Time won’t heal: how to live the relatives of the victims of the Sinai

© Photo courtesy Saint Peterburgskaia the monument to the victims of the crash on mount Sinai in Saint-Petersburg. 28 Oct 2017Time won’t heal: how to live the relatives of the victims of the Sinai© Photo : Administration of Saint-Petersburg

Since the crash of Airbus A321 airliner over the Sinai Peninsula, which killed 224 people, it’s been almost three years. How and why are now living relatives of the victims, said the head of the charity Fund «Flight 9268» Petersburger Irina Zakharova, who lost only daughter, the employee of EMERCOM of St. Petersburg Elvira resurrection, and priest Sergey Kubyshkin.

Irina combines work at school with the responsibilities of the Chairman of the Board of the Foundation «Flight 9268». As before, the school operates a platform for gathering of relatives of those killed in the crash. In the death of her daughter she can’t fully believe until now – Elvira just back from flight.

One-on-one with grief

Irina Zakharova admits that three years after the crash, the pain of loss is not abated.

«Life goes on, there are some new moments in life, new events, and they’re just a little distracting. You’re putting all your attention when they come to work, going somewhere, or traveling. Just switch their attention, and nothing more. And when left alone with his grief — How time can cure, if every night I come home and realize that daughter?» she says.

«And more and it is perceived sharper. When disaster struck, it seemed that it is not true that it will take some time, somebody will come in and say that all this is nonsense, just some kind of mistake, everything is fixable… We do not become younger. Every day we understand that parents who lost their only children will be the hardest. We were left alone. Her husband, I say that we must die with him in one day to care no one will», — said Irina.

«Our Foundation’s ongoing, someone from the family need mental help and some financial assistance, someone needs help to enroll children in kindergarten or school. Our activities are of different nature and sometimes it is even impossible to plan,» — says Zakharov.

Despite the fact that the activities of the Foundation «Flight 9268» its members combine with their main work, for the third anniversary they did a lot to perpetuate the memory of loved ones.

Last year it opened two memorials: one at Serafimovskoye cemetery in St. Petersburg, the other in Leningrad region.

Petersburg monument is two-folded wing of the plane and the sarcophagus with the dedication, was built on the burial place of the unidentified remains of victims. It is located on Central Avenue, near the memorial to the lost submariners «Kursk».

In Leningrad region the memorial opened on Rumbauskas mountain. This corridor of sharpened steel plates on which are engraved the names of all 224 dead. Between the plates are cylindrical structures resembling organ pipes.

«Our main work is the construction of the socio-educational center for people who lost their loved ones to the temple of Saint Demetrius. In the future we do not plan to involve social workers. I am very grateful to the social Committee of the city and its employees. But, unfortunately, social workers are not always able to fulfill the role at the right time is essential. Sometimes this happens under the scheme «assistance for the sake of it». From such services, we refused. Needed human warmth, not a «fifteen minutes I have on you». We have gone through this horror and do hurt other people, as he did to us», — said Irina.

In April of this year, the Foundation received title documents for the land plot for the construction of a social centre and a Church. However, funds for construction yet.

«Money from donations is not enough. All Russia shuddered at what happened, has raised about 3.5 million rubles. The money we do exist. Construction of welfare centre with a temple will cost about 150 million rubles. Our funds while the figure is disproportionate. Besides a lot of money from the amount collected went to the coordination of construction projects,» — says Zakharov.

«We are constantly trying to remind myself, but now, perhaps, so many ills in Russia that we, in the tragedy has gone on the back burner. It happens something terrible, for example, murder in Kerch, and everyone is talking about it. And our trouble society has already experienced. We have not experienced. But we still continue the fundraising, we will apply to the oligarchs. However, to say what happens, it’s a tough call. And remind society about our tragedy with the sole purpose to save people from death, to once again remind about the terrible evil called terrorism, and not for self-pity,» — says the head of the Fund.

According to her, relatives continue to closely communicate with each other.

«On weekends in the cemetery come here today. Recently the volunteer at the memorial Alley in the forest children’s camp «the Dunes» held. Wanted to plant red maples, as in the «Garden of Memory», but as far as I know, these trees were not designed for our climate. The Forester advised the oaks. But even they are not all stuck for the year. Expect soon will offer us a choice of more cold-resistant and drought-resistant plants to put them in the number of fatalities,» — said Zakharov.

«You know what to say»

The future rector of the Church of St. Demetrius father Sergius the crash killed the other, and mentor the son. The priest did not for a moment doubt that the Church is to be.

«Since ancient times in Russia was built the world. So many miracles was most important was that we generally received land for construction. I have no doubt that the temple will be built,» he says.

According to father Sergius social center to the Church will be open to all who need help after the loss of loved ones.

«I, as a priest, every day faced with the grief of people who lose their children. Unfortunately, we have not developed a tradition of seeking help from a psychologist, and in such situations, people go into depression, alcoholism, or just silently light a candle in the temple, with no one talking. Now in Petersburg there was a tradition at our memorial service is now going to relatives of victims and other terrorist attacks, for example, victims at explosion in the St. Petersburg metro. And when people from our Foundation see crying in a corner the mother and daughter, lost in the subway bombings husband and father, they approach them and already know what to say. Such assistance we can provide,» he notes.

The priest himself baptized some relatives of those killed in the attack and their grandchildren. «People lost their loved ones, they no longer have to rely on. My goal is to give support in God, I consider it my life. Each person has his own way to God, it can be a path of suffering and trials, which he is free to choose between good and evil,» — said father Sergius.

October 31, 2015 was the largest in the history of Russian and Soviet aviation disaster: the Airbus A321 of airline «Kogalymavia», which was flying from Sharm El Sheikh to St Petersburg, crashed in the Sinai. Onboard there were 217 passengers and seven crew members, they all died. The investigation is still ongoing, one of the main versions is the explosion on Board the attack.