Anna Ponomarev and her mother Elena pose for a portrait at Ceasar's Bay where Elena walks routinely on November 6, 2019. Elena enjoys this bay, "I was born near the Black Sea it reminds me of home down here," she said. Elena will spend that hour of walking clearing her head, enjoying the weather or people watching as a break from the day-to-day.
In the summer of 2002 her son Nikolai fell from a 10th-floor balcony at a friend’s apartment.He fractured his skull and died instantly. He was 20 years old. “My heart was broken,” Ms. Ponomarev said. “I lost that feeling that everything is going to be O.K.” Life at home became unbearable. Ms. Ponomarev and her husband developed depression and anxiety. She took about three months off work, and he felt an overwhelming sense of survivor’s guilt — he blamed himself for Nikolai’s death. “He was so depressed,” Ms. Ponomarev said. “He couldn’t eat.”