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Lizaveta is no longer with us. I got a phone call on June 19 and heard the news: “Liza is gone”. Where to? Where do we all go when we die? Her husband, shaken by grief, told their son who’s not even four years old yet that his mother is now a star in the sky. The little boy is now looking at heavens, searching for mommy.

Elizaveta Yourieva was much more than just an editor. She was the heart and soul of “Russian mind”. She had everything: talent, patience, people skills.

She came to our publishing house 12 years ago. Everyone here loved Lizaveta for her creativity and enthusiasm; for her bright sense of humour; for her energetic approach to work. Lizaveta was always in high spirits, and even under the pressure of deadlines, would always find a solution.

She was the same age as my eldest daughter, yet I was always slightly formal with her and never called her Liza. She introduced herself as Lizaveta when she first joined our team, and that’s how I’ve been calling her ever since.

We often exchanged messages and e-mails with Lizaveta. But we only met in person three or four times over the dozen of years of working together. I lived in Paris, she lived in London.

Having suddenly lost her, I realised that I did not know her well enough. She could ask for advice or send a request, but that would always be related to work.

There was so much joy, liveliness and vivaciousness about her that the thought of her no longer being with us is simply unbearable.

Lizaveta! Heavens! I simply cannot fathom “Russian mind” without her. Young, beautiful, smart – and so suddenly gone! How is that possible?

May your memory live forever, Lizaveta! Forever!

Victor Loupan

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