LIFESTYLE

Losing a child has changed my life

FROM A DAUNTLESS MAN TO A GENTLE AND EMOTIONAL ONE

The president of the European security organization “Cobra” and former head of security for the most influential, most popular and most exposed people in the region and in Europe, revealed to us what his life was like after a tragic loss of a child, then about the moment when he realized that he had lost the ability to feel fear and his will to live, but also about who put a smile back on his face, who made him believe in love again and opened a new chapter of a different life for him.

I wished I wasn’t alive…

He was 25 years old, had a 2-year-old son and a myriad of plans when his life turned upside down and slowly began to turn into a nightmare. Aleksandar Avramov, up until this point a dauntless, courageous and strong man, was confronted with a problem he could not solve.  After the fatal fall, his, at the time 2-year-old son suffered a hematoma, which then led to a brain tumor, a surgery, numerous treatments and, finally, a fatal outcome. After that, nothing was the same in Aleksandar Avramov’s life. Even he himself was no longer the man he used to be…
-Two months passed between the first symptom to his passing – Aleksandar recalls. – Despite the sanctions and drug shortages, I was fighting for my child, doing everything to save his life. I was borrowing money because the dose of antibiotics for one day of treatment cost 250 DM (Deutsche Mark). I was willing to die so that he could live.
Unfortunately, there was no saving little Nikola. Aleksandar says that he believed until the very last moment that his son would win this battle.
-The only hope was my faith in God, and I was not a believer up until that time. According to religion and Orthodox Christianity, I was supposed to accept that God had taken my child away from me so that he would set me on a different path. But I could not reconcile with that. I wanted to be gone, not to exist.

How to stay sane?

While searching for the truth and the answer to why that tragedy happened to the little boy and him as the father, his roads took him from one monastery to another.
-On the scale of the most stressful life events, losing a child holds the first place. I didn’t want to live anymore. – Aleksandar says. –What happened to me during that time doctors do not consider normal– I had lost the ability to feel fear. I wanted not to exist. That was when I started embracing faith in the right way and, after talking to numerous clergymen, realized that suicide was not the answer because, in that case, my son and I would not end up in the same place. I also perceived the death of my child as a personal failure, and kept wondering what it was that I had done that was so terrible that a little being, which still had not known life, had to leave this world. A monk told me that I should not cry for him and that he was now in Heaven, and I kept saying that even Virgin Mary cried for her son, hoping that they would be together again someday.
People often first lose their faith in these kinds of circumstances, but Avramov read and learnt from holy books.
-I realized that, after tragedies like this, people would blame God, lose their faith. The only thing that mattered to me was to see and hold my son again, and also the faith that, someday, we would be together again. In order to stay sane, I had to believe in something that sounded unbelievable to me at that time. My life at that time came down to four walls, visiting my son’s grave and monasteries. I lived like that for a few months, but I had to give back the money that I had borrowed for treatment and apparatuses, put up a grave stone and get moving.

Some different people’s world

During this time, he didn’t feel like living, let alone working. However, he got a job at a gas station where, a month later, something happened that changed a lot in Aleksandar Avramov’s life.
-That day, several cars make Audi came to the gas station, out of which armed men came out, including a man who kept yelling at the security. It was all very dramatic. I asked them if they could move their cars, after which one of them started insulting me. They pointed their guns at me, it looked like they were competing which one would get to kill me. That was when I realized and saw that I was not afraid of anything. I had lost the ability to feel fear.
Not long after that, he started working as one of the members, and later head of security for Ljubiša Buha Čume. Avramov’s life and work eventually led him to Europe and the world-level jet set, which would often hire him for security purposes, so he became a well-known and sought-after name within those circles. In the last several years, he has mostly been doing security assessments, while his team does personal security.
-A French actress requested personal security, 2 guys, one to be Caucasian and the other one to be African-American, they had to be buff and preferably tattooed – Aleksandar reveals to us. – Her level of exposure was “zero”, but she was fascinated by that kind of guys and she wanted to have them by her side. Guys that get sent to such assignments do not have to be particularly capable, but to look good.
During his career, Avramov has kept safe some of the most exposed people in Europe, been in everyday contact even with the richest people in the world and he has revealed to us the biggest misconception that many people have about millionaires.
-More than a few people believe that millionaires are soulless people and that they only care about the material. My clients from those circles are regular, ordinary people. Money sometimes also brings them a lot of concerns, that is true. Even though I travelled all around Europe with them, I did not pay any attention to their lifestyles; for me every day with them was filled with professional assignments. Client’s psychological profile is always of great importance to me. People from show business are the most difficult to protect, while those who earned their money through hard work are more normal than socialites and some actors. It is always easier to protect an older man than a younger one, and when I am with a client, I always focus exclusively on his or her safety. There are those who want to choose their seat in a restaurant or at some gathering, but I tend to correct them and place them where I assess is safe for them to be.

