I have unending gratitude in my heart for each one of you who has been praying, who has sacrificed, and who has encouraged us throughout this time of great difficulty in our lives. Over the last three years, God has done some incredible miracles. We all believed that Vika would be completely healed, but God has had a different plan. On September 13th at 4 am, Vika passed away. Vika passed on to heaven. God took her home. Now she is with him. My wife completed her earthly sojourn with dignity. To the very end she was a faithful disciple of Jesus. For many, she was a great example, especially in her last years. I am so sad to be separated from Vika. We were married for 18 years. In just three months, we would have celebrated our 20th anniversary as best friends. Every day Vika brought me happiness. I learned a great deal from her and could have learned much more. She was a tremendously gifted person. There is no one in the world like my wife. A great, empty place has appeared in my heart, which I will do my best to fill with God. But this is very hard. Now I am crying because I don't know how to go on, how to life life without my beloved. But I know that God is near and that He will never abandon me. It comforts me to think about the fact that finally Vika is free of suffering. She endured a terrible trial. In recent days I've just been praying for God's will to prevail, and He has answered my prayers. God decided to take Vika. Rationally I understand that this is better, but my heart refuses to accept it. I need time to process all of this and to come to agreement with God's decision. Today I had a conversation with my daughter, Vera, which went much better than I expected. I had been earnestly praying, and God answered. Vera understood. We had a very good conversation, cried together and encouraged one another. Vera is maturing and beginning to understand many things, even such hard things, as coming to grips with the death of a loved one. I ask you please, if you see Vera, please do not ask her about Vika, about how she is feeling, please don't express sympathy to her about the death of her mother. Every reminder brings up difficult emotions. Thank you for understanding.
Friends, Vika's burial will take place on September 20th, Friday, at 1pm at the cemetery by the sea (Морском кладбище). Also on Wednesday, September 25th, there will be a memorial service honoring Vika, at 7pm in the Puppet Theatre (в Театре Кукол).
-- Denis Artiyukina, September 17th, 2019
Please keep the Artyiukhin family and the Vladivostok church in your prayers in this time of loss. If you would like to see some recent photos of Vika, please visit Denis' Caring Bridge site at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/denisartyukhin/journal