Since last Christmas, Anna-Stina Nykänen, a journalist at Helsingin Sanomat, doesn't remember much.
In eight months, three relatives had died of him: a father, a sister, and his own husband.
Christmas had always been a huge process in the family.
Every year, Anna-Stina packed 150 Christmas presents.
Her husband Heikki was a real Christmas man, baking himself Christmas boxes in a wooden oven.
Every night on the eve of the night, Anna-Stina was bursting with Christmas rushes.
Last Christmas, everything was different.
Terrible things had happened in a short time.
On January 8 last year, Anna-Stina said on Facebook, "My father died at night."
The next day he wrote, "Now the sister died of mold, tonight."
Spring and summer went into fog.
Anna-Stina Nykänen had always been afraid of how she would react to death. Photo: Antti Hämäläinen / IS
In August, Anna-Stina and her husband, Kauppalehti Option editor Heikki Haapavaara, and their 18-year-old son Johannes went on an expected holiday trip to Thailand and Singapore.
At the end of the holiday, Anna-Stina wrote an update: “Heikki is dead.
Leaving Singapore, when the plane was taking off, he had a seizure. ”
The plane returned.
Anna-Stina stayed in Singapore with John for another two days to sort things out.
- Christmas then went so that my mother was a widow, I was a widow and my son and I had lost a father.
- Fortunately, Heikki's adult son Kasper asked us all to spend Christmas with his family.
Anna-Stina Nykänen had always feared how she would react to death.
The father was the first person close to him to die.
- Heikki's daughter had died at the age of 17 before we started dating.
- Heikki was right that I did not understand how the death of a loved one feels before the situation came to an end.
Although the father was already 85 years old, his death was a surprise.
A severe flu took him to the hospital.
Two days later, Dad's heart stopped.
At first, Anna-Stina felt nothing.
Then his ability to function went.
- I cried out shouting, similar to Actors in movies, Anna-Stina Nykänen says.
Anna-Stina believes that crying arose from guilt.
There were unspoken things left between the father and the daughter.
- The father left my mother in her fifties and was married to another woman for ten years.
- It's a step I haven't forgiven.
Father's funeral was terribly important to Anna-Stina.
It saw a person's whole life.
It was easy to get out of the rage.
After her father died, Anna-Stina talked to her sister on the phone the next day about potato writing.
Anna-Stina had come to her mother in Kuopio.
They watched TV with their mother when the phone rang again in a couple of hours.
“Now the mutti went,” the sister’s son said.
The sister had incurable muscle disease ALS.
On his last night, he had sat in a rocking chair, as was his custom.
The sister managed for a moment without a ventilator.
Even now he had taken it away for a moment.
For some reason, he didn’t have time to press the alarm button.
- My sister had been seriously ill for a long time.
I had promised that if nothing else would help, I would arrange a euthanasia trip for him.
- I think he was ready to leave.
Anna-Stina Nykänen is no longer frightened when people talk about their own feelings.
–People who have experienced deer are not terrified of another's grief.Photo: Antti Hämäläinen / IS
Anna-Stina thinks humans are like penguins.
When something horrible happens to the penguins, the whole community pulls together into one cluster and everyone stumbles tightly close to each other in small steps.
This is how he wrote in his column in Good Health magazine after the death of his loved ones.
"I'm thinking about penguins this year, when so many have died läheltäni.
--- It's been horrible.
Rumia moments and worries, all shit and hell.
Yet at the forefront is amazement, amazement, respect and gratitude for those penguin moments where even distant people have come close. ”
Anna-Stina is amazed at the amount of compassion she has received.
In the early spring, he began writing columns for Alone at Home in Helsingin Sanomat.
In them, he has told what kind of feelings the state of emergency has aroused and what helps to cope.
- I have been terribly feedback, thank you for that, when you were talking about these things.
The connection has been established.
Readers have posted photos of the beautiful scenery.
Someone had been busy raising Anna-Stina's mood.
- All culminating in Easter, when the reader family suggested that they could bring me the Passover, when I'm alone at home.
- They brought many dishes, deer fillets, pasha and risotto - and apologized for leaving a little saucer.
Anna-Stina is no longer frightened when people share their own feelings.
She has seen her husband struggle to his death.
After that, he is not afraid of anything.
- Someone has come to tell me in the locker room of the swimming pool that he has a dead child and this was followed by a divorce.
Such a conversation can take place naked in a locker room with a stranger.
- People who have experienced monsters are not terrified of another's grief.
Then it is unshakable and fearless, grounded in its own essence.
At first the crying was sensitive.
In the midst of grief, Anna-Stina was surprised at how she took part in lip-smacking at work and told stupid things herself.
- At the same time, I realized that there can be several parallel lanes in a person's mind.
A person can be both happy and sad at the same time.
Joy and sorrow go hand in hand.
In the midst of grief, Nykänen says that he understands how a person can be both happy and sad at the same time.
Emotions run together. Photo: Antti Hämäläinen / IS
The spring was hit by a corona pandemic.
As if life hadn’t happened enough already.
At first, the forced telework was a terrible shock to Anna-Stina.
After Heikki's death, he had moved from Porvoo to Helsinki.
Suddenly he lived alone.
The only child was in the military.
- I wasn't alone with you.
Coworkers had been to Anna-Stina like family.
