Ida’s Dance

Radiumhospitalets Venner (the Radiumhospitals Friends) held a concert in Oslo Spektrum last Thursday. The organisation is new and the reason for the concert was to make publicity about the organisation. The organisation itself is created to contribute to strengthen the hospitals identity and the role as a national and international cancer-center, and to get means to patient-directed actions at the hospital.  

Jan Fredrik Karlsen and Liv Ulmann were hosts. There were lots of Norwegian artists that contributed for free – like Kurt Nilsen, Arve Tellefsen, Madcon, Ole Edvard Antonsen, Espen Lind etc. In between the hosts talked to various people – people who had cancer, some who had beaten cancer, experts etc.  

One woman got stuck on my mind. It was a mother of a child who died of leukaemia. She had written a book about it. The name was Idas dans (Ida’s Dance). ‘ I don’t know exactly why, but I got the urge to read that book. So the next day, last Friday, I went downtown to find that book. I found it in paperback and only paid 99 NOK for it.  

I knew in advance that this book was a book I would find myself crying over – a lot. I cry easily over sad things. And this book, where I knew from the start that she was going to die, I knew it would be hard to read. Still I bought it and read it.

By the afternoon was over on Saturday, I was finished. Through out the book I cried many tears. At some times, my vision was so blurry I had to stop reading. What a sad story! My friend Chantal asked me if it was worth it – reading the sad story.  

Yes!  

I got an insight in how brutally life can be, how fast it can change and what family really means. I got to experience something through this book that I otherwise wouldn’t have known much about.  

After reading the book, I have questions.  

How can someone be as strong as the mother who wrote this book? She portrait herself almost like a superwoman in my eyes. I guess when you are in the middle of something like that, you get strength from a place deep, deep down, somewhere hidden.  

And how can you, when you’re 19, prepare yourself for death? I can not in my wildest dream imagine how you can. How do you live the weeks, days and minutes before you know it’s all over?  

There were two moments in the book that really caught me. The first was when Ida for the first time expressed to her mother that she was afraid – afraid of dieing. It was heartbreaking to read. The second was when she at the end say goodbye to every close family member (father, sisters, brother). She took time for every one of them. It was painful to read, but also so beautiful at the same time.  

I’m glad I read this book. It opened my eyes a bit.  

On to something totally else at the end. I bought this book downtown at Tanum Bookstore. It’s huge and I had trouble find the book. So I asked a woman if she knew where I could find it. I only had the title, not the author. That was enough. Without searching on her computer she told me it was under the section ‘grief’ in the area where health and psychology were. Wow. That woman was amazing. It felt like I could come with any title and she would know where it was.     

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