Death of Ari Behn

For some odd reason or another, it has been my Dad who has informed me of the death of the royal exes. First Diana in 1997, and now Ari Behn in 2019. Odd, because he’s really not hugely into monarchy as a concept or as a reality.

But anyway, Ari Behn – former spouse of Princess Märtha Louise, and father to her three daughters, took his own life on Christmas Day.

The funeral will be this Friday in Oslo Cathedral – and also be televised. I find this choice strange. Not Oslo cathedral, but the seeming necessity of having it televised.

There have been an odd collective outpouring of sorrow in Norway, or at least the Norwegian media. The last time it felt like this, was the sorrow after the Utøya/bombing affair. Before that, I guess it was King Olav’s death.

I never met Ari Behn. I’ve read his books. I’ve followed him in the media, by virtue of being a royal watcher and a librarian. But I think it is hitting me, and others, because it was depression. Because it was a suicide. It throws out entirely the circle of life. It is an unnatural ending to a life.

Now, I think it is partly because it was Ari Behn, but also because it was a suicide – and that was announced. That a fairly successful author and artist and former member of the royal family went to that step, it may make it seem like the darkness of depression really can touch anyone, anywhere in society.

And, what ultimately is left, are three girls who shouldn’t have had to face this in their lives. Three girls who should have had their father with them longer.

(The featured image to this post is the ferry between Horten and Moss – Ari’s hometown.)

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