Category Archives: Spirituality

So Easy

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I don´t know why the title of this post is So Easy. I guess I will know when I´ve finished writing.

I was planning to name it A Special Friend. But. Ok. Crazy as I am, I let impulse take control over my impulse control. Sometimes that´s a good thing. Let us see where it leads us today. Following those loops indeed…

I had a friend. A very special friend. He lived in Bergen, Norway. I met him on a dancefloor one Saturday night. Actually it was the 3. of November 2003. He just suddenly stood right in front of me there. Same height as myself, dressed in army jeans and a t-shirt, like myself, slim and athletic, he just stood there suddenly, looking me straight in the eyes, all serious. I recognized him immediately. You know that feeling? I knew that I knew him. Though I had never seen him before, as far I could remember.

We spent that night dancing, and from then on we were lovers and friends. I did not want to commit to a steady relationship, as I had moved out from my ex boyfriends´ place just 7 months prior. I needed time alone, to find my feet again, be free to be me, uncompromisingly, like everyone needs to, after a break-up.

Richard understood this need completely, and never tried to convince me to do anything I didn´t want to do. He was very openminded and openhearted, a very generous and caring man, exact same age as myself, we were both 31 when we met.

He was a very fascinating person. He had been the lifeguard of the president of Uganda, and hence had been forced to flee his country when the army took over the power. He had two children back home, and an ex wife. He also had an orphanage that he had built and kept on running from his address in Norway. He had a mother whome he loved very dearly. Many friends in Kampala.

In Bergen when I met him he had just arrived as a UN refugee. He was very African in his thoughts and actions, and I loved that about him. The way he spoke, the way he laughed from the depth of his belly, that great big smile… he was full of stories from his childhood, and comparative cultural anecdotes, about how things seemed to him the same or different between Ugandan culture and Norwegian culture. He got involved in the Red Cross, especially their Multimix group where young people from all countries met up and got to know each other. He started an NGO called “Guide for Better”. He was writing on a screen play about troubled youth, he worked in an old people´s home, he was active in the church and had many friends both Norwegian and from all over, he always said “I´m not from Uganda, I am from Earth”, he did not, like many do, “stick to his own”, he met all people who crossed his path with an open mind and with a smile. He had a person in his life that he referred to as “my Norwegian mother”, he was a very social and kind and caring man. Always reaching out, offering a helping hand.

Well. We saw each other for 3 years, sporadically, both busy with our individual everyday things, but always happy to see each other from time to time. Then I fell in love with someone else. Told Richard I was going to move to Denmark with this guy I was with. He was happy for my happiness, though sad to see me go, so far away. We agreed we would stay in touch. Friends for ever.

He started in training to be a welder in the oil industry. So the times I was back in Bergen visiting, he was always away. We wrote each other sometimes. Then the Summer of 2013, I went to Bergen, and low and behold he was there too, so we met up. He came out of the city centre to where I was staying with my husband and 3 kids at my old girlfriend´s place, where she lives with her English husband and their two sons.

I was quite…not nervous but… eager….to see how it would go, the meeting between Richard and my husband. But knowing them both, of course they were just both totally calm and polite and warm towards each other. I was so relieved. This meant I could keep Richard in my life somehow, keep the friendship and let it develope, I so treasured his views on things, his sense of humour and his loving heart, and I knew my husband would too, when he got to know him. Richard would also love my husband´s ways, and my kids would have a wonderful unclefriend in him. I walked him to the train after we all shared a good Asian meal, and we were both so happy realizing we would see more of each other in the years to come than we had in the last 6 years since I had moved to Denmark. We hugged, and his train arrived. He said, oh I have some great news actually, shall I wait for the next train? I said no, I better get back to the others so they don´t worry, he said yes, you are probably right, gave me his wonderful big smile and jumped on board the train, waving out the window.

I went back to my girlfriend´s, and our holiday continued. I felt so peaceful and relieved. Like a missing piece in my life had fallen into its perfect place, present yet again. I was so grateful for my husband´s lack of jealousy. He had no reason to feel threatened either. But many men would not have been able to accept Richard like that, a man who meant such a lot to me and who used to be my lover.

