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Mariupol Chronicles, Part 12

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

Natalia Dedova Vic Dedoff Sasha Dedov

It is me, Natalia Dedova, who is writing.

9 days ago, on March 11, at lunchtime, my world collapsed. Two mines. The first one hit our bedroom. Mom and I were there. The second one hit our kitchen. There was Vitya.

Concrete falls on the head. It is immediately inhaled. Then — a very strong blow to the temple and the back of the head. Blood drips on the bathrobe, floods the ears. Mom and I are saved by hats.

I shout, “Sasha!”. In response, “Mom, I’m here!”. Then, between the rooms, in the concrete dust, I stumble over my father-in-law. Not a scratch on him. And only near the elevator I finally realize: I don’t see or hear Vitya. I was sure of him!

The last phrase is “Sasha, I have no light!”. And Sasha gives a flashlight, although it’s light in the room. Carotid artery. Vitya lives for about another minute, reaches the corridor and forever becomes our bright Angel.

22 years out of my 44 and his 52 — we were together.

22 years out of my 44 and his 52 — we breathed the same air.

22 years out of my 44 and his 52 — we were a perfect family.

And on March 11, 2022, our whole world collapsed. And 4 days later — another missile. And the house is on fire. And it burns for several days. It burns, together with my best, brightest, kindest and most beloved person. And the heart is torn apart from powerlessness. You scream and cry because of powerlessness. You cry and yell again.

Before leaving the city, I was no longer able to enter the apartment. The door was skewed. The lock was jammed. We tried to break it. We tried to break the door. It was rumbling over us, mines, shells flew. The world was going crazy. But Vitya never let me into the apartment.

I do not know how to live now without his, “Sweetheart, I will come back soon!”.

A few hours before the tragedy, we were all lying together on the bed. It was cold. Sasha dreamed of going to Lviv again. He would buy croissants and chocolate there… And Vitya answered, “My son, everything will definitely happen!”

Thank you, my dear man, for all these years Sasha and I, thanks to you, had everything: love, care, tenderness, understanding, joy, dreams and journeys, favourite job.

Thank you for your love, my best Master of Light! My very best photographer! My very best colleague! Our best son, dad, husband, and son-in-law!

Sorry that there is no grave for you. May our Mariupol, which you loved to photograph so much, become your heavenly home.

My dear Vitya, we love you, remember you and miss you very much! Take care of us from heaven! Please, be close, as always! Our Angel!

Heaven everlasting is for you! And eternal memory, my best!

Pray for him, friends. Today is 9 days.

I am writing from the page of Nadezhda Sukhorukova, until I can restore my own. Since March 11, she and her friends have become a second family for us. Vitya handed us over to reliable hands. ❤️

March 20 at 8:54 pm

Russian Text by Nadezhda Sukhorukova and Natalia Dedova, translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team – Mar 26, 2022

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