August 2013 – April 2014
The human being who had been my boyfriend and fiancé for nearly 6 years of my youth and early adulthood decided to take his life. He jumped in front of a train on the 3rd of July 2013,
nearly two months ago 9 months ago. These are photos recollections from and about my time in his home town in Sweden around the days of the funeral a month after his death.
I stayed in Surahammar for two nights and went for an evening walk through the town on both days. With first the streets, then the fields and trees slowly darkening around me, everything felt both oddly familiar and strangely new. I had never been in this part of town by foot with Crille, and I didn’t know whether he would have found it as neat and soothing as I did.
On the first evening walk, I tried to reach the countryside church to look at it before the funeral, but didn’t make it before night broke in.
On the second night, after the funeral, I ran there to make it before it would be too dark to find the way back home. It is a beautiful churchyard, with a splendid view going out over a river flowing by down the gravestone-adorned meadows, and on sunny days, you’re nearly blinded by the glistening of the sun on the river shimmering through the birch leaves when standing next to the empty meadow space yet only reserved for his grave.
The sun always goes down so magnificently in Sweden; but maybe it is just because the horizon is visible much deeper when you’re standing on a small hill with no city houses around, or because I idealise the days I spent in Sweden.
I don’t know whether he would have liked it as much. He did seem to enjoy the calm on a summery day in nature, but he didn’t have any particular feelings for nature for its own sake. I always wished he would.
But then I can’t even know, maybe he had feelings of his own that were simply different from mine and not translatable.
It was very strange and very beautiful to be back in his hometown after 3 years, to see all the places I had been with him before and to meet his family and to smell the all-too-familiar scent of the flat he had been living in with his mom and little brother. Nowadays, his brother has moved out months ago and his mother is the same as always, just so downcast, so downcast, and I cried a lot more than her when we met because her despondency and the weight of the scents and sights and the way the wind feels in that town crushed down on me with all the weight that is left behind by someone who is no longer there.
His mother, I got the feeling, didn’t have a clue about how to deal with it and instead just did it as she went, and I reckon I did the same.
I spent the evening before the funeral eating with her and her partner, a meal full of tears and memories. She showed me the death notice they had put up in the local newspapers and I gave her a usb stick with all the photos I had from all the years of being together with her son.
In his room, on his strangely empty desk what with his computer no longer there, there were flowers and sympathy cards. His bed was made with a pair of jeans and a hoodie jacket neatly on top. His mom told me that he had left it like that, and that she often spent the nights sitting there and hugging the clothes. When I later mentioned that the hoodie jacket was one I had once given him for christmas, she offered me to take it with me and keep it. That was gracious and beautiful, and it’s in my wardrobe now and sometimes I wear it at home as though there was nothing strange about it, and sometimes I don’t know how to touch it.
She also showed me a drawer he still had with things that belonged to me, small letters, drawings, a notepad with notes and homework from my school time. Like the me from yesterday would come back like every holiday. I don’t have a clue how he felt about me during the last two years. It would not have been unlike him to simply have forgotten those items in the drawer and never need the space, because everything that meant something to him was on his computer anyway (or, of course, in his heart and head).
His mother told me that the autopsy revealed that there had been no drugs, no alcohol or other foreign substances in his system when he took his life. She said that it is a relief, because that means that it was his own decision to take his life, and that is something she has to accept, and it is easier if it is what he decided to will by himself.
I agree, and at the same time I cannot fathom what his body must have looked like after meeting a train. I sometimes wonder whether he died from the collision, or was run over and whether there was some kind of slicing, or just impact, or whatever. Who found him. Whether his mother or brother had to identify him. Did he carry an ID with him so they might be spared that?
What did he think of in the last moments of his life anyway?
I find myself wondering these things sometimes, and more often I find myself managing way too easily to simply not think about them, and I was too scared to ask.