We went back home to Fanø. Richard texted me a few times, I texted back. He called me on the first of August. I reassured him our deal was still on, we would stay in touch and be in each other´s lives more actively from now on.

Then there was silence. I texted him a couple of times. No reply. Strange. Unlike him. I wrote him that I was trying to contact him, could he please reply. Nothing.

Until about the 10. of August. I received an email on facebook. From Finland! I knew no one in Finland. It said Hello, I am the cousin of Richard´s. He has told me about you and therefore I now contact you because I sadly have to tell you our Richard has died.

Police had found his body in the harbour. They think he must have fell in and drowned, the Saturday night 3. of August. Where he had been out downtown Bergen, dancing. More than that, we will never know. Was he pushed? Or did he just fall? No use in thinking about it.

Me and my eldest daughter went to Bergen to Richard´s funeral. Met his cousin, and Richard´s friends. They all embraced us whole heartedly, telling me and my daughter they would be there for us like Richard had wanted to be there for us, he had told them all about us and they knew he loved us dearly. My child, as far as they were concerned, now had an uncle in Finland and an aunt in Bergen. It was a beautiful funeral. His cousin read three of my poems up in the church. Around his grave as they lowered his white coffin, stood people from all over the world. His friends. Richard´s cousin said anyone who wanted to, was welcome to speak. And so many of them did. One sang a funeral song from… I don´t remember which country. Very moving. Others spoke of how they had met Richard and how special he was to them, always optimistic and supportive, never judging people, so full of laughter and advice. Me myself I didn´t speak. I just didn´t know what to say. Richard´s recent ex girfriend was there too, with her mother. I didn´t want to disturb them with talk about my relating to him. I also had my 7-yearold daughter in my arms. It was….. I just felt silent within.

After the burial we all went to a café downtown, where Richard always used to go, he was friends with the owner. My girlfriend who had been looking after my baby boy while we were at the funeral, came with us. So we spent the day there together with our new aunt and her lovely, grown daughter, with Richard´s many friends, his cousin, his ex girlfriend and everybody else. At one point me and my daughter were taken to Richard´s friend Sam´s place, where all Richard´s belongings had been stored. We were allowed to choose a few of his things to take home with us. I took a pair of checkered trousers, a belt, a t-shirt and a hat I remember he wore the day we met. My daughter chose some of his shirts, a table cloth, some other small things. We put it all in one of his rucksacks. The rest was to be sent to his kids in Uganda. The day before the funeral, at aunty´s place, my daughter had also received Richard´s guitar and his blue welding glasses. They knew she was dear to him. I was touched to learn he had spoken of us so highly and so often.

In the time passing after the funeral, we have stayed in touch with uncle in Finland. And when him and aunty from Bergen went to visit Richard´s kids in Uganda, they sent lots of photos. Then Richard´s kids, both teenagers, connected with me through facebook. We now talk from time to time, about school exams and what not.

So easy.

To get involved. “I stretch as far as my arm reaches, ” Richard always used to say. His second name was Asiimwe. It means Grace. It is a name that describes him well.

So easy.

I now have friend-family in Bergen, Finland and Uganda. Loving, beautiful people. My Richard´s closest people. His circle, us.

So easy.

To love and be loved. When we just open up and accept what is.

I miss you, my Richard Asiimwe. You were so special, such a rare person, so generous, so wise, so inspiring. I love you. Thank you for being an important part of my life.

So easy to suddenly lose one´s life. And so easy still, to shed tears in sorrow over losing you. I hold on to the way you so easily always could see the positive in everything.

Until we meet again, mr. Grace.

<3

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Let It Come

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Allow me to start out today with the opening poem of my self published book from 2011                                                                                          (Heart Matters; Around Abouts and Previous Pieces):

 

Let It Come

Patrience – precious mode of being

Watching, waiting, feeling, seeing

Landscapes from an eagle´s view

The Flow will guide the Adventure of You

 

Yesterday I opened my blog, new post page…. and just sat staring at it. Completely empty inside. No word to be heard. Quite frightening! 🙂 So this morning I said to “My Self”; “Please help me know what to write about today, as I really would like to keep posting on a regular basis, a bit frequently, so new stuff pops up not too often but also not too many days apart…”

Immediately “Let it Come”  came to my mind. So here I am now.

