We remember the victims of the Kongsberg attacks!

16-10-2021 23:00 pm

This is one of the most difficult blog-posts I have written in a while. I wasn't even sure before now if I would publish it. After talking through the events of the other night with my parents, I decided to publish my thoughts here.

The unthinkable has happened ... again! This time in a neighbouring town, only 40 minutes from my hometown of Drammen. 

On Monday, my little sister and I had been in Kongsberg with our parents. Sydney and I had been invited to go bowling with other kids who have a family member (like our dad) who have and/or has survived cancer. It was our first event organised by Kongsberg Municipality and Norway's Cancer organisation since dad was diagnosed with cancer. We weren't too sure what to expect, so mum and dad came along with us, as our back-up. We had more fun that we first thought that we would have, and I was invited to go back to Kongsberg the day after to go go-carting with kids my age.

Because I was late from another meeting, I missed my train from Drammen to Kongsberg by about 2-3 minutes. I felt a little disappointed and at the same time a little relieved. I had a ton of homework, and thought that it was just as well that I was going home.

I was completely unaware of what had been unfolding in Kongsberg, and that my parents were frantically trying to get a hold of me. I was blissfully chatting with a friend on my mobile who was keeping me company on the walk home from the train station. After the 5th missed call from my mum, I finally said good bye to my friend so that I could call mum back.

My mum is the strongest woman I know, but she is also a mother who worries about us. Mum doesn't apologise for the fact that she is overly paranoid about our safety, and I are grateful that she is. It took less than a few seconds to understand that something had happened, that she thought I had landed myself in the middle of, simply put ... because of geography.

Knowing that my parents had spent almost 40 minutes pacing and frantically worrying about me, I will freely admit that I was relieved (for mum and dad) that for the first time in my life, I was late and had missed the train to Kongsberg. Dad never truly understood what it was like for mum the night Sharidyn was killed. 22nd July dad was on his way home from a work trip in China. For 40 minutes, both my parents thought the worst was happening to them, again. Another one of their daughters, possibly caught in the middle of yet another terrorist attack??? 

Once the shock of my parents nightmare had finally passed, the horror of the henious events in Kongsberg were still unfolding. The details are still a little foggy, but what we know now is that 5 people have been killed in the beautiful town of Kongsberg. WHO the perpetrator is, is irrelevant. HE does not deserve the time of my pen. 

My mum has taught us to use our creative skills when we need to vent. For me, writing and painting are my outlets. For Sydney, she likes to draw and/or sing. As a family, we decided to go to Kongsberg to lay down flowers and pay our respects to the victims and their loved ones who were now going through the same processes that we did when Sharidyn was killed.

One thing I've learnt in the 10 years since we lost Sharidyn, is there is no one way to mourn. We didn't know any of the victims, but we painfully know what it is like to have the most precious person in our life stolen from us because of one mans insanity.

The families of victims of the Kongsberg attacks are in our thoughts and prayers.

Click here to read my interview (in Norwegian) with NRK.

Update: Information about Kongsberg attacks

My little sister Sydney drawing a picture for Kongsberg (16-10-2021) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

Sydney's beautiful picture she made for Kongsberg (16-10-2021) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

My little sister Sydney beside her beautiful picture she made for Kongsberg (16-10-2021) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

Our family laying down roses for the victims of the Kongsberg attacks (16-10-2021) Photo credit: Olav Rønneberg/NRK

Our roses and Sydneys beautiful picture for the victims of the Kongsberg attacks (16-10-2021) Photo credit: Olav Rønneberg/NRK

Candles for the victims of the Kongsberg attacks (2021) Photo credit: Runnar Henriksen Jørstad/NRK

Screenshot of my interview with NRK (2021)

Commemorating Liberation Day at Vemork in Rjukan

08-05-2021 10:30 pm

It is easy to take for granted the freedoms that we enjoy, when we live in a country without war and democracy is our way of life. But more than 80 years ago, Europe was at war and Norway had been invaded by the Nazi's. My grandparents were both 7 years of age when the war found it's way to the shores of Norway. My great-grandfather was barely 18 years of age - old enough to be a soldier.

Visiting Vemork and commemorating the day that Norway was liberated was an extraordinary experience, especially since we had lost Sharidyn to the same senseless hate that our veterans had fought against.

I felt a little sad, that the three veterans that attended the ceremony didn't have an audience.

Lest we forget!

Monument at Vemork in Rjukan (2021) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Me and Sydney in front of the monument at Vemork (2021) Photo credit: O. R Bøhn

Veterans honouring fallen soldiers (2021) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

We thank you for your service, your sacrifice and all the freedoms that we are lucky to enjoy (2021) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn