Some things are over, Some things go on, Part of me you carry, Part of me is gone… But you’ve got a heart so big, It could crush this town… – Tom Petty
tanechka-kr, as she was known on LiveJournal, was my friend.
She was a divorcée living in Rostov, Russian Federation. Her son was living with her ex-husband. She was often lonely and unashamed of admitting it. She was vibrant, ebullient, generous. She wrote poetry and could always be counted on for a deep theological discussion. Those who knew her online, offline, and both, testified to her kindness, her openness, her unbounded sense of humour, her love of life and people despite the fact that both life and people often did not treat her very well.
Some time ago, she became seriously ill with pneumonia. Her bosses refused to give her sick-leave. Afraid of losing her job, she soldiered on. One of her bosses actually gave her intravenous injections at work, to keep her going, like some sort of race-horse. In her last conversation with a mutual friend, she complained about having difficulty breathing.
A few days ago, her heart gave out.
Tanechka is not the first nor the last person to be murdered by the cynicism and greed of other human beings. Most people know that the most basic laws about the treatment of employees are broken, casually and with hardly a repercussion, all throughout Russia and the former Soviet republics. There is no justice in this world, not for any of us, but especially not for people like Tanechka.
On the day that Tanechka’s death was announced by her sister, I was busy with work. As I went about my business, her face kept flashing up in front of me, like a light. We hadn’t spoken in a while, and I wondered if she was OK. I reasoned that things were fine. She was Tanechka and Tanechka was always busy keeping on.
The day after, I found out what happened.
Tanechka, I wish I had talked to you more often in these last months. I hope that you are well, and untroubled, on the Flip-Side. I hope that you will look in on us all from time to time, though I know that your immediate thoughts will always be with your family, as they should be.
You were a believer and you believed beautifully. You could see into the depth of things and people. And you could light a fire in the dark like no other.
You were always the one to reach out to me, and I didn’t always appreciate this fact, because I am a giant farking idiot. I hope that you forgive me my giant farking idiocy.
I will see you again.
Until then, please know that it has been an honour and a privilege to tread this way with you.