Ira had left us

No miracle happened.
Always with a beaming smile, head raised high, and a guitar in her hands–Ira was a real fighter.
She fought cancer for several years. It was discovered during her pregnancy–she gave birth to a daughter in 2015, and was immediately sent to the cancer ward.
The pregnancy gestated for much of 2014. You know what that year was like in Lugansk–war in its most awful form.
Then it was a life of endless struggle–chemo, medications, metastases, hospice. Over and over again.
It’s a miracle she survived the last 18 months.
We showed her medical history to Moscow physicians in the hope that in Russia she could get help, but they said there was no hope for recovery, and she had weeks left to live. But Iran kept on living, and fully participating in her family’s life.

A year and a half ago she was bed-bound, and people said she won’t be able to walk again. But she got up, even with her falling apart spinal column (metastases…). Not just got up but began to walk and take care of personal needs. At first she lived with her mom, but after she started to walk she returned home and, except for the chemo, lived with her daughters. Checked the older one’s homework, combed the younger one’s hair, and kissed both before sleep. How important that was for all of them!
During every visit, I experienced fear this would be the final one. Every time we visited her, she’d glow. With kindness and love. She had a terrible illness but she always smiled. She wove rugs, sang with a beautiful and strong voice, and baked pancakes for us. She loved life and adored her daughters.
We always left with a crumpled sense of shame and anger, but also filled with her light. These feelings were complemented by the hope for a miracle. One couldn’t believe this young beauty would die. That she had no chances.

And she fought. Not for herself. For her children.

Ira died on March 11.
I don’t know, perhaps it’s wrong to blame the events in Ukraine for her death–she died of cancer, after all. From an illness. Nobody knows how things would have turned otu otherwise.
But it seems this girl’s life would have been different if it hadn’t been for the war.

And I still can’t believe it.
I can’t believe we’ll never visit her again, never hear her play guitar, never drink tea with her.
Ira, thank you for your love of life.


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