Memories of 24-year-old Taron, who died in the war. Photostory
Laura Sargsyan lives in Yerevan. Her 24-year-old son Taron volunteered for Artsakh [unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic] to take part in the second Karabakh war [September 27 – November 10, 2020] and was killed in an Azerbaijani drone attack.
Several months have passed since the death of Taron Givargizyan. Laura tries to return to her pre-war routine, but the image of her son, memories of him have become a significant part of her life.
She says that if it weren’t for her work, she has no idea how she could live again – of course, not the way she used to, but at least close to it.
The apartment in which Laura lives has turned into a kind of museum of memories for Taron. Every corner reminds her of her lost son. Taron did not graduate, left school to volunteer to serve in the army. Therefore, in the last school photo (the so-called “vignette”), he was in military uniform.
Laura tries to live as if her son Taron is still with her. She does not change the linen on his bed – she wants to keep even his smell. Friends of her son often come to her, tell stories related to him, and Laura listens and is surprised: when did Taron manage to become such a kind, good and worthy person.
To make up for the loss of their son, Taron’s friends painted his portrait on the wall of the house opposite, which is visible from Laura’s window. Thus, the picture was added to the many relics placed at home, literally at every step reminiscent of him, his friends, and his life. And death.
Even leaving the house evokes memories of her son in Laura. In his memory, a drinking fountain, traditional for Armenia, was erected in the courtyard of the nearest church.
Laura’s life was divided into two parts – before the death of her son and after. Her attitude towards the state has also changed. Now Laura is stricter about the mistakes that, in her opinion, the country’s leadership is making. She is sure that it is necessary to create a strong Armenia in memory of the soldiers who gave their lives for their Motherland.
“Women donate blood, and men go to war” – these were the last words of Taron, addressed to his mother. Laura always mentally returns to the war days, every now and then she tries to analyze, understand what happened during the war.
Taron served in the church, was a deacon, and also went in for sports, played several musical instruments and was a godfather for 28 families.
Laura helps low-income families and believes that in this way she continues her son’s business.
At the military cemetery in Yerablur, Laura met the mothers of several killed soldiers. On her initiative, they created a general chat where they talk about their family news, comfort and strengthen each other.
Laura does not say the word “grave”. She simply says that she is going to Taron. It is not customary in her family to talk about him in the past tense.
She also decided that her son will be reborn, and does not exclude that he will become a mother again.
Trajectories is a media project that tells stories of people whose lives have been impacted by conflicts in the South Caucasus. We work with authors and editors from across the South Caucasus and do not support any one side in any conflict. The publications on this page are solely the responsibility of the authors. In the majority of cases, toponyms are those used in the author’s society. The project is implemented by GoGroup Media and International Alert and is funded by the European Union