How was a Balkan war prevented?

Aleksandar Avramov is respected among his colleagues, and has been selected for the president of the European safety association “Kobra” for the second time in a row. He explained to us, using a specific example, how the brain reacts when faced with the element of surprise.
-An event that happened in Potocari can illustrate this in the best way. My colleagues who protected the Serbian Prime Minister did their job perfectly. According to the information that I have, there were 20 or so guys out there, and everything that happened in Potocari was clearly an assassination attempt. The Prime Minister’s extraction was executed extraordinarily. If the extraction had happened even a second later that it did, we would have lost him, and a large-scale Balkan war would have started. A French philosopher Le Bon said it nicely: “An ignoramus and a scholar, when found together in a crowd, are equally unready for thinking”. Even one stone thrown is an assassination attempt. The Prime Minister would have been run over if the situation of a crowd developing an invisible strength had happened. Twenty guys who were around him stopped that from happening. This extraction will be written about in textbooks. The Prime Minister did not show any fear, he was even ready to, right then and there, talk to those who were attacking him. The security made the right move and got him out of that situation. He was taken out of there in the blink of an eye. The life of the protected individual was put first, which is the most important thing to every professional.

What is good and what is evil?

When he speaks about deeply personal things, Aleksandar Avramov (41) says that God has been leading him from the moment his life was transformed.
– God is my only companion in everything, the sixth sense in every situation. Every conversation I have with myself, with God that is (at least that is how I look at that), is precious. I pray to God every day to help me tell the good from the evil. A good deed that is not done for God’s cause is not really a good deed, but it is surely better than an evil one. Sometimes, we think that we’re doing good things, but it is not always the case. Regardless of how many people I have met, I have very few friends. I find it hard to trust people. I am still searching for an answer to why some things happened to me. The holy books have taught me what our soul is willing to do. Being human is very difficult these days. From this perspective, I am grateful for getting to know the meaning of life. I have learned how to be peaceful, but, on the other hand, I’ve lost my peace.

How I came to love life again

Five years ago, a woman changed his life completely, and, most of all, himself. Aleksandar Avramov says, with a smile on his face, that since the moment he met his current wife he has loved life and laughed every day.
-I stayed in this world to fight, hoping that one day I would be able to see the one I lost. I know that, in order to get that, I have to lead a righteous life, according to Christianity.  In time, you come to see that God takes care of you in various situations, in the most incredible ways. I witnessed losses, my colleagues losing their lives, but I always stayed here. As much as I wanted one thing, life led me to another. I started a new family and realized that life can make sense, have a purpose. My smile restored. Up to that moment, I had not smiled, I had not been happy, I had not been myself, until the moment I met her – my current wife. She came to me, like an angel. Before that, I thought that I would not be able to love again, to be in love or be happy. I started being positive. Today, I love life. When people are depressed, they think it is the end of the world. My wife pulled me out of such thoughts and depression. I started believing in life, in a beautiful day, my family became my primary occupation. I behave like everyone else, I go to family gatherings, I have become a breadwinner and I enjoy small things in life.
Pigeons, nature, family farm – these are his surroundings today.
-When I find myself at the crossroads in life, first I ask myself which road God would take. That road is always a bit thornier, but I know that it is the right one. I judge people based on the initial impression. I am strongly affected by injustice and the fact that the real heroes are usually in the background. I look at the world much differently now, I don’t live in a black and white world anymore. I live for my family, they mean everything to me and they come first. I have fought for my peace and won.

Branka Gajić
Photo:Jelena Vlatković

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