I don´t have a clue what I will write after this sentence here now.

And this unknowing, having no idea what words will come the following moment, is the greatest both challenge of writing. And excitement as well. Just sitting, looking out the window. Listening to the birds. And suddenly something comes through. Love it.

It´s a bit like being alive in general. At least my life. Some people I guess plan their lives. I never did that. I just took one step at the time, letting my heart choose the direction. Studied one subject at the time at university (that´s how the system was back then). First I studied politics, found it dry and moved on to anthropology. Loved that, so I stayed for an extra semester. Then did media science, and their third semester was taught by famous Manchester anthropologist Graham Murdock, it was a course on Consumer Culture, so I did that semester too, though it was developing my degree width-wise, not the normal depth-wise… After that I took a semester of organizational psychology, because I always loved psychology and I could live off my student loan if I kept on studying.

Same with my love life. Met a Brit age 21, and moved to Wales a year later. Travelled around the world with him (quality control in the oil biz), and went back to uni from time to time to pass an exam. 6 years later we broke up, and I moved back to Bergen. Met a Dutch guy a year and a half later, moved in with him, moved back out 3 years later… Two exhausting breakups which I don´t want to dwell on more than to say I learnt a lot about what I want and don´t want in a relationship.

In 2005 I went to a kiromantic (hand reader) and asked him whether I was supposed to take my master degree in anthropology. He said: “What does your heart say? Does it become happy when you think about studying?” I said “No…. I don´t know… that´s why I ask you…” “Well, when your heart says I don´t know, that means you are in doubt, and doubt means simply “not now”. Maybe you will study later, but not now.”

I stared at him. I could actually feel that his answer was the right one for me. “You know,” he continued, “the heart speaks in only yes or no. Your intuition. It tells you whether to take a step forward or not to. So whenever you are in doubt, just ask your heart. Do I want this? Then notice your feeling. If it´s not a YES! feeling, then wait and see, then maybe later, but not now.”

That is a very useful thing he told me there. And now you know it too.

Why I talk about him now, is because he also taught me something essential about letting it come. He told me that one of my main challenges to grow through this lifetime, is to trust in Spirit. To rest assured that I am taken care of. When there is no work, and I don´t know what to do next… “It´s like your helpers are sitting on a fence, smiling at you, saying “you just do what you are supposed to do and we will take care of the rest!” He said…. “Your hand shows what we call bird feathers, a sign of being able to write. I think you should allow your love for writing to be your main focus. That and mothering. Move out of the video production community that you say is filled with drama between the participating people. Make a peaceful space for your mothering and your writing. You will be headhunted for projects, teachers will come to you when you need them to, things will happen in strange ways…”

Again I just stared at him. His words went straight to the core of my being. Things always seemed to happen to me the way he described. I once wished I had a job in a certain film documentary company, and a while after I expressed that wish to myself, I was hired as a director´s assistant in a cinema movie project, about refugees living in Norway, I worked there for 18 months! And that was just one recent example of many things synchronizing for me.

He read my palms, and taped the session on an old fashion cassette, that I could bring home. I listened to that tape probably about 100 times. It gave me a lot of strength. I was amazed at what he could tell me about myself from looking at my hands. His name was Kundan. Norwegian man. In case someone wants to try him.

Let it come… yes… It is not that easy, you know. Not to know where I will go, what to do, allowing stuff through, waiting for the next step. Then again, I´m getting better and better at it. I´m in such a period right now, where I have no income, and no sight of a regular job to apply for. Because I know in my heart I want my small kids to be in kindergarten only half time. 9-1pm. And this of course strongly limits my options, as if I get work on shore, the ferryride plus the waiting for the ferry and driving to the work place, will add an hour´s transport to each end of my working hours. Hence I will have to place them in all day kindergarten. And my heart just says no to that. My youngest is not even 3 yet. I know many people do it, and get used to it. But I´m just not … built that way? I have to go with my conviction.

