Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

All the leaves have gone

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It is my favorite season, time to harvest and prepare for Winter. I always look forward to it, but this has been a particularly challenging Autumn.

I found out my grandmother’s brother in Ukraine died tragically in a fire today as he sat beside the stove for warmth. He survived the Holodomor, WWII, Siberia, and the Soviet Union. He was reunited with my grandmother when she returned to Ukraine in the 90s for her first visit since leaving in the 40s. They corresponded by letter and rare phone calls when he would go to a neighbor’s house to use the telephone. My grandmother sent photos of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. He was a widower, never had children, and lived alone.

I always hoped that I would meet him on a future visit to Ukraine. I worry about what this may do to my grandmother. I know that it’s a gift that she’s still here. Incredible that all of my grandparents are still alive, in their 80s and 9os. (knock on wood)

The elders are dying, and many of their stories will die with them. I hope that he had someone to talk to, someone to listen to him. It hurts my heart to think that he died in such a way. Alone.

Life is so fragile. So much dies in Autumn.

 

Author: Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and STICKS & BONES, as well as the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Born and raised in Chicago, Valya received her degree in English at DePaul University and her MFA in Writing as part of the inaugural class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since receiving her MFA, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, co-producer of an independent feature film, and Goth cocktail waitress.

One Comment

  1. Oh Valya I cried when I read your post. What was your great uncle’s name? What a life he lived. You are right the elders are dying. Fortunately you have put a lot of their wisdom into ‘The Silence of Trees’.
    Much love to your grandmother and family

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