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Thursday, 3 July 2008

Helios accident, 3 years later


Many times things happen and we shiver. The Helios airline accident 3 years ago was one of them. 121 people died. The pilot forgot to adjust the oxygen levels in the cockpit and he and the copilot fainted. They blocked the door. Andreas Prodromou, a stewart who also was a trained pilot, managed to get in and lift the plane. He managed to fly the plane for as long as there was fuel. Had there be enough fuel left for 10 more minutes, Andreas would have landed the plane and noone would have been killed. The F16 pilot that was flying alongside testified that. Andreas did not try to land in Spata. Perhaps he was afraid for more deaths. Noone knows that.
Three years have passed and we forgot. When we remember we shiver. The same is true for so many instances of unfair loss of fellow men. But there are some people that remember every day. Twenty four hours a day. For ever. And their life will not be the same. But they manage to live. And they live for as long as they can. And they will always carry their grief. And will always value what is important in life. People that have lost a child are always marked with an outstanding amount of maturity and endurance. Once you have seen this mark on one parent that has burried a child you recognize it in all of them.
Such a face was that of Dinos Prodromou, the father of Andreas, he was flying back to Cyprus and was sitting next to me. He was coming back from the crash site as he and the relatives of the other victims are now building a church there. To remember.
Mr Prodromou cried when we talked about the accident and the circumstances that it took place. I cried as well. And then he tried to consol me and make me feel betterand talked about life and his face lit up. The grief was still there but he was smiling.
We have to remember that we have to live and we have to remember the ones that are gone.

5 comments:

george g. said...

Simply fantastic posting.

Graham J. said...

Zeta, you wouldn't know how appropriate this article is to me. In April this year, close friends lost their 18 year old daughter Indira in a coach crash in Ecuador. She was on a gap year trip of a lifetime. We had known her since she was a small child. It hit the national news headlines in the UK and was truly raw and shocking. 4 other young women died in the same crash. One cannot imagine how her parents (and her elder sister) feel and cope with such an event. I struggled hard to know what to say to them; words were (and still are) so inadequate. I grieved; what was (and is )their grief like? Impossible to imagine. Today was the day Indira should have returned to the UK from her trip. Next month is her birthday. The sadness is welling up in me again as I write this. Yet I can put it to one side and get on with my life, they can't, but somehow have to.....

Read this: http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article3779001.ece

It's a wonderful tribute to Indira from Lizzie, her elder (and only)sister.

Zeta Tsatsani said...

Graham, this is terrible...The problem is that it happens all the time, and we only hear of a few of them. But their parents live with that grief. That grief is the most overwhelming sentiment one can have. They will have to live their life. No matter how difficult it is. There is no other choice. That's how they make it. I am really really sorry

Zeta Tsatsani said...

And Graham, welcome to my blog. I will look forward to your other comments. Take care

Graham J. said...

You're right of course. No other choice. And, yes, it happens all the time. But I can't imagine anything worse that could happen to anyone and when it comes so close to home, it is truely numbing. I have a son with an autistic spectrum disorder. For a long time, I thought this was the worst thing that could happen to anyone. But I was wrong. Events like these put everything else into perspective. And I guess it takes tragic events such as these to help us learn life's deepest lessons. I just wish there was an easier way.

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