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  • I just read a study about war traumas in Finland. Not about those traumas that soldiers suffered, but those that were experienced by women and children on the home front. The source material is quite extensive. During Winter and Continuation Wars about half a million (one seventh of Finnish population in 1940s) women and children and old people had to leave their homes and start their lifes anew in some strange region. Without earthly possessions.

    Two interesting conclusions did come up in this study. Firstly: it takes approximately four generations for war traumas to disappear from a family circle. Parents pass them to their children and the children to their children through lack of empathy and unability to show their love. From generation to generation.

    Secondly: despite surrounding death and cruelties the most desperate moment to most children was if one lost his teddy bear or some other dear plush animal when she/he was evacuated. When old people had been interviewed over half a century after the end of the war this loss of toy pet is for many of them still the bitterest bill they’ve had to swallow during the whole war. They could accept the deaths of their father, or brother, or sister, or friends, but the loss of beloved plush puppy was a shock beyond approval. It was never forgotten.

    I can understand that. For years and years, my son took the dolphin in picture above with him to every our journey across Finland and foreign countries. He slept every single night with the dolphin beside him. All the day-time hardships and fears and insecurities and disappointments were swept away from his thoughts during the sleep. The dolphin was his guardian angel. It was almightier than me. Or his mother.

    Now my son has grown some years. He doesn’t take the dolphin with him anymore to his daily adventures. At nighttime he sleeps alone. Strangely, every day the dolphin gets less and less important to him, it gets more and more important to me.

    In remembrance of the times past.
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