The photo story about my maternal grandmother Helena.

O Refuge of sinners
and the Patroness of happy death,
do not forsake us at the hour of our dying.
Obtain for us the grace of perfect sorrow,
sincere contrition,
the pardon and remission of our sins,
a worthy receiving of the holy Viaticum,
and the consolation
of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction,
in order that we may appear
with greater security
before the throne
of the just but merciful Judge,
our God and our Redeemer.

Pray for
the Grace of
Happy Death

The coffin with Grandfather Juzik had just been taken out of the room.

In Smarhon brought the sarcophagus with the relics of John Bosco.

When my grandmother lived on a farm, she saw it.
Alzhunya Zhiznevskaia Elizabeth Adamauna (1904 - October 17, 1977), my great-grandmother, holding daughter Helena. He was dying of cancer. Before his death lying for several years.
Baba Helena said that her bed, so should not be over-looked that good for the uterus (mother). Now for lying Helena looks younger daughter Irina, my mother.
Felia (1890 - ????), the older sister of three (Felia, Marianne, Alzhunya) - all experienced and dyadetsey (3 sons, all died when they were about 40, one of the blue vodka he had bought in Vaynidenyatah, the second went to Vilnius, twisted in the vase and the cold died, and a third say drowning).
Ignatius Gakuts. Feli's husband. After the death of his parents Elizabeth and Feli, Felia like a big sister, she took the duties of the parents themselves, and decided the fate of the younger Elisabeth, married her to Adam, because Adam had a lot of ground.
Juzik grandfather, Joseph Alyantsevich Kazimirovich (08.24.1934 - 04.15.2018), the husband of my grandma Helena.
It Juzik coffin was carried out of the room, where all sections of the mirror hung with white sheets. He died of prostate cancer. Before his death, he turned yellow. He was a member of a happy death.
Alla losifovna (9/29/1960) a sister of my mother, the eldest. Now lives in Moscow. A devoted Catholic. He has two children, Andrei and Egor. Incidentally Andrei a child painted a portrait of a favorite grandmother, what you saw in the beginning of history, making of Helena pirates. But it's true, and there is the ubiquitous nature of our grandmother.
My grandmother Zhiznevskaia Helena Adamauna (01/08/1937), the main person of this story, was born in the village hutry Abramavshchyna (Smorgon district). Picture taken at the festival in Danyushevo, 1938-39 year. As they say in Smorgon: "Where is the festival there and I ect!"
Allah, my mother's sister. Picture taken in the mining town Selidava, Ukraine, the first half of 1962. In the mines worked grandfather Juzik.
This is me. Anro Andrey Yur'javich, surname at birth had Rohach, born 24.06.1987
I sit on the lap of my grandmother Lena (Helena Aliantsevich Adamauna)
Alyantsevich (Zhiznevskaia) Helena Adamauna (08/01/1937).
Baba Lena taught me and my brother to pray in Polish, and in general, if not for her, of course, I would have baptized in the Orthodox faith.
Baba Lena (Helena Alyantsevich Admauna) between daughters, which is also recorded in Happy Death Society.
My mother. Stag (Alyantsevich) Irina losifauna (17/12/1962). Now, as a grandmother, a devoted Catholic.
Grandmother Helena, in the belly of Irina. With the right husband Juzik between them on a stool daughter Alla.
The territory of the village Abramaushchyna, Smarhon district, Belarus. In its place used to stand an isolated farmhouse where my grandma Lena lived with her family. The farmhouse got sold and my grandmother moved to town. Now this place is occupied by birch trees growing amongst the rocks hauled from the nearby fields.

Overlay of the Polish map from the Military Geography Institute as of 1934 and a satellite Google Maps image as of 2018 of Smorgon town, Chapaeva street, building 13. The house where my granny lives now is situated on the former jewish cemetery. The cemetery had been cleared from the tombstones so that the house could be built, with my grandfather, the late Juzik, acting as a foreman. He also recounted as later bones were appearing from the ground in the cellar, and he together with the neighbor buried them in a hole dug in the cellar and cemented it with concrete.
The icon of Saint Helena is occupying the most honorable place in God's corner of my grandmother's room. Saint Helena became renowned for her input into spreading of Christianity, as well as for archeological excavations in Jerusalem that unearthed such treasures as the Holy Sepulcher, the True Cross and other relics pertaining to the Passions of Christ.
Happy Death Society
The realms of miracle, death, pain and suffering were always appealing to my grandmother Helena, so as soon as Smarhon got its own Happy Death Society, grandma joined it with gladness. Moreover, my grandma Helena being a devout Catholic would eagerly embrace all that the church had to offer, having sung daily in the church choir for the living. Then, when somebody died, her voice would also sound for the deceased. This lasted until she decided to lie down in bed to await a happy death.

