“Don’t be afraid of the future after someone dies!”

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Diana

“It was my mother who received a call from the hospital. My brother Isaac had tried to hurt himself. My brother had attempted to kill himself. We wanted to scream, the pain we felt was the worst thing ever, and we kept asking ourselves why. Why didn’t he come straight to us? He knew he could receive support from us, but I think his pain was so great that the only option was to end his own life. He was in a coma for four days. We neither could eat or sleep. We basically were terrified of leaving his side.
It was comforting to see so many people who cared about him at his funeral. We are a small family here in Oslo, so my mother decided she needed to travel to Peru to be with her own family members. We traveled together, and those months in Peru helped us enormously. Even though we traveled from one country to another my brother was in our thoughts the whole time. When we returned from Peru, we received a new shock: my father left us. My mother and I decided to get professional help to deal with the traumas. We received help from a group for grieving families: Fransiskushjelpen. It helped us to meet people who were in the same situation, and it gave us a different perspective, because despite everything we wanted to carry on with our lives.
Luckily our first Christmas was spent in Spain. It was then we started to ask ourselves “What do we really want for Christmas?” Before we gave one another wish lists, but we had reached a point where it was far more important to focus on having the family together. The family I no longer have. Christmas time brings memorable moments, especially of my brother Isaac.
My wish for Christmas this year and in the coming years is for families who have lost their loved ones; don’t be afraid of the future. I know you have lost a loved one which you miss deeply, and that pain is intensified during christmas and heart breaking. But remember – they are still in our hearts.
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– Det var min mor som ble oppringt fra Haukeland sykehus. Min bror Isaac hadde skadet seg selv. Det min bror gjorde, var helt uvirkelig: Han prøvde å ta sitt liv. Vi ville bare skrike, vi følte smerte på det verste, og vi spurte oss selv gang på gang: hvorfor? Hvorfor kom han ikke til oss? Han visste at vi kunne hjelpe ham, men jeg tror at smerten hans var såpass stor at det eneste han kunne tenke på, var å få slutt på lidelsen. For meg var han en ordentlig gladgutt som var sulten på livet. Han lå i koma i fire dager. Vi kunne ikke sove, vi kunne ikke spise, vi turte rett og slett ikke forlate hans side.
Det var en stor trøst å se så mange mennesker som kom i begravelsen, om han bare hadde sett hvor mange som brydde seg om ham. Vi er en liten familie her i Oslo, men min mor trengte sin familie, så vi reiste til Peru. Det har hjulpet oss enormt. Selv om vi var bortreist, var min bror alltid i våre tanker. Men da vi kom tilbake, fikk vi et nytt nederlag, faren min forlot oss. Vi bestemte oss for å gjøre noe med situasjonen vår og fikk bistand av psykolog og en sorggruppe via Fransiskushjelpen. Å møte mennesker som er i samme situasjon har fått oss til å se livet fra et annet perspektiv, for vi ville gå videre med livet vårt.
Heldigvis fikk vi en invitasjon til å feire jul i Spania. Da begynte vi å tenke «hva er det vi egentlig ønsker oss til jul?». Før ga vi hverandre ønskelister, men vi har nådd et punkt der det er mye mer viktigere å ha familien samlet. Familien som jeg ikke har lenger. Julen bringer frem mange gode minner, spesielt om min bror Isaac. Mitt ønske til jul i år og fremover er for familier som har mistet sine kjære; ikke frykt for hva som vil komme i fremtiden. Jeg vet at deres kjære er dypt savnet, og det er så tydelig på julaften at det er hjerteskjærende. Men de er fortsatt i våre hjerter.
Diana

“I argued with my wife!”

I’m walking around Majorstua looking for people to interview when I come across an elderly gentleman walking through the farmers market on Bogstadveien. He must be at least 80 years old, around 1,60cm tall, wearing large round glasses and a flat cap. When I stop him he smiles and asks what he can help me with. I tell him about the project.
“You want to interview me? An old wrinkled man like me? Why don’t you interview that little girl there or that beautiful woman?” he asks as he points to the people walking past.
“I’d like to interview you about your life, I’m sure you have lots of life-experience which people can learn from,” I say encouragingly.
“What would you like to know? That I just stormed out of the house after arguing with my wife? You really want to know about that?” he replies agitated, but without being rude.
“What happened?” I ask concerned. He didn’t look happy, but at the same time he seemed to be wanting to talk.
“We have been living in the same apartment for the past 50 years and we have so many things that it’s difficult to walk around without stepping or bumping into something. I’ve tried to throw stuff out, but my wife gets upset when I do. We can’t live like this!”
“Why do you have so many things?” I ask. I can identify with his situation. Hoarding things when you need organization to function and quiten the mind can be pretty stressful.
“I used to own a business and I have collected a lot of papers and equipment over the years. My wife and I have lived in the same apartment for decades and we have things which our children used to use, or things which we bought which aren’t of any use to us anymore. We are growing older and we need to empty the apartment now while we still can. We don’t need much at our age and to have a five room apartment full of unnecessary objects is stressful!” he replies.
I feel so sorry for him that I want ti offer to to help him tidy out his apartment. One of my friends who loves organizing things is standing at one of the stalls andI am wondering wether he would join me to save this gentleman from the chaos collected over a lifetime.
“You can tell my story, but you can’t take a picture of my horrible wrinkled face,” he replies as he looks at his hands. He looks so unhappy and so tired. His eyebrows and knotted tightly together revealing how stressed he is.
“You have a lovely face!” I say.
He smiles, nods and thanks me for the compliment. ” I just wish my wife would listen to me!” he replies.

