My big sister's wedding

Helsinki, 4 degrees


White interior & Restaurant Day February 2013

Helsinki, 0 degrees

Emerald birds and side swept hairstyles

Helsinki, -5 degrees

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Pattern blazers & storage solutions

Helsinki, 2 degrees

Grief & funeral wear

Helsinki, 0 degrees

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Birds

Helsinki, 0 degrees

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There were birds in the sky, but I never saw them winging. No, I never saw them at all - 'til there was you.

I like to use weather conditions as metaphors for feelings. I've always been a person that has very much been affected by the weather so it feels natural for me to link the two. This week has felt like a fog, daze, storm, tempest and even calm weather. This has nothing to do with the weather outside, but more with the feelings inside of me. I managed to go back to work after being on sick leave for a week after my father's decease. I know for sure I couldn't have done my way back without the genuine kindness I've encountered at my workplace. When a person face-offs a loss like this, kindness and compassion is the only thing that can help you back to everyday life. However, I've been amazed by the understanding and kindness I've come upon. All the same, I've only started to find my way back to being myself, even though I don't think I'll ever be exactly the same person again. So bear with me.

It's funny how your mind plays tricks on you. Helsinki has received some 20 cm of snow this weekend, and I'm sure no other than me has paid any attention to the signs of spring. Yes, that's correct. Even though Helsinki has been very snowy this Shrovetide, I've heard several birds singing and seen them winging this weekend. I guess it's no wonder since my father has been on my mind, like he has been ever since I heard the terrible news, and one of my dad's favorite things in the world was just that - birds.

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I've never really reached the level of appreciation for birds as my father did. He had shelves full of bird books and enjoyed spotting them with binoculars in springtime. I've actually never known anybody else that could name as many birds as he did. I also remember how excited he was when a research realized by National Geographic showed that birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. He even brought me the first magazine showcasing this discovery.

Right now I cling on to anything and everything that can make me feel better and get me through the day. One could say that I'm in search of inner peace. This weekend it has been birds, and who knows, they might even help me through this spring as they multiply as we move towards warmer weather. What inspires you right now?

Grief

Helsinki, -7 degrees

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Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.

Today, exactly seven days from the moment when I got the dreaded news, I find myself writing about the grief I've encountered. One week ago I found out that my beloved dad had passed away at the age of 64. He would have turned 65 next Saturday. I guess it's an age when death shouldn't come as any surprise to anybody, at least if a person is suffering from health problems, but it sure got the best of me this time. I simply wasn't prepared for this in any way. Terribly enough, he had just met my boyfriend for the first time in the end of last year. Now it all feels like it had a meaning, even though it feels impossible to understand the meaning with all of this. I feel like somebody pushed the pause button on the recording called my life and right now I'm standing still even though I can see that the rest of the world is circulating around me like usual.

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I hope that I one day can become as interesting as a person as my father was. He was like the best men are; a great storyteller and true adventurer. He was one of the few persons who mastered both the sea and the sky, and I shall hereafter think of my father every time I see either one of them. He loved the sea and used to drive me and my sister crazy sometimes as children as he always wanted to take us on boat trips with his boats, which he swapped quite often. Now, I would do anything to go on one of those boat trips with him. He also had a pilot's licence and I feel lucky to have had an aviator as my father.


He was a lawyer by profession, but in my mind his real profession was being an adventurer. He travelled around the world twice on world tours and often showed us items he had collected from these travels. He also traveled a lot with my mother. It seemed like no language was difficult enough for him not to at least understand, if not speak, and in my opinion he was a citizen of not merely one nation but of the world as a whole. Some could even say that he had a restless soul. When I think of him, I picture him on the move, constantly on the way somewhere since he never stayed in one place for a long time. He made me understand the beauties of the world and travelling through his stories and I have to thank him for my interest of other cultures and tourism.

He always encouraged me to travel. I remember that he wrote me long letters when I lived abroad despite the fact that he wasn't one to write much, in some degree because of his dyslexia. He also encouraged me at work and came to visit my work place many times. He was happy for me and joyed over my work place since we shared a genuine love for Helsinki.


Sure he did a lot of mistakes in his life, some bigger and worse than what one would want to see anybody do during their lifetime. In that sense he taught me also to be careful and make sure not to make the same mistakes. Our relationship was like a roller coaster, partly due to his errors, partly due to my parents' divorce. The last years of his life though, I did a lot of work to build up a stronger relationship with him since I realized that I could only truly know myself if I knew my father. One of his last teachings was one of the most important in life - forgiveness. I know now in my heart that he knew how important he was for me and that I cherished him so much in my life.

I asked my mother, because she knew my dad for a stunning 50 years, about what she thought was the most important thing he accomplished in his life and she answered that she thinks it was having me and my sister. That reply meant the world to me as he always made me feel so loved as a daughter.

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Needless to say, my father is deeply missed as he will be from this day onwards. I still sometimes have troubles with realizing that all of this is true. Naturally, he was also missed at my sister's wedding last weekend. The ceremony felt for me like something I was observing from the outside even though I tried my best to participate in it in the best way I could.

Once the ashes have descended, I will tell you more about the wedding.

This song (Paradise Oskar: Bridges Out Of Ashes) has helped me a lot during the last week. I like the thought of my daddy being in the sky now looking after me.



"You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp."
-Anne Lamott