Thursday, January 30
The woods, 13:40
Yesterday’s visit left us both very tired. Retelling the story of Auo’s death is both tiring and depressing, and yet when people come to see us it is also always necessary. There is no way round this though, unless we move to a cave; and once we have completed the process we will not have to do it again.
This meant that we woke up feeling very down, Irma perhaps more than me. The morning was made worse by Irma’s work healthcare, which seems to be staffed entirely by callous simpletons. She had made an appointment for next Monday, and yesterday she tried to move it, because that is now going to be taken up with funeral matters. She was told that she couldn’t rearrange it, but she could cancel it – and then she would have no sick note for next week. She had further conversations this morning that went nowhere at all in the cruelest manner possible. “We have a very strict system.” “The doctor is too busy to talk with you, and the system says that she can’t phone you back when she is free.” If I had not heard it myself I would have found it hard to believe. At every point Irma was treated as though she was trying to pull some sort of scam, as though she was pretending to have a cough and asking the doctor to mail her a sick note. I was genuinely shocked, and very thankful for the work health care that I have, which has been exemplary every time I have needed it.
Later I went for a walk while Irma prepared some material for me to send to Luke, and printed out some of the prayers we have been sent from India. I am close to home, having walked about two kilometres, and the woods are strangely lit by a harsh sun.
Afterwards Irma will go for coffee with Tarkku. I will chat with Luke, and we will drive to Itäkeskus to get the dress that Keith has sent Naa from Viet Nam.