The world is a lot less whole without Mikhail Zaplishnyy in it.
I may not have known him as well or for as long as my husband did, but during the past 2 years that I have gotten to know him, I learned that he was the type of person who could see through people and their intentions in his own way.
His ability to make others laugh was and is unique, cheesy and terribly inappropriate, which is what made him so much fun to hang out with.
What really made him stand out to me though was his almost intimidating wisdom. It wasn’t just the fact that he was in his 30’s and we were a bunch of 20 somethings dorking around. His experiences went beyond the extra decade he had on us.
Just as remarkable as his depth of wisdom was his generosity. When he saw in someone the kind of friendship that could last with great meaning, he would do more than what was even expected of a close friend. He treated those he loved like family and I am forever grateful for that – especially towards my husband who considered him a brother.
When we found out that he had cancer in December of 2011, none of us doubted that he would beat it; however I couldn’t help but questions why such a terrible thing could be allowed to happen to such a wonderful person…but I think that’s normal.
As he fought it, we rooted for him and cheered him on. When he conquered it, we figured it was over and done with. End of story.
Sadly it wasn’t because in October of 2012 we found out he had leukemia. Despite the difficulties, he pushed forward with the help of his wife, family and friends. Even after the second round of chemo that nearly took him from us, the war wasn’t over yet. In fact it lead him to Arizona where he sought alternative treatment since the Doctors at Princess Margaret felt that there was not much left for them to do.
Seeing him last week, my husband and I saw how he was taking it and we wanted to support he and his wife and keep them happy and distracted as much as we could. With a heavy heart, we left a few days later on Friday night, wishing we could stay.
On Monday we found out that he died in the early morning hours. I cannot even begin to express the sadness I feel over the loss of such a great person. There is so much I wish I had said before we left that night, but I know the regret and grief I feel are nothing compared to what his wife, the family and close friends are feeling right now.
There is not much else I can say other than that my thoughts are always of him and his family. It’s hard to escape the fact that he’s not here anymore. When I think of idle things like a dental appointment or whatever it seems to end with the horrible fact that he’s not going to be there. It’s like this endless mental rope I’m following that has this frayed part in it that’s not joining with the rest and it’s frustrating because it makes the rest of it seem not whole…which it isn’t.
And then another part of me is thinking, “So that’s it? That’s how it ended? But there was supposed to be more. There were supposed to be more days, more conversations, more birthday cards to make for him, more hang outs,” but now there isn’t. That was the last time I saw him. Here was this constant means of communication with this person and suddenly they’re not there, even if you have more to say those same means of communication have just dissolved and there’s nothing you can do.
The Catholic in me is finding comfort in the fact that he is in God’s Kingdom now. People like him earn a special place in heaven, not simply because of his fight with cancer and leukemia but because of the person he was. The fact that he offered guidance and humour and so much more to those who knew him and the world as a result speaks volumes in this world and the next.
To end this on a happier note, I have to express the importance of becoming a bone marrow donor at onematch.com. It is completely free to join. All you do is go on the website, fill out a questionnaire and put your name and address. After a few weeks, they send you some swabs for your cheeks, fill out a small form with your name and information and then you just put it in the mail and you’re on the list. You could save someone’s life. All that heartbreak can be completely avoided if you join.