When possible. Heaven knows I have worked in a fish factory one winter, in order to save up money so I could finally go to India! (Which didn´t happen after all, coz I suddenly met the Dutch guy, and then got the movie job almost simultaneously, and decided to stay in Bergen instead). Point is, I will make sacrifices when necessary. I´m not a spoilt princess afraid of work.

For now, I will keep them in kindergarten half time. I work on this blog, and if Luck strikes me, someone will contact me and want to pay me for advertizing on my site.

Secondly, I keep doing my training as a sound healer. I will make journals of 30 treatments before my exam in December. So this will lead to income in a while. My teacher is hitting Danish television as we speak, she’s been asked to appear on breakfast tv tomorrow, Saturday morning, and also to be a sound healing expert in an upcoming programme called “The Madsen brothers present the future”, where they will look at weird and wonderful new technologies and ways of life…. (They are shooting first episode today, I wish I could be in the audience but Copenhagen is 4 hours away from where I live…) So basically I expect sound healing to be quite popular and sought after pretty soon. I will just practice and get myself ready.

These are simply my two strategies. They don´t generate instant income. But I will let it come. I do trust that everything is as it is supposed to be, and when I tell the universe I am grateful for everything being taken care of, this has proved to work for me time and time again. It sounds peculiar, but. I ask and I receive. Mystical, magical and most mmmlovely it is.   🙂

Right. 1436 words. Pretty good for not knowing what the next word would be, when I started. Again, trust. Step aside and let it come. Allow it through. The only hurdle on your path is you. That is so funny and so annoying. But I guess it´s true.    🙂

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RollerCoasterRide

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It´s Friday today. 3.of Oct. I clearly remember last Sunday. I woke up so happy. My husband and I had been to a silver wedding the night before. He is the conductor of a 17 (wo)man strong bigband, and they were invited as musicians and friends to the silverwedding of the trumpet player in the band. I have been on travels with the band and their partners. Florida 2008. Spain last easter. So it was such a joy to see them all again. We the band were placed on a long table of our own. We were the mischievous guests clinking the plates so the groom and wife had to kiss on a chair, followed by stamping our feet so they had to kiss underneath the table… soon the party was filled with laughter and cries of “CHEERS!” The groom held a most precious speech to his wife. And gave her a new stone for her gold ring, replacing the littler one he could afford as a UN soldier 25 years ago. Not a diamond but a “brilliant” (in Danish, it rhymes with diamant. I never even heard of a brilliant before. But I probably want one now!)

The wife had made a slideshow of stills from their life together. She´s American, her father had come all the way to be present. They have 4 kids, age 15,17,19 and 21. They have spent a handful years in the US. Their kids are very handsome, tall and healthy, three boys and a girl. Totally well behaved and successful in both sports, school and arts. The daughter sang a song beautifully, on the melody of Cohen´s Hallelujah, she had made her own lyrics, all about the love between her parents. Gobsmackingly beautiful performance. And the four kids stood up and held a speech together, in turn telling their mom and dad how they were grateul to them and so proud of their family.

It was a night filled with expressed love, so much of it, so openly flowing naturally around the big room with the many guests.
After food, we danced. Not Big Bot Band is a tremendous party band. My husbands is such an enthused conductor, I always fall madly in love with him when I see him work. My band-wife friends are so funny, I was laughing with them like I had not laughed in a long time.
We came home around 03, completely and utterly exhausted. In the happiest of ways. All shook up and blissed out.

Next morning was the first morning we woke up in an empty house. No kids woke us up, demanding hot cocoa on the sofa by the telly. Sweet luxury. All three of them were sleeping over at a friend-family of ours. First time our youngest one ever slept away from home without one of his parents. It was a great success. New times ahead.

We got up and had a slow brunch. Decided to go pick up the kids around 12, and stayed for lunch at our friends´ place before we biked back home. We looked forward to visiting grandma in hospital, where she had been admitted the day before because she was feeling nauseous. Since she had been operated for breast cancer five days previously, we thought it was best to get her checked out, and the hospital had agreed.

