What a exhausting 32 hours.
To Amsterdam and Leiden and back and as many as 10 different modes of transport once it was said and done. But mostly in saying good bye to Olof.
I'd never been to a cremation ceremony before, especially one in Dutch. Some parts were translated, but most of it was not, which actually made it easier. What we did understand were the Queen songs Olof had chosen for this day, Olof's favourite blue and purple flowers surrounding his casket, and the enlarged framed photo of Olof is his backwards baseball cap and camera strewn around his neck, grinning sweetly.
These things made it real. And ghastly.
It is hard to see someone young die. It is even harder to see the closest people caught in mid-stream who will need to continue on with the giant hole of loss.
Also hard to see my Mark lose someone who shared a huge amount of joint memories with him and who he thought was a given and a staple in his future. Boys don't make lots of new friends. They hang on to the old ones forever.
It was sad. And good. And important. And lovely to meet the people in his and Evelyn's life.
And we hope to remember Olof each year at this time.
Toast to him with his classically overly sugared tea. Eat meat on a stick. Or just take some time to think of him.
It is sad. And good. And important.