This image turned up for me on Facebook one day this week. I hope I'm not infringing on any copyright by re-posting it. (If I am, I'm probably not the first...)
Friday was the day for my friend G's funeral, held in her church in Karlstad. I'd have wanted to be there; but did not feel up to the journey - in winter weather and all.
I sent the image at the top to her husband. He texted me back the title of a poem that was going to be read at the funeral (then in Swedish translation). I looked it up online and found it to be very much in the same spirit.
Death is nothing at all, by Henry Scott Holland (1847-1928)
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
(Copied from Wikipedia)
I moved to Karlstad to study (three terms of secretary college, to begin with) in 1975 (20 years old). In my spare time I joined a youth gospel choir in a church situated only a few minutes walk from where I lived the first year. That's where I got to know G - and made many other friends as well. As things turned out, I stayed nearly 10 years in K-d (working and studying); and even after I moved away - while G stayed, and got married - we remained close friends. We continued to exchange long letters and phone calls, and also visited each other now and then. Later we switched to emails instead of letters. As we got older still, and various health issues increased for both of us, we met less often in person. Text communication got shorter too (mostly via a phone app the last few years) - but we still kept in touch. The last time we met "in real life" was last summer, when I was in K-d on holiday with my brother. I'm so thankful we managed to arrange that.