On 19th March 2020, Hans-Wiggo Knudsen, aged 75, was among the first who died from coronavirus in Denmark. He leaves behind his wife Nanna Knudsen, daughter Pipaluk Lykke and son Frederik Høegh-Knudsen.
Hans-Wiggo was cremated so that his body could not pass on the infection. This differed from Greenlandic tradition. Greenland is Nanna’s country of birth, where Pipaluk and Frederik grew up. Here, there is a strong tradition for gathering around the dead, singing and carrying the coffin to the burial grounds.
After Hans-Wiggo’s death, the family chose that the urn should be lowered into the soil, when Denmark lessened its restrictions on coronavirus. They wished that family and friends would be able to participate, get close to each other and give a proper goodbye. That would be in the spirit of Hans-Wiggo.
Mikkel Hørlyck (b. 1990), is an independent photojournalist and visual artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark focusing on in-depth projects about social injustice, personal stories, human rights violations, global issues and spirituality.