Story #35. Life after the Husband's Death in Mariupol

July 29, 2022
The story of Tamara Yanina, whose husband died in Mariupol, defending Ukraine from Russian military aggression.
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Now I know the difference between "living" and "existing". Existence is when nothing makes you happy. This is when you breathe, eat, drink, communicate, even smile, but without joy and happiness. Just on the machine.

Living is something else entirely. I was living until April 7, 2022 (the day Tamara's husband died). That is, even if you quarrel, you at least feel something at the same time. At least you understand what you want. 

I tell my son he is the son of a hero, a superhero. He memorizes and repeats. And I teach him who the Russians are and why we don't like them. And that they killed his dad. 

Today was Father's Day. I can't look at pictures of children with their fathers. I can't be happy for them today, because my pain just destroys me. My son made a card for dad in kindergarten, and it says "my dad is a hero!". This is a simple children's card, but oh how it hurts me. 

Yesterday we took a DNA test, it is needed to identify the body. And I was told to wait for the results for about three months. 

Imagine, I will not be able to bury my husband for at least three more months, by which time it will be six months from the day of his death. I have to live with the fact that I can't bury him. If only those in power knew how important it is for relatives to bury their husbands, sons, and brothers. 

I understand that I need to hold on, don't blame anyone, don't sow panic and sadness. I know this and I try to stick to it all. 

But I can be understood only by those who have lost as much as I have, who also cannot bury their loved ones. We, the relatives of the fallen heroes, now have to pay for the freedom and independence of Ukraine until the end of our lives. Because we have to live with our loss every day.  

Today is exactly three months since the death of my Lyosha. And I still don't half believe it. I keep waiting for something to change. And then it turns out that nothing will change. This is my new reality, this is my new life. Now it will only be like this.

I am so sorry for our children. For us. For them. God, could I have ever thought that I was in for something like this? Never. 

I was recently asked how I'm always in a good mood and smiling. People, you have no idea how my evenings and nights pass.

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