You could be forgiven for thinking that someone dying at a party would put a severe damper on the proceedings. However, this was not the case yesterday.
Kirsten, Charlotte and Tomas very bravely brought Kirsten’s aging mother Inger along to the weekend’s family reunion. Inger was clearly not well. She had lost almost all of her muscle tissue, and had become severely jaundiced. Although her appearance was disturbing, she arrived in good spirits, and didn’t seem disturbed to have to be carried everywhere. As one might expect, she spent much of the time asleep, but was alert enough to appreciate everyone around her. Saturday’s party was enjoyed, I think, by everyone – around 45 people.
On Sunday morning, we all got up to a leisurely breakfast, and Inger came out in her wheelchair, and was fed some ullebrød by Kirsten, while the rest of us were involved in animated discussion over our own breakfasts.
Gradually, an awareness grew that there was a quietness around, as each of us in turn realised that Inger’s soul wasn’t with us any more.
We all found much comfort in the thought that she passed away with the sound of her family enjoying themselves all around her, as the last thing she heard. She passed away peacefully in idyllic surroundings – the ideal way to go.
It was awe-inspiring the following Friday to go to her flat after the funeral, and see the photograph of our previous party, nine years ago, in pride of place on the piano music stand. Clearly, the significance of the gathering to her was great, and more than explained her determination to come, even though she knew she was not long for this world.