At Ikea

Two days ago, I went to my favourite blue-and-yellow Swedish furniture giant store, Ikea. With my time at the firm coming to an end, I had some serious packing and clearing up to do. I wanted to buy some nice patterned boxes that I could re-use, and some scented candles. So I parked my car, and leisurely made my way up the main escalator in the store front.

As I surveyed my surroundings, going up the escalator, taking in glimpses of Smaland, the Ikea in-house play area for children, I saw an old gentleman with a young girl, about 4 years old. A grandfather and grand-daughter, perhaps. He looked too old to be her father. They held hands, and she was vigorously nodding her head and pointing in the direction of Smaland. His wrinkled face was wreathed in a happy smile, as he said something indistinct to her and led her to Smaland.

And just then, very suddenly, I felt a pain in my chest. An intense pang of memory. A wave of sadness washed over me, and I squeezed out a few tears. I suddenly felt like I couldn’t breathe.

Daddy. I was remembering my Daddy. And how he used to bring my daughter to Smaland. It was their favourite place in the world.

Even after 57 days. The pain still remains. And the memories are more vivid than ever.