Thursday, August 11
Hietaniemen kappeli, 13:10
Naa stayed the night and we all got up and got ready for Tarku’s funeral. At 11:00 Timppa and Arvi arrived and we left for the crematorium, stopping in Kulasaari to collect the flowers we had ordered.
The chapel was full. Some people I recognised and many I didn’t. The last time we were here was for Auo’s funeral and the cello playing and the choice of music made me move between the present and the past as I sat there. I remembered some things that I had totally forgotten about Auo’s funeral at the same time as I remembered Tarku, and the things she had done with Auo and Naa. I noticed Jertta Roos in the congregation and suddenly felt like the narrator in A Dance to the Music of Time, and hoped we had not already arrived at the last volume hearing secret harmonies.
Now we are leaving the chapel, having said hello to a few people. The overall mood seems to be elegaic, or perhaps I am still half aware in Hietaniemi and half lost in the evocative world of Anthony Powell. I look around for Widmerpool and see Tarku’s son Immu instead.
When we arrived at the house Kalle will have overseen a very fitting tribute to her. Tarku was famous for her lengthy parties with far too much food and plenty to drink. For one final time we are sitting outside in the garden with just enough food to be far too much, and just enough wine to be plenty. It will feel strange to realise that this will almost certainly be the last time that we will be sitting here, and probably the last time we will see many of these people.
I will chat briefly with Jertta who will suggest that we should meet next at her funeral. I will promise to attend if she lets me know when it is, and hope but not say that this scene is taking place in volume ten and not later.
In the evening Irma and I will attend the opening meeting of a peer group for parents who have lost a child. As we had feared, they will all, with one exception, have lost a child during pregnancy or childbirth, or two or three days afterwards. A couple will have lost this baby ten or more years ago. Whatever their undoubted pain and suffering they have not lost a child in the same way as we, and the woman from Lovissa have. The problems and pain that they have and will deal with are very different to the ones that we have and will deal with.
We will leave with our own suffering placed into context, and feeling we learned from that; but we will also agree that we will not be going back.