For English see below
På Bornholm er alting lokalt, alle kender hinanden, og graveren hedder Carsten.
Vi stod og så ned i jorden, da graveren Carsten storsmilende sagde: “Nårhhh – er det Bensnedkeren, som skal i jorden.” Jeg havde troet, at min far var pensioneret overlæge i ortopædkirurgi fra Rønne Sygehus, men Carsten, på Vestermarie Kirkegård lærte mig noget andet. Han sagde det på en så lun og kærlig måde, at det føltes trygt og rart at overlade vores far i hans hænder. “Bensnedkeren.”
Vores far Niels fik en fin, klassisk begravelse. Seks af hans nærmeste bar kisten fra kirken til hans sidste hvilested. Jeg havde pænt tøj på og dertilhørende høje hæle. Hvem havde forudset, at man skulle stavre rundt med en kiste i sne og frost på Bornholm? Jeg fik et billede af at falde og glide ind under kisten og hive alle med, ned på jorden i en stor tumult. Jeg holdt, mine ben holdt, og jeg så godt ud i mine hæle.
Da vi efterfølgende skulle tømme gården, fandt jeg disse billeder. Bensnedkerens virke; et røntgenbillede af nogle spritnye hofter, som han havde skiftet ud og hygget sig med at putte i en ramme fra nitten hundrede hvidkål. Typisk min far; håndværkeren, kunstneren og bensnedkeren.
On Bornholm everything is local, everyone knows each other and the digger is called Carsten.
We stood looking down into the earth when Carsten the gravedigger said with a big smile: “Nårhhh – is it Bensnedkeren (the Bone Carpenter) who is going into the ground”. I had thought that my father was a retired senior physician in orthopaedic surgery from Rønne Hospital, but Carsten, at Vestermarie Cemetery, taught me otherwise. He said it in such a warm and loving way that it felt safe and nice to leave our father in his hands. “Bensnedkeren.”
Our father, Niels, had a fine, classical funeral. Six of his closest relatives carried the coffin from the church to his final resting place. I wore a nice suit, and high heels to match. Who would have predicted that you would have to carry a coffin in the snow and frost on Bornholm? I got a picture of falling and sliding under the coffin, dragging everyone with me, down to the ground in a great tumult. I held, my legs held and I looked good in my heels.
When we had to empty the yard afterwards, I found these pictures. The work of Bensnedkeren; an x-ray of some brand new hips he had changed and had fun putting in a frame from nineteen hundred cabbages. Typical of my father; the craftsman, the artist and Bensnedkeren.
I’ve written a book about grief. I missed that there was a book about grief and the whole communication of grief to children and adults. I have written a fiction book that can be used as a conversation book for children and adults.
The book is specifically about a little boy who befriends Grief. The boy meets Grief and the two have a dialogue about losing.
I thought a lot about which characters would be the images of my story about grief. I have chosen a simple line drawing of a boy, combined with photographs that I have taken over the last 20 years. It is a black and white graphic. I have tried to capture a melancholic mood that is not too sad at the same time.
Over the last 4 years I have lost 7 people who were close people in my life. Including my father, a friend and my cousin who was my own age. I experienced grief through expected deaths and sudden deaths. Grief through long-term illness. I found that I could begin to distinguish the different reactions and emotions that grief contains and wanted to pass that knowledge on to other people. Specifically, a “tool” to talk about this difficult and incomprehensible subject.
Writing this book has been a hard, but at the same time very rewarding, touching and harsh process. It has helped me and given me insight into my own grieving process and I have been fortunate to gain insight into the grieving processes of others. It has given me many good conversations about life and death with many people. I have gained a greater sense of peace after gaining extensive knowledge about grief. Now grief has become my friend too.