My grandfather died last night. He reached the respectable age of 93 and he’s been quite ill for some time, he had prostate cancer and only a few days ago they found it had spread to the skeleton. So it was hardly unexpected, but there is sadness obviously. Though in many ways I’ve already mourned the man he used to be, it’s been years since he was anything like the grandfather I used to know who’d take me walking in the woods near his house and convince me that Colargol lived there. So more than sadness, there is a sort of emptiness, someone who’s been part of my life “for ever and ever” is no longer here, and there is relief – for his sake, because he really wasn’t very well towards the end and I think he was ready to go on to whatever comes next, and for myself, because I had a constant guilty concience about not visiting often enough – and there is guilt at feeling relief.
And then there is joy and excitement, because tomorrow it will be all of two years since the lass arrived in our lives, and it is really very difficult to feel sad. Life is a very mixed-up sort of business.
But I rather thought a church was appropriate today. This is Vår Frue Kirke, one of my favourite churches, still lit by the Christmas lights in the trees. At Christmas the church became Norway’s first 24 hour open church, if you’re in Trondheim and need someone to talk to or somewhere to sit quietly for a while, this is the place. A noteworthy, and praiseworthy, initiative.