On 22 October he would 75 have become, but ROBERT LONG died on his 64th with a rare form of cancer. Widower KRISTOF RUTSAERT keeps the memory of a singer sharp and celebrates the 75th birth year of his great love, a great tribute, supported by a host of stars. In a touching interview, the 46-year-old Belgian about his love for the quirky artist, in their sixteen years together and Robert’s eventual death.
Not a day goes by that ROBERT LONG from his thoughts. Sixteen years was almost thirty years younger, KRISTOF RUTSAERT the partner of the singer; one year they were married. And also after the death of the artist, on 13 december 2006, feels the blonde Belgian attaches itself associated with Long. With the 75th ’birthday’ of his great love in coming, prepares Kristof a spectacular tribute to his deceased beloved.
“All those letters I still have from fans get, so heart-warming to all. Therefore, I have the idea of a tribute is picked up. And that’s what I do with passion!”
On 22 October, on Roberts ’birthday’, remember stars like JOKE BRUIJS, GERARD COX and RICHARD GROENENDIJK their deceased colleague musical at the Luxor Theater in Rotterdam. In the new theatre season is alive Robert further in the theatre The day I Robert Long met. IVO DE WIJS brings together the stories and EDDY HABBEMA directs the performance. MAAIKE WIDDERSHOVEN, DIETER TROUBLEYN, JULIA AUTUMN and ROBERTO THE GREAT have promised to cooperate. VERA MANN did that also, but hooked recently.
Kristof acknowledges: “It has beset us, but if someone eventually makes a different choice you can have on your head will stand, but that does not make sense. The world is free. No hard feelings so. I also want to enjoy and be positive in life. I have enough trouble.”
By the death of Robert?
“Yes, and what that all brought about. I have a lot of grief had it, I am through a very difficult period gone. Lots of crying, lots of tears. I have all the emotions that someone that a loved one has lost an experience, also experienced. It was very heavy, it is raw. And mourning. Both. Until I was ten years after Roberts death, I noticed that I out of that deadlock wild. A friend of mine who also have a difficult time, had they been suggested for a dive to take. In the sense of: let the negativity ’freeze’. Robert and I have a house on lake Como, we are in the water, gone. For me, it was the year of the change. I had it this year and want to do, but unfortunately with a big flu, on the verge of pneumonia, in bed.”
It was a beautiful love with Robert?
“I felt that way. It is a love that you can actually anyone would wish. We were loved unconditionally each other. Sixteen years we were as one. I was nineteen years old when I met him and was still studying, communication sciences. He was my big love. And then on his deathbed, and nothing more need to say, so beautiful and intense… Emotionally, I have a very high level. That makes it for myself, however, what is difficult in a new relationship. Fall in love again to be, again, someone to love, I got it last year for a moment experienced. I can play it and I’m glad about that, but that relationship has not held.”
The feeling of betrayal towards Robert?
“Absolutely not. What I do, how I move, what I say or think, it does not diminish the love I had and have for Robert.”
You have of him?
“I will never not love him.”
Love is stronger than death?
“Love has a different form. Robert has a song written, Everything that you really love. He gave it on a cassette, in a time that I was struggling. That was in the beginning. Robert had a different relationship and I was still not ’out’. I struggled actually with myself. Robert sings ’if you like something, is it in your heart and it will never be over.” Thus, it is also. All you have to learn to let go. Just like with a bird. If that is too long to hold in your hand, grows faint, you and the dead.”
His death has both of you raided?
“Robert had a very severe form of peritoneal carcinomatosis. The disease was very aggressive and fast. At a certain point he would with a friend to move to Italy on a project to work. For the departure, he said: “I had went to the toilet to go, but it was not.’ A day later it went even not. He still had a spoon of olive oil taken, but without result. He ate almost and became yet heavier. As if his intestines blocked. He decided to come back to Antwerp, where we lived. On Friday morning at six o’clock he was home, three hours later he was sitting at the doctor’s and around noon he was in the hospital. There was an echo made, and a week later I heard that it was cancer. On Monday they started with the chemo, and then was also a biopsy was taken. When Robert from the operating room came, and I the face of the internist saw it, I felt immediately that it was wrong. He said: “Kristof, we have agreed that we are very honest. I have bad news, it is terminal.’ Robert looked at me and the internist to, I tried to brace, but were just sitting there crying. “How many months do I have?”, asked Robert. I saw him swallow, that image you will never forget. The internist was not on his lips.
It was 7 december.
Against me, they had said, ” We don’t think he the christmas.’ I told him that it was a matter of days. And but whine. “I know sweetheart. But try it as soon as possible a place to give’, he told Robert to me. I was on 24 hours a day with him in the hospital and slept in his room on a cot. The thirteenth Robert died. He is in my arms and died.”
“Robert still wanted to say goodbye to his fans, but could not write more. I never knew that someone who does not eat more, so quickly malnourished could get. I don’t know or choose to tell, but I have a lot done yourself. Robert washed, dressed and the chest closed. That I wanted to necessarily have to do yourself. Then I swung the box and again later from home to wear. I have Robert stays at home. It was such a rollercoaster.”
Robert is buried at St. Peter Ties in The Hague. The singer is on his own request, in a straight line with DIMITRI FRENKEL FRANK, with whom he, Chekhov did. “During the funeral, I still sand in the grave are creating. I thought: I love him, all of sixteen years. Robert is my husband. I release all that does not serve others? He wanted to actually cremated, but I felt important that he was buried. We have it there on his deathbed, still about had. He left the decision to me, and I was so happy. The grieving process starts for me at the time that someone dies and you are in slow course behind the coffin to the grave.”
How should the outside world Robert Long remember? As a gifted songwriter and composer, but also as a provocative and viciously artist?
“I have rarely seen an artist experienced, so close to herself. The poison he did not for the poison, but to the message that they brought. There, you had to think about it. Robert was there in the theatre, however, have to be faced. He said: ’If I am not understood, I have made a mistake. Then I offer my sincere apologies.’ In his program Now, Robert was ten years in the theatre before, ” he said also: ’If I would have contributed that we all have a big mouth and can say what we think, then I’m sorry. Because that was never the intention.’
How more sincere or better you can say?”