, 13th June 2009
Like they did about two weeks ago. The small family attended a Munich “Waldfest” (a pre-runner to Oktoberfest), where Florian was playing with his traditional Bavarian folk band under a clear blue sky on a warm sunny day – perfect for this kind of fest. Florian, Daniela, and Marie, were again a joy to see, and it was once more clear that this small family was a match made in heaven. Both Petra and I are very glad that we attended this Waldfest to enjoy yet another good day with Florian, Daniela, Marie, and their families.
That Florian is gone forever, taken in the middle of his full life and way too early, is unbelievable to us. It feels weird to know that Florian will not return, that he will not anymore bring his joy to others, in his unselfish style. No, that can’t be. I guess it will take us a long time to get used to that thought. There will be many times when I will start a thought involving Florian, and then stop it in shock and deep sadness, realizing that Florian is not among us any longer.
We will miss Florian, and our thoughts are with Daniela and Marie, and their family.