Went to Oulu Friday for a funeral (Wellu’s grandmother) and the reception afterwards. I’ve never attended an open-casket funeral before, so that was a bit unsettling for me, at first. I had only met his grandmother twice. The thing I recall most is having translated to me last winter that she said I was losing too much weight, that I would make a skinny bride! I don’t think I was ever in danger of that, but she was the first one to remark on my weight-loss, which made me feel very good, as it means she remembered me from my last visit! In any case, she was over ninety years old (84, I think), and had been in a nursing home for a while with dementia and other ailments. It was sad for her to pass away, but hardly unexpected.
The funeral took place in a Lutheran church, with just family present (there are four brothers and a sister surviving, and their families), with a female priest presiding. I do like that the Lutheran church is progressive enough to have female priests. In any case, each child came up and gave a short speech, with their family beside them, then placed a spray of flowers beside the coffin. Afterwards, each brother, plus two elder grandsons (Wellu being one) came up as pall-bearers, and took the casket outside and placed it on a large gurney. With the church bells ringing in the background, we walked behind it to the gravesite, where she was lowered into the ground. Each brother took turns shoveling in dirt, as well as a few other family members taking a turn, then the eldest son (Wellu’s father) said a few final words. Afterwards, we left for the reception.
The reception was held a few blocks away, and was set up with each family having a table, and there were cold cuts, bread and hot soups (fish/potato, meat/potato) to start with. Then they brought out the desserts, which were very scrumptious! Especially the cake. Yum! Wellu’s dad read the cards that had been sent, and then the families all shared stories from their youth about the grandmother. Of course, they were all in Finnish, so Wellu had to translate for me in short form. But I managed to follow along well enough.
We left afterwards with Jani (Wellu’s younger brother), and went to his place to change clothes, which looked like any sort of place that a male bachelor would live (see picture below :P), then met up with Pauli (friend) at his place. We chatted a bit about video games and the state of the garbage coming out, as well as watched some previews of games in release. Unfortunately, I fell asleep as the guys chatted, but woke up before I started snoring!
Then we drove over to meet Hanna at her office. I laminated some placards (“Warning! Do not touch!” – so very important) and then we left to go get food at this Bosnian grill place. I had what was essentially sausage and potatoes (hold the salad!), and it was quite good! The place was called Kaijon Kipsa (kai-yon kip-sah), but I can’t recall the name of the dish I had. Janni had this mega-burger called a “Harley with a sidecar”. I’d believe it, it was huge! We took all our food back to Hannah’s place and I spoiled her two doggies rotten (Simba and Forte)! We chatted a bit, then headed back to Wellu’s mom’s house to see Niina and head to bed early. Late nights and early wake-ups do not do me good…and we had a second 4am wake up for Saturday morning!
Got up this morning (yawn!) at 4am, ate a quick breakfast, caught a cab to the Oulu airport, and then I slept through the entire flight (second time I’ve missed service!), and made it home. For those interested, it was the 519 bus to the Malmi station, then the 70T to the Meripihkatie stop. Hillevi fixed us a larger breakfast, showed us some new linens she bought for our bed, and then she and Risto (her husband) left to do some sightseeing. We going to meet them at the railway station around 1ish or so to go eat lunch (Chinese, I think), and then see what the rest of the day holds.