Dear Mats.

My eyes are blurry from the tears I've shed. I'm calling out your name, but receive no answer. Your voice has withered. Your ears can no longer detect sound. Your body is frozen. Your heart is no longer beating.

Last Thursday, on March 4th 2011, the hurricane we, in our small town society had been expecting, finally arrived at our coast line. It wasn't that bad in the city; the winds were strong, but I was able to walk to work around 4PM as usual, barely keeping steady. But the situation was different for you, Mats. In the mountains, where you and your eight friends were located, the hurricane made it impossible to see, to move, and to basically organise any kind of emergency rescue.

I didn't read the newspaper before I came to work, and managed to gather that nine young people were missing in the heart of the hurricane since nine in the morning. I didn't really think more of it before a friend texted me and told me who were missing; and that you were one of them. But Mats, I wasn't worried. I just shrugged and thought, 'whatever.' There was no reason for me to get worked up; yeah sure, we used to be in the same class but we were never the best of friends. I can't even say that you were one of my favourite people; I did, in fact, have a pretty bad impression of you.

Once I heard that you and Stian had accidently split from the main group of seven people, I knew that you were both dead. I knew that there was no way two young boys could survive up there alone, with no possibility of getting down from the mountain as your snow mobiles would run out of petrol and, considering you were poorly dressed according to the police and media, mother nature would catch up with you. I knew that you would both freeze to death, one after the other. And you know what, Mats? I didn't care.

The news arrived the next morning; you had all been found but your trip had cost three young lives. You and Stian were both dead, as I had predicted. Another young boy from the 'main group,' if you will, had also passed away. Even though I knew that someone would have to pay with their lives and that everyone wouldn't come down from there in one piece I was... More or less surprised. But I didn't really... I didn't really realise what had actually happened. It wasn't before Sunday, three days after your death, that I started crying. I was in the middle of doing the dishes when the thought suddenly crossed my mind; 'Mats is dead.'

Being so honest in the event of what's happened, hurts more than you could ever imagine. Damn it, Mats. We'd had strong winds and hurricane warnings during the whole and same week you went on that trip and you should've known better than anyone that the temperatures can drop below -34 degrees celcius in such conditions. You should have been aware of the danger. You should have stayed home. God I wish you had stayed home.

After realising what had actually happened and that you were dead, my mind somehow managed to dig up so many good memories of you. Do you remember our trip to Sweden in the end of tenth grade? We were so happy because in less than a week we would graduate from junior high school. I'll never forget the walks you, Robin, Lise and I had around the lake. I'll never forget when you and Espen came out from that love shop with two sex dolls each, just for the hell of it. I'll never forget the laughter we all shared as you two strolled around town with them. I'll never forget our graduation; being orange russ [17 day long party for Norwegian graduates, basically, for closer definition... Wikipedia is your friend] and doing more stupid things than we had ever done in our lives so far altogether. I'll never forget your smiles and laughter as you and Espen ran after the 8th graders with your water guns. I'll never forget you.

Yesterday, on Friday March 11th 2011, I attended your funeral. I woke up with the most awful tummyache I've ever had because I knew that this was it. I knew that now, we would be saying our final goodbyes.

Everyone was there, Mats. We were all there, your old class, your family, your friends, your girlfriend... We in the class had all sacrificed a couple of kroner to buy you a bunch of very beautiful flowers with a note attached to put on your grave, or, in nicer terms; your final resting place. Don't get me wrong, Mats, but your funeral was so, so horrible. It was a beautiful ceremony, but the feeling you've left us all with; the emptiness; was almost unbearable and I fought the tears, I really did, but during the priests performance of a letter your grandmother had written for you, they fell. Oh, your girlfriend, Mats... Seeing her hurt so much. Seeing your coffin and knowing you were in it hurt so much. Seeing your best friend Espen carrying you to the grave alongside your father, godfather and grandfather hurt so much. That you are now six feet under hurts so much. And it should've been the other way around; you should have held a speech in your grandmothers funeral and carried your grandfather to the grave.

Mats, I know now that what happened really was an accident. It wasn't anyone's fault. It was a five minute trip that went terribly wrong. I would have done the exact same thing as you. I wouldn't have dressed for a trip to the mountain, and I would have thought "the hurricane won't catch me before I get back because I am immortal."

Rest in peace.
22nd October 1992 - 4th March 2011
Posted on March 12th, 2011 at 02:42pm


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