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For 12 months, I helped these people with their lives and then helped them with their deaths. I took them shopping, and then nursed them on their deathbeds. In the morning I would mow their lawns, and in the evening I would change their nappies. I would mend their radiators, and I would help them into their pyjamas. Often, somebody would beckon me into their room, where there was nothing else to do but listen to their stories. Sometimes they would make me smile, such as on the mornings they announced they were leaving for work, although they were in their nineties and it was Sunday. I would even say I enjoyed going with them to the farmers' market. Some were victims of car accidents or hard drugs, some were not much older than I am now. It was fun to see them smile, to see them with other people, surrounded by air that smelled not of bodies on their way out, but of Provençal herbs. But we didn't go to the farmers' market very often.

I don't want any more.

It didn't take long before I heard this sentence for the first time. I was the new guy there, I was fresh, I was still listening.

I don't want any more. Help me. I have nobody. No relatives and no friends and no meaning.

A former alcoholic in her fifties, who had drunk holes into her brain, enjoyed sitting on the sofa in the entrance area, waiting to get her daily ration of cigarettes. She didn't do much else. On good days, she would imitate a smoker in a rush, and as soon as she saw me her eyes turned huge, pleading. Of course, I would then give her a spare cigarette, even though this was on top of her ration. Then she would beam for a moment. On bad days, she welcomed me with "Björn, je veux me suicider." Sometimes she would cry. I have no idea whether she wanted to kill herself. I do have a rough idea about how lonely she was. I know that loneliness is the worst reason to commit suicide, because it would seem to be an easy thing to cure. I didn't know how she, with her sad mind, perceived the world surrounding her, and whether this way of perceiving the world was the reason she wanted to end her life.

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