Today passes 20 years from the night Estonia ship went down on a stormy night. It was tragic to the whole region, not only to Estonians, but also to Swedes, Finnish and many others. I was 9 years old and thanks to heavens had nobody to go down with it. At the time of the accident I was in hospital for one of my regular visits there and all I remember about it was that the night was really stormy and sometimes the lights flickered. That was it.
I remember a 15 year old girl, whom I shared the ward with. She was from Lääne Virumaa I remember how pale she went, when it was in the morning news that the ship has sunk in the night. I remember how for the next few days we kept going through the lists in the newspapers in dear hope not to find anyone close to us among the dead or missing ones. Not just our own – we shared the papers between us and just went through them methodically. I remember how suddenly phone rang in the evening and the nurses face fell. They called her aside and asked us to return to our wards. Few minutes later she was brought back, hysterical. She cried herself to sleep the days before, but now that there was no hope, when her nightmare had become real, she just cried and cried. We found her brother’s name in the list on the next day and did our best to console her. They injected sedative to her that night and for the next three days to come until she was moved and we kept hugging her constantly and just sitting on her bed, holding hands on her until she calmed.
For months after the accident, the newspapers were full of speculations and paranormal stories of how someone had chose not to go on the ship after prophetic dream or signs. Or speculations, searches of someone to blame in this tragedy. It hurt many, mostly because they kept the wounds open.
And that is also why I find this way the public keeps digging it all up year after year as if something set in stone creeps me out and makes me angry. It was really painful experience and the way they just keep pulling it up, making accusations that will reopen the wounds, but giving no evidence or even hope to find out what really happened. Or even if they do give the truth, they keep playing it as if it is something you should doubt, because “everybody lies” should be stopped.
It affected me greatly, not just because of being 9 at the time, but also the experience of seeing someone lose their loved one in the tragedy. Since then life has not been kind to me, but I am grateful – despite all the problems – that I have been given the chance to hold on to my family every day. I think being part of her experience is one of the reasons I love them so much. Because I had to think about losing them at such young age.
And thus I find it even more irritating that people use it for cheep publicity. Or keep bringing up the topic of raising the ship up! After it was declared never to be raised from the seabed the newspapers still bring this up as possibility!
Perhaps I am naive. Perhaps there are all the families of the victims, who find it rewarding or “not letting it forget” serves their purpose of keeping the memory of their loved ones alive. But what do you gain with it? It hurts so much, even those, who were not involved directly.
Twenty years is enough to let them go. Respect them, love them, but stop the speculations and stop that nonsense “perhaps”. Let the ones, who sleep forever, sleep in peace.