Today, Yaroslava would have been 31

Since I am in Kiev (yay!), I got to participate in the rituals: the graveside wine drinking and remembrance, and the wine drinking and remembrance at her family’s home. Yaroslava was as pretty as the month of her birth; she was flowery and clean like the rain. My mother told Yaroslava’s mother that she had a child that showered everyone around her with brilliance, from start to finish. You just can’t help but dwell on the fact that the finish came too soon. You can never get enough of the people you love, of course, but Yaroslava was so particularly striking, so intense, so profound, and so kind to the people in her life, that it’s an aberration to think that this wound could ever close. It doesn’t, of course. The pain gets duller, that’s all.

We talked about how we constantly think we are running into her – on the escalator, in the street, at the airport, by the side of the road. Everywhere you turn – she’s inside a reflection on a shop window, you glimpse the back of her head in a crowd, you think you hear her voice when you’re getting your coffee at a cafe and the cup begins to shake in its saucer, and there’s nothing you can say to anyone that would make them understand.

I miss her so much.

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