International Association for Assistance to the Abaza-Abkhazian ethnos «Alashara»

Forget me soon…

Забывайте меня скорее…

From childhood I remember a small case of my grandmother, in which lay a neatly folded letters - she often went to her room and watched them for a long time. I didn't understand how precious they are for her, and later learned that they wrote from the camp my grandfather Akhba Sharakh, repressed in 1937 and serving time in the cities of Omsk, Tomsk, Nizhny Tagil, Novosibirsk.

       In 1947 he was freed, but without rights of residence in Abkhazia. After a decade of absence he was granted a holiday with the right to family visit. Here he had five children, mother and wife. The younger son Konstantin was only three years old when they arrested my father. Returning home, he once again saw what a hard time it was for his wife and kids, and stayed to help them to get on their feet.

      Sharakh`s mother were waiting for her sons ten years, and when one returned – and that for a time, and there was no news from the youngest son Biram, she often began to repeat: "My heart was two nails, when they pulled one, the pain became stronger." Realizing that the younger son was dead, she stopped eating, fell ill and after several days died. Sharakh buried her, but after that he was not able to stay long in the family, he was again exiled as an "enemy of the people", this time to Krasnoyarsk region, Abansky district, whence he never returned alive.

    In 1951 he fell ill, his wife and children supported him as they could: sent money, medicines, foods. But the disease took its toll. He was getting worse and worse. Here's what he wrote his friend by the exile D. Chkhaidze "I`m very sorry to have to disappoint You. Your father is very hard, situation hopeless... You can be sure that I `II do my comradely duty before my friend in this difficult moment for him. Take heart... and be ready for any eventuality and contingency. I bow to your family. David».

     The last two letters of my grandfather to the family and friends are farewell. With permission of the family I have created this article using a letter from my grandfather. In a letter addressed to the family, he writes: "Farewell, dear children, my wife, daughter and all loving brothers and relatives. The third month I sick with jaundice, but God forbid... I decided to leave the life long ago, but I thought I would wait for the medication from home, sorry I didn't wait. Fourteen years in agony, not knowing for what, and You are tortured enough, I will not suffer, do not grieve for me, do not weep, You've mourned me. Don't need a funeral, how much You've done for me, that's enough. All of you I kiss warmly, warmly one more last time. Live well, I still have to die, forget me quickly. My dear home, family, Abkhazia, goodbye. Your Sharakh. The 8th of July 1951. Chkhaidze D. and there are still good people, who will bury me". There is a postscript in the letter "Send home". Before his death he managed to obtain a shipment of drugs, but they were not useful, he was sick with cancer and not jaundice.

     The second farewell letter was addressed to his friends Chkhaidze D. and  Markosyan S. "Dear Chkhaidze D. N. and Markosyan S. S., I'm sorry that I couldn't listen to You until the end, I say goodbye to You without Your permission, and You, certainly, don't let. I was not given to live in Abkhazia, and I don't want to live dependent on my children in Siberia. Thank You for Your help, wanted to save...". And then he asks and making sketches, how to bury him to clear  the bones faster. He knew that sooner or later his sons will come for remains.

       So he said goodbye to his family and friends. When he was found the letters lied on a visible place.

       In 1955, not having permission for the reburial, my father went to the grave of his father with hope in the future to fulfill the last will of his father - to rebury him in his native land, in Abkhazia. The path was long and hard: first he arrived to Krasnoyarsk, and from there by train 600 km to the city of Kansk, and then drive to the village of Vorob'evka of Abansky district. He met with the villagers who knew his father, and found the grave. He brought out a Board with a grave inscription, a handful of earth (at the request of uncle Mamatala Argun), a few roots of wild flowers that were planted there. Earth was sprinkled on the graves of the parents of my grandfather, and the flowers were planted there.

     And only in 1961, after obtaining the permission of the official authorities on the reburial of the remains of his grandfather, my father Akhba Vladimir Sharakhovich and his younger brother Akhba Leo Sharakhovich went and, despite all the difficulties, moved the remains of his father. Great help was provided by the Prosecutor of Abansky district – at the personal request of Shamil Nikolaevich Lakoba, who is always remembered with gratitude in our family.

    My grandfather was buried next to his parents as he requested. Along with the things of grandfather his hunting rifle with the inscription: "For sons and grandsons. I believe that justice will prevail" was brought.

David Chkhaidze, being free and learning about the reburial, wrote a letter to  Sharakh`s sons: "...Only these Abkhazians, eagles – Sharakh`s sons could carry their father's remains. They are the true sons of Abkhazia, I'm really happy that finally the dream of my friend has come true – to be buried in his Native Land...".

     My grandmother Tanya, telling something about the terrible period of lawlessness – and it happened every day, always concluded with the words: "Let people never in their life have to suffer like that."