`It's like our old man with a candle, held it himself, kissed a cross, got a communion from a priest, and died a quick death in full sanity, a happy death,` grandma Helena would explain after grandpa Juzik, who had been faithfully turning her body on the bed and rubbing it with pure alcohol, died. They often argued who would die first. Grandpa went ahead, while grandma kept awaiting her happy death still in bed. Death doesn't show up, but a dream does: Helena is in front of the enormous Gates of Heaven amongst other folk in a line up, gazing contentedly at the gates as she's drawn by wondrous gardens, but the voice says, `It's not the time yet'.

It has been seven years. The bed became a place of lamentation and prayer. Lena's bones are burning as if with hellfire, same as the tortures of the damned in the pictures my grandmother was showing to me in my childhood as part of my religious upbringing. Amen.
(to do daily)

Remember our things final:
- I may die at any moment and go to eternity,
- I will be judged at the time of death according to my deeds,
- if I die in a state of mortal sin, I will be eternally cursed in hell with demons and the condemned,
- if I die in a state of grace, I will be eternally happy with the Angels and the Saints in heaven.
Happy Death Society is based upon the de- votion to Sorrowful Mother of God. This worship, which later spread throughout the Christian world, origi - nated in Florence after the monastery "The Servants of the Most Holy Virgin Mary", and then the order, the Servites for short, were founded in 1240.

In the late XV century worship of Sorrow - ful Mother of God is growing and gets the name of Our Lady of the Seven Sor - rows, which depicts all the miseries that Mary had endured during her life.

The name Happy Death Society is a "household epithet" from my maternal grandmother, while official title of the association is The Bona Mors Confrater - nity, or Association of Our Lady, Patron of a Happy Death. Confraternity in its modern state was approved by Pope Pius X on July 22nd, 1908 with the headquar - ters in Tinchebray (fr. Tinchebray - ac - cording to one theory the name comes from latin tenebrae - darkness, gloom), France. Pontiff granted the association numerous indulgences and assigned it universal character, which led to its activity sweeping throughout the Catholic church.In 2004 the French headquarters of the Association moved from Tenchenbray to La Chapelle-Montligeon. The sanctu - ary of Notre Dame de Montligeon is also the world centre for prayer for souls in Purgatory.

Since the 1980s, the Missionaries of the Holy Family in Poland become cus - todians of the Association, and its polish official center opens in Górka Klasztorna.

From Poland via Catholic church the con - fraternity got to the territory of Western Belarus, thus in the early 2000 members of the Church of the Archangel Michael started joining the happy death asso - ciation, my grandmother Alyantsevich Helena Adamauna (born 1937) being one of them.

Starting 1999 in Poland the masses are held for the living and dead members of the Association. Additionally, all holy masses held daily in November are for the dead members of the Association.
This is how aunt Felja christened you
in honor of one too pretty of a gal
having ignored your mother's wish
mother had instructed to name you Hanna
and called you so for one more day
you wept over it
you were looking at your father-in-law
while cutting ham and
thinking about your child
lest it is born as red-headed as him
and it was born a red-head
you wept over it
a priest talked to you in sacristy
asking you what Juzik was good for
but you made a two-village wedding
and when Juzik was coming home drunk
you wept over it
you walked through the town
and imagined yourself living on high ground
and when you got your apartment
on the ground floor
you wept over it
once a bus carrying people up the hill
broke down
and when you got off to give it
a nudge from behind the bus slid downhill
and folded you like a piece of paper
you got up then and off you went
to sing for the deceased
do you remember that young girl who sat
under the shrub and kept sitting there
until she was dead
you looked at her
and you wept over it
one day I asked you and you said
you didn't like joy
you'd rather sit down and cry
then you sat down and wept over it
I want to thank:

Scholarship program GAUDE POLONIA 2019 for the opportunity to realize the project.

ADAM PANCZUK for curatorial work and good advice.

YULYA TSIMAFEYEVA and NATALIA ILKEVICH for the translation of the poem "Helena".

NATALIA ILKEVICH for the translation of the main text.

ALENA ZAPAROZHATS for the translation of subtitles for video.

VASILISA PALIANINA for her comments and support.

I also thank to all those people who contributed to the project:

My grandmother Helena and grandfather Joseph Aliantsevich, my parents Iryna and Yuri Rohach, my aunt Tacciana Rohach. Bogumila Berdychowska, Andrei Liankiewich, Ilona Dziargach, Viacheslav Poliakov, Elena Subach, and others.
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