Saturday, July 9, 2011

In Memory of Ira Yarmolenko

I am writing to you tonight at 2:45 a.m. I can not even remember the last time I voluntarily stayed up this late. Eric has been in New York since Wednesday and I can NOT sleep. This sounds pathetic, and it may be, but I am so used to sleeping in a confined space haha. I am not used to my big bed and I almost don't like it.

Tonight, a Dateline NBC episode was about a girl from my college that was murdered in 2008. Eric was close with this girl, Ira Yarmolenko, and I had a hard time watching the episode. I have since spent most of the night discussing this with friends, thankfully, so Eric does not get this vent-sesh for once. I have a hard time dealing with the loss of young people. Ira was murdered a little over three years ago. I did not know this girl from more than an occasional "hello" because we shared a college English class together. However, she affected my life. Ira was the kindest person I have EVER met. I would say this about her if she were still alive. I have never in my life met someone that was so genuinely GOOD. At the end of the dateline episode, her best friend said something that stayed with me, which I will try to paraphrase. She said that she almost feels like she is annoying people by trying to convince them of how GOOD of a person Ira was. She said that she felt like she was annoying people by trying to tell them that someone that amazing actually existed, but she realized that she had to keep talking about her. She had to keep making people realize that someone that good did exist and someone that human did live. If I did not know Ira, even though I barely knew her, I would have a hard time believing her as well. Ira was a human. She was what every human being should strive to be. It IS hard to believe that someone this amazing did, in fact, exist. Her best friend also said, "It was impossible to be in a room with her and not feel like you were the most important person in the world." I hardly talked to Ira, and I whole-heatedly agree with this statement. She had such a powerful way of talking with people and making them feel alive and important. I know this sounds cliche, but I literally never once saw her without a beaming smile on her face. She was an inspiring human being and I do not say that about a lot of people. It is easy for you to read this and think I am being cheesy and sentimental. I am not. I am being honest. I wish you would have been in an English class and had the chance to say "hello" to her, much less actually KNOW the girl. I can't even believe how much I have learned about her from her loved ones since her death and I cannot believe how much one person can affect a community. Her family has got to be unbelievably proud of her even through their grief.

The previous paragraph explains my lead up into this blog. In my short life, I have known an extraordinary amount of young people that have lost their lives. It is unfortunate, but has also molded me into the appreciative person I am. I have learned so much about life and what is important and most of all, what is not important. I will never spend an absurd amount of energy into complaining about how others live their lives. I can only control how I live mine. Trust me, I could vent to you all day long about how little sense it makes for someone to think that they have the right to tell others who they should love, how they should talk, what they should wear, etc. but I will not. Life is SHORT and I will not give in.

Grief is a tricky, tricky thing. I do not think that there is one certain way a person should grieve. Everyone  is different and has different feelings. The hardest loss I have experienced is that of my childhood best friend, Lynn Marie Stokes. I still think about her every day, which keeps her spirit alive, I believe. Since her death, I feel as if I have almost become obsessed with death. It is a very common thought in my every day life. I feel like a demon-child saying this and this may be the most honest I will ever be in a blog. I do not know the appropriate way to grieve a loss of anyone, but I feel that I have had to experience this way too many times for my young age of 23. I have learned that death is a part of life. I have learned to appreciate the most out of my relationships with people. I have learned that life is unpredictable and not very practical. It is selfish and rocky at times. I have learned that people are beautiful and worth getting to know. It is worth talking with people, it is worth getting close with people. I have overcome the bad habit of staying away because of my fear of losing those that I love. Life is too good for that.

I apologize for the somber mood of this blog, but I have vented more tonight with my friends than I have in a very long time and I could not help but having this come out. Life is good and I am happy. The point of this blog is, yes, to vent a little more, but mostly to spread the message that life is not always is never predictable...and life should always be appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. I just found this on google. It's beautifully written and I thank you for writing it.

    I knew Ira pretty well because I was a regular at the coffee shop where she worked. I completely understand the difficulties you have writing about her. It is almost impossible to talk about what a good person she was without it sounding like hyperbole. But it's not hyperbole, as you know. Ira really was that sweet and angelic.

    I made a post about the Dateline piece in my own blog. You can find my blog by clicking on my profile.