Sunday, November 02, 2008

A call from the police in London. Sanya’s story.

Sanya and George on their wedding day in February 1999.

Lately I feel as though I have been a bit out of luck. It all started with Susana’s accident nearly 2 weeks ago. I’ve had my share of bad luck, of course, but I know myself for a being a very fortunate person with all the important things in life in place, my family, my home, my friends and my job.

Tuesday last week topped it all. It was a grey and wet day and there had been some not very good news at work which I had spent the whole day dealing with vs a vs the press and was feeling rather down and stressed. It was getting dark and I was going to go for my daily walk when the phone rang and the caller was anonymous. The person calling was Julia and she was a policewoman from London.

Why would a policewoman from London call me you may wonder? I knew immediately and shuddered at the thought. I knew she was calling about Sanya.

Sanya was the wife of my dear brother George. Sanya was a lovely sad and cultured girl from Belgrade. They met some 10 years ago in a residence in London for people with difficulties such as depression or mental illnesses. They got married very quietly and on their own and in fact the first time I met Sanya was at my Mother’s funeral in October 1999. Sanya adored my brother and their love was beautiful and true. George fell ill very shortly after that with melanoma, that most deadly of cancers and died on 15th May 2001. After that Sanya found she had very little to live for.
George and I in 1976, what a handsome boy he was.
When I worked for Nokia I went to London on many occasions and was able to visit her. Those visits were very intense. I used to go and see her at Haverstock Hill in Belsize Park at the residence and would spend hours talking to her and very often hugging her and loving her. Sanya had virtually no friends and I knew just how much she needed a bit of love. I tried to invite her to Madrid but she couldn’t travel. Unfortunately with my new job I never went to London so hadn’t seen her since 2005. It was difficult to keep in touch because she lived in her own little world and didn’t make much use of the new technologies. Even so and probably to make me feel better, more than her, I would send her a card and present at Christmas. Once she wrote back and I am now desperately looking for that letter. Whilst my Father lived in England, up until 2005, he would visit her once a month from Bradford and together they would visit George’s grave.

So when the policewoman called on Tuesday I knew it was about Sanya. Julia told me the shocking story of her death. She had been found dead in her flat in London on 17th October. The cause it seems was natural but awful because it was malnutrition and pneumonia. How, I ask myself, is that possible in London in 2008?

Later I heard that Sanya did have friends in her new flat in Burmarsh in North London, somewhere near Chalk Farm. I had been worried for her because I knew that she had to move out of the residence and was dreading it as she did not want to live on her own.

She was quite religious and started visiting the church nearby called St. Silas and it seems that this is where her new life picked up. The Vicar of St. Silas, Father G, whom I spoke to this week, befriended her and is the person taking care of all the arrangements including her funeral next week. All I can say is God bless him.

Father G told me Sanya had been going through a bad patch. Someone from his church went to visit her on 14th October but there was no answer. When they went back on 17th October, they found her dead.

I am, of course, going to go the funeral. There is something inside me making me go and I know I have to do this for Sanya and for myself. Sanya will be buried in the plot next to George in East Finchley Cemetery.

Darling Sanya, I cannot forgive myself for not having kept more in touch, for not having tried to take more care of you. Darling Sanya, thank you for loving my dear poor brother and thank you for looking after him during his terrible illness. Darling Sanya, I know the awful life you had and all I can say now my dearest is rest in peace and that you will be forever in my thoughts.

Goodbye my darling, goodbye.


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