Between Shades of Gray Scene


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  • "Mother?"
  • "Please don't let them take her body!"
  • We'll bury her. We'll make a coffin.
  • "Why is it so hard to die? I helped turn you in. I said 'No' too late. I saw the lists. They asked me to confirm people's professions. Surely, my survival is my punishment. This woman closes her eyes and she is gone. I've wished for death since the first day, and yet I survive. Can it really be so hard to die?"
  • After work, Jonas helped the man who wound his watch build a coffin
  • Mrs. Rimas and I prepared mother for her burial. We thought her suitcase was empty, but found fresh, clean clothes for her and Papa. A light dress, silk stockings, shoes without cuffs, her tube of lipstick, a man's shirt, and tie.
  • "She really intended to return home. This is lovely we'll put this on her."
  • That night, Jonas and I stole shovels and ice picks from outside the NKVD barracks. I told him him we had to bury her someplace we will remember, because we were taking her body back to Lithuania with us.
  • "This has a nice view. We'll remember this."
  • We dug all night, chipping away at the ice, digging as deep as we could. Mrs. Rimas, the man who wound his watch, Janina, and the old bald man arrived in the morning to help.
  • The next morning we carried the coffin out of the jurta and walked slowly toward the hill. Jonas and I held the front, Mrs. Rimas and the man who wound his watch held the center, and the old bald man held the carried the back. Janina trailed behind me. People joined us. I didn't know them. They prayed for mother.
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