They did lots of awesome things together when they were younger. She was always ahead of him, always in front of him, he says, when they skied, biked, kayaked and hiked all across the country. He was always following her.
He sits in our kitchen, telling us about her last days. He is my husband's uncle. His wife was 74, just like my father, when she died on Dec. 30, 2011.
First, she stopped eating. He tried to give her some food, but she refused, ordering him not to argue with her. "Не перечь мне," she told him, and the firmness with which she said this surprised him.
A little later, she bid him farewell: "Ну, прощай."
Then she lay still for two days, just breathing.
During these two days, when he was asking her if she could hear him, she was nodding in reply.
Then she was gone.