I realise this will be a downbeat thread, and I hope it doesn't have everyone weeping.
Lyuda was sealed in a coffin the day before her 21st birthday. I don't know if that age was considered a big event in Soviet Russia. Back then in the UK it was the 'age-of-majority' when all parental control legally ceased, you could legally marry (later reduced to 18), and birthday cards featured plastic keys as a symbol of newfound freedom. Instead, for her, the door was shut right as adulthood began.
A surviving sister, Irina, who lost 2 Doroshenko brothers to the mountains, the other brother dying from a heart attack at altitude.
Tibo and Igor begging their mothers for one last hike, and so it was to be.
A war veteran, who I'm sure will would have spent many nights in dug outs and trenches in freezing weather, at times avoiding bombardment or hoping his luck would hold out, who was found dead in a ditch with the sort of injuries which being thrown by a mortar shell might create.
An urban revolutionary who loved his banned songs, whose favourite contemporary pop song was, of all things, I Love You Life
, his mother writing the lyrics on a handkerchief and wrapping it around a rock, her son no doubt her rock, and keeping it as a memento on her mantlepiece.
A highly intelligent undergraduate nuclear physics student, capable of dominating any debate, who never fulfilled his academic promise, and whose 'birthday', St Aleksander's Day or whatever it actually was, saw him have not a piece of cake but a segment of a tangerine, which he shared with the others.
A lovestruck girl who obviously hoped she might rekindle things with the man who once saved her from a bear, and who on this hike offered his gloves to keep her warm, a man who was to die a few days after his 21st, still gallantly protective to the end.
And finally, the thing which always cuts me deepest, so much so I wouldn't have been able to type this a year ago, because of its powerful sense of prophesy, and the importance of having opportunity to say goodbye. The well-mannered Rustem's last sentence to his parents on a Vizhay postcard, where he sought to apologise for dashing off, distracted as he was by getting ready for the hike and not managing to bid them farewell. It was the only personal thing he wrote and would clearly have been to the forefront of his mind. I read it as though fate took him and made his farewell to his next-of-kin impossible.https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/Rustem-Slobodin-last-post-card-back.jpgI am sorry I didn't say goodbye -
- got carried away