May 12, 2022


Original post:

This is me, Natalia Dedova. Mariupol. Ukraine.

Nine days ago, at lunchtime on March 11, my world collapsed. Two mines. The first was in our bedroom. That’s where my mother and I were. The second was in our kitchen. That’s where Vitya was.

Concrete falls on my head. My lungs breathe it in. Then there is a very hard hit to the temple and the back of the head. Blood drips onto the bathrobe, flooding my ears. My mother and I are saved by hats.

I shout: “Sasha!” In reply, “Mom, I’m here!” Then in the corridor, in the concrete dust, I trip over my father-in-law. He didn’t have a scratch on him. It was only near the elevator that I realized I couldn’t see or hear Vitya. I was sure of him!

The last phrase: “Sasha, I have no light!” And Sasha gives me a flashlight, even though the room is light. Carotid artery. Vitya lives another minute or so, reaches the hallway, and becomes our bright Angel forever.

Twenty-two years of my 44 and his 52, we were together.

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

For 22 years of my 44 and his 52 – we were a family from a tv show.

And on March 11, 2022, our whole world – collapsed. And four days later, we are hit again. The house catches on fire and burns for several days. It burns along with my best, brightest, kindest, and most beloved person. And with impotence, your heart breaks into pieces. With powerlessness, you scream and cry. You cry and yell again.

Before I left town, I couldn’t go into the apartment again. The doors were warped. The lock was jammed. We tried to break the lock and knock out the locks. There was rumbling everywhere. Mines and grads were flying. The world was going crazy. But Vitya never let me in the apartment.

I don’t know how to live now without him: “Masya, I’ll be there soon!.”

A few hours before the tragedy, we all lay together on the bed. It was cold. Sasha dreamed of going to Lviv again. He wanted to buy croissants there, and chocolate… And Vitya answered: “Son, it will happen for sure!”

Thank you, my dear man, that all these years, Sasha and I, thanks to you, had everything: love, care, tenderness, understanding, joy, dreams, travels, and favorite work.

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

I’m sorry there’s no grave for you. May our Mariupol, which you loved photographing so much, be your heavenly home.

Vityusha, we love you, remember you and miss you very much! Take care of us from heaven! Please be with us, as always! Our angel!

Heavenly kingdom to you! And eternal memory, my best man!

Remember him, dear friends. Today is the 9th day.

I am writing from the Nadyusha Sukhorukova page as I can’t restore mine yet. Since March 11, she and her friends have become a second family for us. Vitya put us in good hands!

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