Tag Archives: death

April 15

I have spent most of the last three days working on a pitch for a local charity and, although exciting as a creative challenge, the subject of the brief was very depressing. We had to address the issue of “berøringsangst,” a Danish term which, in the context of the brief, refers to the fear of talking about death; that sense of awkwardness and anxiety that sometimes prevents us from reaching out, especially to grieving children and adolescents, just because we are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing.

Turns out that for people who are dealing with a loss, or that are fighting a serious illness, one of the hardest parts of their experience is seeing their friends and family paralysed by fear and going silent, distant and withdrawn. Contrary to what most of us believe, and as Geo eloquently explains in the video below, the worst we can do in this situations is not doing anything at all.

Pretty powerful, isn’t it? I took Geo’s talk as a starting point and from there I started delving into every article I could find on the subject, as well as academic papers and self-help books. The more I read about it, the more I became anxious about my family’s mortality, something that has always haunted me ever since I moved to Europe almost five years ago. Reading stories of really young kids who lost their parents or siblings to an illness or a violent accident was heartbreaking and disturbing, it really made me think how lucky I am and how difficult it should be to confront such situations. The thought is terrifying.

And that was the hardest thing about this brief… having to put yourself on the shoes of those kids for a second, trying to understand what it must feel like to lose your parents at a young age in order to understand how berøringsangst could be addressed. Not an easy task, I tell you. How could I possibly imagine that? No matter how much I read about it, I always felt the ideas I was coming up with were only based in loose assumptions and I don’t think I got to fully discern all the nuances and implications of the issue. It didn’t help that we only had just a couple of days to research, decode that information, conceptualize and execute, but we did our best within our limitations and although I think we could have thought our concepts through a bit more, I also know that’s just the way things are sometimes. We’ll see what happens.

On a positive note, though, I went to Roskilde during the Easter break with Kat and her Dad. It was a lovely, sunny day that we spent looking at viking ships and walking around the Roskilde Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic building where many Danish monarchs are buried and that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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We also spent a few days in the company of little Stevey Wonderful, who brought us hot cross buns and chocolate eggs, just enough calories to keep us walking around town, showing her the city views. It was so nice to see her and I hope she can make it back to Copenhagen in August as she promised.

To top it all off, Kat gave me a Instax Mini as a present! I have been planning to get that camera for a while but she just went ahead and got it for me first so we started using it right away :)

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We now have a little box where we’re storing our photos and I’m sure it won’t be long before we need to find a bigger one…

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February 5

I’m down with a cold and I’m in the office, on a beautiful winter day, feeling sorry for myself.

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Yesterday, I came across a great blog post that drew similarities between moving (as in relocating from one place to another) and death, arguing that moving houses is like dying, but on a small scale; we are forced to leave behind some of our precious belongings, as if it was a rehearsal for when the time to leave EVERYTHING behind comes. The thought is daunting but, as someone who has relocated to a new city 6 times, I can totally empathize with the feeling.

I wish I could elaborate more on this, or at least include a link to the article here, but I can’t find the blog where I read it and I can’t be bothered to write anymore; my nose is leaking, my eyes feel heavy, and I still have a meeting to attend before going home.

I told you I was feeling sorry for myself, didn’t I?

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September 24

Yesterday, Kat and I spent the evening at Holmens Kanal, a bar in the city centre where the Diplomatico World Tournament was taking place. Some friends from Venezuela who run the Diplomatico brand were in town to endorse the event and my friend Geoffrey was one of the judges of the competition so we dropped by to say hi, see the finals, catch up with some friends and enjoy the free cocktails. It was actually very nice. Six bartenders had to prepare two rum-based cocktails in five minutes, including their own inventive reinterpretation of the classic Daiquiri, for a chance to become Denmark’s representative in the Diplomatico World Tournament to take place next year in Venezuela.

The winner was Rasmus from Duck & Cover, a guy I don’t know but whom I congratulated anyway. I took the opportunity to tell him to get ready to behold the greatest display of breast implants of his life… just the thought of it brought a big smile to his face. It was endearing.

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Browsing through reddit, I came across this thread and now I can’t stop thinking about it; I don’t have any twins and I have never dated one but I can see how terribly heartbreaking the situation described in the thread must be. I had never thought about it that way, makes me wonder…

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February 10

Just got home from a very nice meeting with Vanessa, a Canadian Interaction Designer living in Copenhagen, who I contacted a few weeks ago in regards of a personal project I would like to develop a bit further. She brought along a really nice guy named Christian, who works with sound, and the three of us spent an hour chatting away and discussing potential creative pathways we would like to explore. They seem very interested in taking part and helping push the idea forward, which is quite exciting. Can’t wait to see what comes out of this.

Unfortunately, the day was somewhat eclipsed by the sad news of Michele’s Dad passing away. I knew his Dad had been struggling for a while, so although I know he and his family were expecting this to happen relatively soon, it breaks my heart that he didn’t get the chance to say goodbye. That’s probably my biggest fear about living abroad, the possibility of something terrible happening to my family while I’m so far away. Just the thought of it brings a lump to my throat.

I do hope he and his family find the strength and courage to overcome such difficult times, may his Dad rest in peace.

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January 31

After five days, I’m still feeling a bit run down. The sneezing is gone, the coughing has almost disappeared but the congestion is still giving me a hard time, triggering intermittent headaches that feel like ninja kicks to my temples. The weather hasn’t got any better, either; just as we speak, snow is falling from the sky in great amounts and the thermometer shows we’re now at minus three degrees (although it feels much colder out there). In fact, according to the Copenhagen Post, the sun has made its way through the winter clouds “for only seventeen hours since the start of the year, making this the dreariest January for some 26 years.” Seventeen fucking hours in a whole month! You kidding me? No wonder why I’ve felt so tired these days.

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Yesterday, I found a few post-its on my desk, next to an apple that I have been planning to eat for about a week now. At first, I thought it was just a silly joke but further inspection revealed a beautiful surprise: turns out the little post-it notes are part of an intriguing story penciled by the one and only, Fergus Kenny.

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I love Fergus, he’s one of the people I really connect with here in the office. He’s wise, funny and Irish. What’s not to like? We’re always discussing strange topics and coming up with crazy ideas I wish we had the time and energy to execute. Most of them are pretty ridiculous but some of them could actually be worth pursuing. Like a short film about an apple that goes rotten; just imagine beautiful shots of a ageing pink lady, and a voice over that thoughtfully reflects on the lonely fruit’s inevitable death as the days go by.

Yeah, I like that…

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