Valentina Čuden

stage artist

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when i returned home and started seeing people again, roughly a week after Barbara’s death there was an awkward presence that i hadn’t noticed before. like an empty shadow that followed me wherever i went. i couldn’t put my finger on it because i could only just manage to think.

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the night after the end

Barbara died at 2:11 am on friday morning. it was kind of like a movie scene. she was surrounded by her immediate family and her husband and although we were all devastated, there was a serenity in the room that i don’t ever remember feeling at any time before this moment. it was beautiful in the most cruel way.


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the end

i guess i should start at the end. the end of my sister’s life.

Barbara had been battling cancer for six years. she suffered, no, that’s not the right word, because she didn’t suffer, she chose to enjoy the last years of her life. she was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma III.

here’s how she found out.


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weird. that’s what my last name means. weird.

or strange. or odd. or unusual. or unorthodox. you get my meaning.

the thing is, each of these synonyms has a different kind of connotation yet for some reason, i tend to relate the most with ‘weird’. i guess it’s a weird choice. pun intended. somewhat.


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