Joel (26) died: – Very heavy

– It’s hard to find the words to describe the sadness. It’s very heavy.

That’s what Lennart Mörtsell told Dagbladet, just two weeks after he received the horrific news that his son, Joel, 26, had lost his life in an avalanche accident in Switzerland.

For several years, the 26-year-old traveled the world pursuing his passion: Skiing, surfing and slacklining. After a fall of heavy surfing in Morocco and Portugal, he moved to the Swiss town of Verbier at Christmas to work as a ski instructor.

But one day something went wrong.

SKI INSTRUCTOR: Joel moves to the Swiss city of Veriber to work as a ski instructor. Private photo
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– Worst I’ve ever had

On March 11th Joel and his Swedish roommate were killed in an avalanche in Switzerland.

– I realized something was wrong when I saw Brita trying to call me six times, says Lennart.

Brita was Lennart’s former partner and the mother of his three children. The two of them have a good relationship today.

– I tried to call him back, but it was so late that he went to bed. The next day he came to my house and told me what had happened, said Lennart and continued:

– This is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s hard to think that we wouldn’t be able to follow his life any further. What will happen to him? Will he find a partner? Will they have children? What will the children be like? This is a very heavy thought, and my heart is breaking because I will never be able to speak to him or hear his laughter again.

boy (4)

Boy (4) “thrown” by chair lift: – Terrible

The news that two Swedes died in an avalanche in Switzerland quickly spread in the media. Amidst the greatest shock and immediate grief, Brita and Lennart must decide how to break the news of death to brother Joel.

Younger sister Alisa and older brother Hugo return to their childhood home in Östersund.

– The first thing Hugo did when he entered the door of the house was throw everything in his hands and go straight to Brita. He hugged her and said, “Mom, now you don’t have to worry anymore.”

Because the family spent a lot of energy worrying about Joel, Lennart’s father said.

– Joel is a free spirit who loves extreme sports. He didn’t even think it was an extreme sport, he wasn’t afraid at all. But as a sibling and parent, it’s obvious you’re worried, he told Dagbladet.

EXTREME SPORTS: Joel loves extreme sports, but he himself is completely fearless, says Lennart's father.  Private photo

EXTREME SPORTS: Joel loves extreme sports, but he himself is completely fearless, says Lennart’s father. Private photo
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– Feels like a year

Joel is curious and has a thirst for knowledge. He devoured books and podcasts on physics, astronomy, mathematics, and psychology, and eventually developed an interest in music as well.

– He will be remembered as a very kind, caring and educational person. He is good with people. I am so proud of him, Lennart said, choking back tears over the phone to Dagbladet.

Sophie walks out

Sophie walks out

It’s been 14 days since Joel died, but it feels like a year, says Lennart’s father.

– This is a very difficult time, but we do our best to take care of each other, said Lennart and added:

– We have received a lot of attention and love from people around us. Many have told us how important Joel was in their lives. Knowing that you have a son who means so much to so many people makes the grief a little easier.

Lance Heptinstall

"Hardcore zombie fan. Incurable internet advocate. Subtly charming problem solver. Freelance twitter ninja."

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