We bought the bananas she had asked us to bring, and brought some books. She´s an author, and loves to read.
Hospital days can be so long.
When we arrived to her room where we had seen her the day before, she wasn´t there. We found a nurse. Who told us she had been moved because she was feeling bad. After some waiting around, we came to her new room. She was in pain. But happy to see us, holding the children´s hands, smiling to them, saying their names. The doctor said they were going to change her treatment to an other type of antibiotics. And said there was no great danger for her.

The next morning, my husband went to see her on his way to work. She was asleep, he could not reach her. Some hours later his adult daughter went to visit grandma, and found out they had moved her to intensive care as she had suddenly became a lot worse. I found myself calling my husband´s workplace to make them find him and tell him to get to the hospital. Then followed hours of hooking up with family members, spreading information. All whilst trying to keep calm for my little children´s sake.

Late afternoon they scanned her, to see where the pockets of inflamation in her body were. They found that bacteria had destroyed such a big part of her flesh, that it could not be removed without killing her. They told my husband and daughter she could not be saved. I was home, alone with the kids, phone in hand. Shock.

Eleven at night I left them with a babysitter, and went to the intensive care unit. My husband and his two grown kids were there. And my motherinlaw. All those machines. Cables. Tube down her throat helping her breathe. My heart broke.

Five in the morning I sailed back home, and woke my kids one by one, telling them we were going to the hospital immidiately because grandma was very ill and was going to die.
We found clothes, had a cup of cocoa and went out into the dark morning to the ferry. Linus-Ferdinand in the trolly, Viola standing on the back of it and Lava age soon to be ten walking next to me.

We arrived about seven. The two small ones looked at grandma, and then started to play with some lego. There were two rooms, like a little sitting room attached to the bigger room where grandma was lying. An extra nurse took care of the children, finding toys, paper and crayons…

My husband, our three bigger kids and myself were so sad. She was so close to us. So special. Positive and supportive, with a very rare level of inner peace and love for children. We were very strongly connected.
Friday we had celebrated Maria´s birthday together, singing as usual, eating. Though grandma didn´t eat much as she was so nausous. We thought she might be coming down with flu. Next morning we called the hospital that operated on her. They told us not to worry, the symptoms had nothing to do with her operation. We still went to the local hospital, and they agreed to admit her, gave her liquids and penicilin.
Now it was Tuesday early morning. It was 3 days after the birthday dinner. It was our deeply beloved grandmother´s dying day.

She was kept alive by the machines, supporting her breathing and her blood pressure. The doctors told us that when we were ready they would switch off the machines and her body would die. Maybe quickly, or maybe hours. She would be given painkillers, so she would not struggle for breath. It would not be traumatic to be present. I decided to stay with the children all the way through.

We stood around her, the five of us, whilst the two littlest ones were playing happily in the background. Actually a sound of great comfort. They came by from time to time, looked at us crying, and at grandma, then went into play and laughter again. The five of us stood around her and talked to her all about how much we loved her. How sad we were to see her go like this. And that soon she would be reunited with granddad, and may her journey be jouful……… we sang some of the songs we always used to sing together with her.
We asked the nurse if she could find a guitar. No one had ever requested that before, when she called around the hospital, people asked “A guitar?! For the intensive careunit?!” We all thought it was rather funny. In the end they did find one in the kids´ department. It was brought to us, and we played some more songs.
A tear appeared in the corner of grandma Ellen´s eye. Her son immidiately saw it, and gently wiped it away comforting her. He was so extremely caring towards her. So soft and reassuring and comforting, between breaking down in tears. Those hours were so extremely intense. So sad. And so precious and beautiful.
Anyone who has been present on a deathbed must know what I mean by this.

Two more relatives joined us later in the morning. A young couple, her grandson and his wife. Their two little kids were not with them.
We were happy to see them, and delayed switching the machines off a little longer, so they could have time with her in peace.

Around ten we told the doctor we were ready to start the disconnecting. They switched off some buttons, and gave her an injection of painkillers. So there we were. Watching the screens. One with her breaths drawn, one by one, depth and length. Waves. And one with the red number showing her blood pressure. She just breathed and breathed and breathed. Whilst we were holding our breaths. Minutes passed, half hours. We went to and fro, realizing our stomachs were empty and our bladders full. Interacting with the children. I pushed my son in the pram back and forth in the long hospital corridor until he fell asleep for a much needed nap. It was like waiting for birth to happen. And in my view, death is exactly that. Another birth.

