Sigrid Meinhild Henn, 1942 – 2022

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment,
and say your last words in silence.

Rabindranath Tagore – The Gardner (61)

Sigrid Henn was born in autumn on December 18, 1942 in Trausen (Gerdauen district, East Prussia, today Lipnjaki, Russian Oblast Kalinigrad) and died on September 12, 2022 at the age of 79 in Berglen, Baden Württemberg, Germany.

Sigrid was the daughter of Meinhild Naujoks (née Mertineit) and Otto Naujoks. Her mother died in 1945 while fleeing East Prussia, and Sigrid’s grandparents took her to Bassum (Lower Saxony), where she grew up for a few years. After her father returned from captivity and settled in Bensheim (Hesse), he took Sigrid to live with him.

In 1961, Sigrid was at the school for textile design in Sindelfingen and met Günther Henn, who worked at IBM Germany in Sindelfingen. In 1964 Sigrid and Günther married in Bensheim. In 1965, Sigrid and Günther moved to Freiburg after Günther had finished his military service and was transferred to Freiburg by IBM. In 1968, Sigrid gave birth to her son Jürgen in Freiburg. In 1970 she gave birth to her daughter Monika in Freiburg. In 1974 Sigrid and Günther bought a house in Biengen (part of of Bad Krozingen in Baden). Sigrid worked as a saleswoman in a clothing boutique in Bad Krozingen and bought her first car – a Renault 5.

In 1979 the family moved to Stuttgart-Möhringen, as Günther moved to the IBM branch in Stuttgart. Sigrid worked as a saleswoman at Breuninger, and then later for a clothing boutique in Stuttgart. At the end of the 1980s, the children left home and Sigrid and Günther moved to Müllheim-Vögisheim (Baden) in 1992. In 1996 Sigrid and Günther divorced.

After the divorce, Sigrid moved to Schorndorf in the Remstal. Monika had settled with her husband Karsten in Weinstadt im Remstal. Günther stayed in Müllheim. Jürgen moved to North Carolina, USA, with his wife Laura in 1994.

In 1997, Sigrid and a friend took a trip to New Zealand with a stopover in Hawaii. The two women spent several weeks traveling all over New Zealand in a mobile home and even took part in a sightseeing flight on a small plane. This adventure left a deep impression on Sigrid, and she fondly remembered this trip to the end. During this time, Sigrid’s creativity flourished and was expressed in a variety of ways: puppets, masks, weaving and textile arts.

In the following years, Sigrid also traveled to the USA several times to help Laura and Jürgen with the birth of the grandchildren Julia and Jacob. Over the years, however, Sigrid’s health got worse and worse, so that soon she was no longer able to travel. So she spent more and more time in her cozy apartment in Schorndorf, doing creative handwork and reading a lot.

After several falls, hip operations and a severe stroke, Sigrid decided in 2019 to move into the nursing home in Berglen and sell her apartment. Originally, she was only admitted to Berglen temporarily to prepare for rehabilitation after her last hip operation. After a few months it was not foreseeable that she would be able to manage on her own again, so she decided to take this step.

When the coronavirus pandemic broke out in March 2020, Sigrid was well cared for in the nursing home, even though she was only able to have contact with her children by telephone for a long time. Despite good care, physiotherapy and encouragement from the nursing staff, things slowly but surely went downhill physically. Shortly after a visit from Jürgen and daughter Julia in May 2022, Sigrid had to go to the hospital, where, after many tests, the diagnosis of ALS was made. In July, the mobile hospice service (SAPV) of the Rems-Murr district was called in to look after Sigrid. On September 12, Sigrid died peacefully in her room in Berglen, with her family present.

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