It is now three weeks since my oldest son passed away. It became our personal Ragnarok. The tree Yggdrasil trembles when it loses an important branch. Since November 2014 we have lived in the shadow of death, when Daniel found out that he had cancer. Finally it became so unbearable to constantly think about death that I decided to create a storytelling performance on the topic. In Norwegian folktales death appears as an old, quiet quiet man. He is the only just character when he takes part in a folktale, because he makes no distinction between rich or poor. But do not dare to defy death, then his life-giving gift will turn into a candle that burns down. You must not catch death, tells one Norwegian folktale, it can cause a painful disaster.

Daniel came to the performance, it made me proud. He was the my regular listener as I practiced the stories over the years. Is not it remarkable that one of the stories that mattered most to him, was the Norse myth of Balder’s death.

He wrote to his girlfriend:

Daniel:
I know what story I will start with
Alexandra:
Ohhhh is it exciting?! or scary?
Daniel:
Maybe not exciting. But nice. It’s my favorite of the ones I’ve heard from Norse Mythology. I should ask my mother where I can find it.
Alexandra:
whatis it called?
Daniel:
I think it’s called The Death of Baldur. I’ll find it, read it and tell you it in London.

Daniel is the myth of Balder. Daniel was the little boy who made us smile, one who sought love and peace and that was what mattered. We, I and Daniels girlfriend, was Frigg. We searched for cures and treatments that should not hurt him, but heal him. The cancer was our evil opponent, a little arrow that struck Daniel and led him away from us. Neither Daniel nor we believe in a god. Therefore Daniel did not fear death, he wrote in his diary. What he feared was the grief of those who remained. I think that’s why Balder sat on the throne in Hel’s realm and cried. He cries because he thinks of the sorrow he leaves behind.

The world of ours has collapsed, it is our Ragnarok. In Voluspa, the poem about Ragnarok, it is told that the world will rise up again. In the grass there will be golden pieces to be played with. Daniel often played “Magic the Gathering”, now others must play his cards.

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