Sunday, August 30
Today I got up and my thighs were aching from walking around Suomenlinna with Bryan yesterday.
This would have been Auo’s fourteenth birthday. I went for a brisk walk before breakfast to try to ease my thigh muscles and prevent them stiffening. I walked through the woods, sat on a rock, and cried for fifteen minutes. I hadn’t meant to, but the contrasts between the last three days were so immensely obvious and sad. It wasn’t just that Auo wasn’t there (which of course she wasn’t) It was also the fact that I was getting a doctorate for a project that she has been an intimate part of, and she never got to see it reach completion.
I wondered how much of the end of my thesis is a result of, and a way of, working through Auo’s death.
None of us really know what to do and we all do our best to do what seems right. Naa has made Auo a birthday card, and it is based round a photograph that I don’t think I have ever seen before. It is a pose so completely characteristic of her that, for a moment, it takes me back two years, and I half expect to see her in the garden with her yellow headphones on, batting a tennis ball on a bat while listening to One Direction.
Later in the day I will cycle to Stockmann to see if there is anything interesting in their 80% off book sale. If there was then it has gone by now. I will call into Prisma on the way back for milk and lettuce. While I am in there it will suddenly start thundering. I will remember my foldaway Subway rain cloak, and I will arrive home almost dry.
This is Naa’s final day of work, and she has the late shift. Before Irma goes to collect her I will clean all the floors and dust. Naa will start packing for her trip to Thailand on Tuesday, and I will marvel at how five consecutive days can pack in so many wildly different yet equally important experiences.