The part he had known for 30 years.
Then he got rid of them too.
- I had nothing around.
I would have panicked and run away if there hadn’t been work left.
In her Alone at Home columns, Anna-Stina Nykänen dealt with the feelings and fears she had during the Corona Spring.
He wrote every day.
Writing kept up.
- I showed myself that I have the resources.
I'm not weak, even if I'm alone.
Now the book Alone at Home (Into) has been published from the columns.
Every day Anna-Stina looks into the distance, towards the horizon.
Looking into the distance creates a sense of proportionality.
- The world is bigger, there is some distance to go.
- The future is so big that it is not changed by the worries of our ants.
It creates security and hope.
“Let’s admire the scenery for a moment,” Heikki said at a family of friends in Singapore a couple of hours before the plane took off in August 2019.
When the plane took off, John said: Mom, Dad has something.
Heikki cramped in the chair.
Anna-Stina began to cry out for help in English.
No one came.
Then the people sitting around started screaming.
The first to come to the rescue was a French nurse.
Together, strong men were shouted for help, ones who would carry Heikki's staff down the aisle.
The flight had to turn back to Singapore.
- Heikki died while we were sitting next to John.
- Not only did we see the death cramps, we had to be on the plane for two hours with the body.
In Singapore, a doctor and police officers boarded the plane.
No one was released until the body was taken away.
The doctor who examined Heikki said nothing to Anna-Stina and John.
Suddenly the doctor said “blanket”.
A blanket was drawn over Heikki.
Anna-Stina asked what you were doing.
The staff just stared and left.
- A moment passed and the cabin became that French nurse, took my hand and Heikki's hand.
I realized that the dead can be touched and held in the hand.
- I took the blanket off Heikki's face, sat on the floor of the plane and started singing.
The song of a rye bird in my ears, a full moon on top of a cob, he sang.
The return trip from Singapore was terrible.
It felt just like driving the same crash route.
- The job was asked if it would help if someone came to pick us up from Singapore.
I will never forget that.
There were a lot of people at Heikki's funeral in Porvoo Cathedral.
In August in Thailand, they had met Heikki's wardrobe.
He announced that he wanted to make Heikki the last suit in the coffin.
Heikki was a costume man, but did not feel comfortable in sneakers.
She was dressed in Anna-Stina's woven socks in a coffin.
A friend of musicians chose music for the church, the organist played A Whiter shade of pale in the church, an important one from his youth.
There had to be a reading.
The Count of Monte Cristo was placed in the coffin.
- Love and positive things come to mind terribly.
- When Heikki was resuscitated on the plane, I shouted: Heikki come back, we loved sua.
Heikki was a very emotional and playful person.
He loved romantic movies.
Heikki cried every time they watched the Castle feast and the war veterans shook hands.
He could keep monologues for the dog.
There were always fresh flowers at home and candles burning on the dining table.
That habit is over.
- You have had to go through bad things.
Heikki was an exceptionally versatile person, but definitely also space consuming.
- In the longing phase, you remember terribly good things, but you don't have to keep a glossy image.
Anna-Stina has wondered what she wants in the future.
When they moved in together, he did not bring his own furniture to Heikki's detached house.
He lived terribly on man's terms.
Why did it go that way?
- Why didn't I say I wanted a bright green couch.
Or wasn't that important to me?
Anna-Stina Nykänen and Heikki Haapavaara at the Great Journalist Award Gala in March 2014. Photo: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva
After Heikki's death, the Porvoo home became a driving start.
The pipes from the old detached house suddenly broke.
- We had to throw the goods in black garbage bags.
Surprisingly, the emotions were affected by the fact that Anna-Stina and Heikki were not married.
- Heikki kept kissing me.
I presented an independent and bohemian that I would not marry.
- He even said that if I died, you could stay in this house.
I said I wouldn't stay here.
I'm leaving for the world!
When that day came, panic struck.
Then came the feeling that yes we would make it.
When horrors happen, many things then become indifferent.
It clarifies life when you know your own strengths
- I'm terribly much less afraid, because the worst has already happened.
- When you have to be by your side when someone dies, you become aware that you are alive.
Death is no longer a nightmare of horror but a situation where I have been.
Now Anna-Stina understands better what it means when a relative is told: strength or my condolences.
- When we talk about grieving, we don’t talk enough about how physical grieving is.
It is physically strenuous.
That is why I understand that we are saying forces.
The amount of people caring has been muted.
It’s been great about Anna-Stina.
By no means do you have to think about surviving on your own.
You need to be able to ask for help.
- If no one thought of us, I would be at the bottom of the well.
Every day, Anna-Stina looks into the distance, towards the horizon.
It creates a sense of relativity. Photo: Antti Hämäläinen / IS
Of all three deaths, Heikki's death has been the most traumatic.
He was the father of Anna-Stina's son.
- He ruled my daily life and lifestyle for almost 20 years.
Anna-Stina and Johannes celebrated the anniversary of Heikki's death.
- I have now found it, where I was before this family, but changed a lot fearlessly.
- In a sense, I live more strongly every day and recognize what I want.
It is useless to try to pull or intimidate me.
He is no longer the same person as before.
It’s a big thing to think about how I will live the rest of my life.
- I do not at all think that I survived.
I'm just not yet complete, but has happened to me also wonderful things.