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  • Yesterday was my 106 year old Grandma’s funeral. The weather was foggy and the wind was blowing quite coldly over the cape where graveyard and the church are situated. We listened inside the church a blessing and sang some hymns that spoke a lot about death and eternity and about a hope to get up in heaven sometimes in the future if you are lucky in times of distant resurrection.

    Then I carried with five other family men the coffin out of the church, over the graveyard to the undertaker’s vehicle. My Grandma’s body will be cremated not buried. We thought that she’s happier when she can wait for resurrection somewhere else than deep in cold ground.

    As I carried the coffin I thought about story that Grandma had told me about her own Dad’s funeral. Her Dad died when she was very young, he came home one evening, hold his daughter’s hand and said: “Say farewell to your Dad, in the morning I must be somewhere else.”

    Next morning her Dad was dead. Flying tuberculosis, they said. It flew very fast.

    Grandma’s Dad had worked in a sawmill. On funeral day after the church sermon his coffin was lifted on a horse carriage. It was pulled by two black horses. Horses started to walk with dignity, a graveyard was situated on the other side of the island. The horn band of sawmill had grouped by the curve of sandy road and when the carriage reached the curve they started to play with trumpets, trombones, French horns and one tuba. It was salute to their dear friend and co-worker.

    Black horses didn’t unfortunately understand the meaning of salute. They bolted at the sound of horns and galloped from the road over the field with the carriage behind them. Last thing my Grandma saw of his father was two horses pulling his jumping coffin into dark spruce forest. From here to eternity.

    We decided to use a black hearse for Grandma instead of black horses and carriage.
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