Tuesday was Helga’s funeral. The church at Storetveit was full to the brim. Several hundred people attended. The funeral was a beautiful, warm and a dignified farewell to Helga. For me the lasting memory is of her husband Pål and their fantastic sons who all held moving eulogies for Helga.
I have thought a lot about what Pål said in the church: Helga left life, but she did not leave us.
These are strong words. Although Pål might have meant their family by using the word “us”, I think it applies to us all. And that we should all try to follow up her example. Helga was exceptional at seeing those around her and giving them positive feedback. We can all learn from her.
Academia is very competitive, and so it should be. However, while fighting for positions and resources we should not forget that we are all vulnerable human beings. We must all try to take care of each other, including those who seem to always excel. That would be a dignified and fitting way to honour Helga’s legacy.