Once he was asleep I went back to her room and joined the circle. No news. Fifteen minutes later, everyone decided to go for a quick bite to eat in the cafe downstairs. I wanted to stay with grandma, but someone had to go with the kids, and my husband was going to stay. So.
We went downstairs and ate. Leaving Helge and Ellen to themselves.
He played guitar and sang to her. Just like he had done so very many times throughout their lifetime together.
When we returned fifteen minutes later, her bloodpressure had dropped from 171 to 60!!!
We sat down quickly, all taken aback. Her red number went down very fast. 35,34,33,32,30…
Instinctly I moved up close to her face and I saw her eyes make a spark! A jolt of joy jumped through my chest, and I said “There! You arrived! You´re there now…! That´s so great…”
I was very moved, but very happy.
Strange contrast to the many hours passed crying and sobbing.
Then after many seconds, she drew breath again. And after what seemed like ages, one more last time.
But I actually don´t believe she was still in her body. I don´t know if a heart and lungs can make an extra couple of beats after departure of the spirit/conscious soul. I don´t know.
But I feel pretty sure now that they can.
That spark and that jolt of joy. That was not of my creation.

So she left. Left us behind to grieve and sorely miss her love and graceful sharing. No more puzzles to be laid, books to be read, movies to be watched together with her and my children. No more glasses of wine, and late night talks with her and my Helge in our sofa. No more visiting her in her home in the woods.

It is Friday today. Third whole day without her. We are in limbo. Days and nights join in a circle of waking up, crying, writing, talking, making phonecalls, choosing coffin and urne, making a newspaper add, sorting through her purse looking for id cards, searching through her phone for numbers, sending information about her life to the priest, talking to the organist.

Her pillow and duvet have been moved from the guest room to the sofa, the kids and I seek comfort there… my daughter wears her scarf. I tried her coat on yesterday. It fits me almost, just a littlebit too big. I hope I can keep it. It´s the one she always wore, purple, her favourite colour. As is mine.

Tomorrow is her funeral. A lot of people are expected to turn up in the church. She was such an uplifting spirit, with many friends and relatives who used to go visit her and invite her over. A very social woman, loved parties, wrote hundreds of birthday songs for people, and at age 88 she looked 70, and was still driving her car to and fro her house in the woods where she lived all alone, enjoying her solitude. She enjoyed her own company. She published eleven books after she finished her working life. Mostly novels for youth, draped in local history. Some of them have been translated into German.

Tomorrow is her funeral. That just sounds crazy. She is my closest family member here in Denmark, apart from my husband and kids. She is the one who shares the joy of watching the little ones grow. She is our babysitter and our daytrip destination. She.

Tomorrow is her funeral. She has left us lists of wishes for her funeral. It says in her handwriting that “Helge will play something beautiful in the church”. She has chosen 4 psalms. She has decided the text for the tombstomne.
“I hjertet gemt aldrig glæmt”.
“In the heart kept never forgotten”.
She has written a list of who will have which pieces of her jewelry.
My name is there. In her handwriting.
A bracelet made of copper and amber.
And a necklace with the symbol of faith, hope and love.
I feel so honoured. So seen by her.
She has given me so much self confidence these seven years we got to share. We have shared so many special talks.
About the love of writing, especially.

One of the last things she said to me, last thursday when she had just started to feel nausous and we spent the day watching a film on the sofa with the kids… she said she heard I have started blogging. She really wanted to see it. I said yes ofcourse, great! I will show you as soon as you get better. And I need your help to read through a letter I will send to the local paper, help me check it for spelling mistakes, make it proper Danish, will you? Of course I will, be glad to, she said, smiling at me, that warm, all present smile of hers.

We had so much planned. Helge´s musical is being staged 30.of October, with a quoir of more than a hundred school children singing his songs. She was going to come with us and see it.

She was.

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