I regret that I have been cruel to others!

“I regret that I have been cruel to others and that I haven’t succeeded in doing more things in my life, but the things I did due to sheer stupidity I have no regrets about at all!”
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“Pain isn’t the most dangerous thing, we humans can tolerate a lot!”

Carmen

Carmen

“My brother Simon was 10 years younger than me and we always had a good relationship. He was like a ray of sunshine and took care of others. So it came as a shock when he took his own life.
When he died my heart wasn’t just broken, but shattered into pieces. I was in Oslo when my father called from Vestlandet.The only thing I wanted to do was to hold my mother. I was so afraid of losing her, because the only thing she wanted to do was to die.I wanted to hold on to her as long as possible, that’s why I slept in my parents bed for weeks.

After my brother died I though I would never be happy again, but then I decided there was no way I was going to let this destroy my future. For a long time I was afraid of loosing people around me, but that feeling eventually subsided.

I’m a nurse with experience with psychiatric and mental health issues, so I was able to use my experience to have that inner dialog with myself about how I felt, and about the reactions my family was having. The most important thing was to get through the first year. The worst part was to see my parents suffer. My brother didn’t suffer any longer, but it was painful to witness their pain. The pain of losing my brother hasn’t gone, but my thoughts surrounding him take up less space in my mind.

I have become more aware of the pain I carry and I have learnt to live with it. Pain isn’t the most dangerous thing, we humans can tolerate a lot. Compassion from other people who have suffered has helped me through some of the toughest periods og my grief. There wasn’t a need for words. Just that someone acknowledged in silence my pain was more than enough. Sometimes a look, a touch, a sigh, that someone dared to take contact or even cried together with me was enough.”
Carmen
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– Broren min Simon var ti år yngre enn meg og vi hadde alltid et veldig godt forhold til hverandre. For meg var han som en solstråle, alltid glad og en som tok seg av andre. Derfor kom det som et sjokk at han hadde tatt sitt eget liv.

Da han døde ble ikke hjertet mitt knust, men pulverisert. Jeg var i Oslo da pappa ringte fra Vestlandet for å gi meg beskjeden. Det eneste jeg hadde lyst til å gjøre var å omfavne mamma. Jeg var så redd for å miste henne fordi hun hadde bare lyst til å dø selv. Jeg måtte holde fast ved henne, og derfor sov jeg i senga til foreldrene mine i en lang periode.

Etter at broren min døde tenkte jeg at nå kommer jeg aldri til å være lykkelig igjen, men så bestemte jeg meg tidlig for ikke å la dette ødelegge min fremtid. I en lang periode var jeg redd for å miste andre rundt meg, men de følelsene ga seg etterhvert.

Som sykepleier med lang erfaring fra psykiatrien klarte jeg å ha en indre dialog med meg selv, om hva jeg følte, og de reaksjonene jeg og familien min hadde. Det var viktig å komme gjennom det første året. Det verste av alt var å se mamma og pappa lide. Broren min hadde det ikke vondt lenger, men mine foreldres smerte var tung å være vitne til. Smertene er ikke mindre, men tankene rundt ham tar mindre plass nå enn tidligere.

Jeg er blitt mer kjent med smerten jeg bærer og har lært meg bedre hvordan jeg kan leve med den. Smerte er ikke det farligste, vi tåler mye!! Medfølelse fra andre som har lidd har hjulpet meg gjennom spesielt krevende stunder. Det trengte aldri å være ord. Faktisk var det aldri ord. Bare at noen stumt gjenkjente min smerte og var sammen med meg, noen øyeblikk. Et blikk, en berøring, et lydhørt sukk sammen med meg, mot og vilje til kontakt, at noen gråt med meg.
Carmen

” I have to just be myself no matter what I experience.” Cecilie 13 yrs

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“I’m only 13 years old but I have been exposed to bullying, harassment and attacks, but I have taught myself to get on with life and not give up. There are so many challenges in life, but we have to learn to just deal with them. I have to just be myself no matter what I experience, and people around me will just have to accept me for who I am.”
Cecilie
-Jeg er bare 13 år gammel men jeg har vært utsatt for mobbing, trakassering og overgrep, men jeg har lært meg å komme meg videre i livet og å ikke gi opp. Livet byr på mange utfordringer, men man må lære seg til det å takle det. Jeg har lært meg opp til å kunne være meg selv uansett hva jeg opplever, og at folk rundt meg må akseptere hvem jeg er.
Cecilie

Oslofolk – den perfekte gaven!

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Humans of Oslo – Oslofolk er nå i salg! Den er en kjærlighetserklæring til Oslo etter 22.juli angrepene og handler om byen og alle de menneskene som gjør det til et vakkert sted.