The thing about death is nothing happens afterwards. It’s The End. There is no longer Any Hope.

Whatever issues there were in your relationship with someone who has died, you can no longer fix them Nothing further can be done. If you wanted to make peace and didn’t know how, your chance is lost forever. If you hoped they might fix something in their own lives, they now never will.

If you hoped for change, it will never come.

When Natalya died, our hope of being together in something like a normal way—without being trafficked, without being exploited, without being traumatized on a daily basis—was gone forever.

I am free now.

She is, in her way, free.

But we will never be free together. Or, if this is free together, it looks different than what I had hoped for. And different from what I wanted.

I wanted to be free with her.