Mariam Makhniashvili’s Death Teaches Us A Lesson

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/24/community-gathers-to-offer-support-memories-to-family-of-mariam-makhniashvili/

It’s both ironic and extremely sad, how when investigators and family were asking students at Forest Hill Collegiate for anyone who had spoken to Mariam Makhniashvili to come forward, not one person put up their hand or came forward afterward.  Not one person had spoken to the girl in the four days that she’d attended the school.

Yet, during her funeral, there sat students and staff members, as mourners, giving pleasant thoughts about her.

Where were they all during Mariam’s four short days at the school?  How is it that no one took the time to even introduce themselves to Mariam and ask her name or, even try to communicate with her as a new student to the school or class?  What would it have taken or, how much effort would it have taken, to have made a simple, friendly gesture that only involved having to step outside of themselves and their peer groups and clicks to have spoken to Mariam?

Unfortunately, the students at Forest Hill Collegiate are not a case to be singled out.

It boggles my mind how many of us go through life and never feel that we’re appreciated by many people around us.  Yet, were we to be able to attend our own funerals, we’d likely hear a lot of nice things about ourselves, coming from people’s mouths who never bothered much with us during our lifetimes.

Are we hypocrites or, do we simply not think to let people know what we feel about them while we can or make some sort of effort to be friendly or nice to others around us while alive?

Does Death cause us to be kinder or, are we phonies as a whole?

What does it take to make a simple gesture towards someone…especially, someone we care about?  How many times have we by-passed the phone in making a quick call to say, “I care and am thinking of you”?  How many of us have never walked across a lawn or a street to have welcomed a newcomer to the neighbourhood?  How many times have we gone out, gotten into our cars and ignored neighbours without so much as a wave and a “good morning” gesture?

Worst of all, is that we have people in our lives who don’t truly know what we think about them.  We have family members and friends who don’t know how much they mean to us because we don’t express it often, if at all.

Yet, when these people pass away in death, we’ll attend their funerals, shed tears and express how wonderful a person they were to everyone else around us.  The only person who never heard those words and facts was the person who passed on.

Mariam’s story and short life has brought the point forward in my life that there is no use in waiting until someone is missing or dead to get to know someone or to say kind words about them to someone else.  We need to be doing these things all along and throughout our lives with other people.

I will tell my friends how much their frienship means to me.  I will let my family members know how wonderful I think that they are and how much they mean to my life.  I will greet newcomers to the neighbourhood or work place, knowing that they need a friend or just someone to help them feel part of an unfamiliar place.  I will be kinder in general and more forthright with kind thoughts being expressed to others while they are alive, rather than at their funerals.

Take a moment today and let someone you love, know how special they are to you.  Extend your hand in welcome to someone who is new to your neighbourhood or work place.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.  Think how much you’ve let go and not spoken to someone you truly care about and wonder what you would say if it were their last day.  Whatever that may be, say it.  We never know when it is our last day here.

We all need to know that we’re important in some way or another while alive.

Blogging: Public Journals?

It seems that there’s nothing that gets talked about more in blogs than the art of blogging.  What to say, how to say it, how to get ideas on writing a blog entry, editing a blog, creating a blog, finding a blog’s purpose and, the list goes on and on.  It seems as though bloggers can spend more time in figuring out how to blog than in actual blogging.

But, what then, is a blog really?

When I first started into the idea of blogging, I had to question what the difference was between a blog, a diary and a journal.

A blog appears to be defined as a Web Log or a web sourced journal.

A diary, is thought of as a teenaged or tween form of keeping track of what happened during their days but, still thought of as a form of journalling.

A journal is considered a way of keeping thoughts, quotes, ideas, personal stories or anything else that the writer wishes to keep for the future.

“A journal is a tool for self-discovery, an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul, a place to generate and capture ideas, a safety valve for the emotions, a training ground for the writer, and a good friend and confident.”

Ron Klug

I recently cleared off a book shelf and found some old journals that I’d kept.  Taking a cup of tea out into the back patio during the beautiful almost summer like weather we’ve been having, I started to read through them.  Much to my chagrin and shock, I realized that my so-called journals were really nothing more than rant books.  They were akin to demonic possessed diaries that laid bare my rather nasty feelings towards any number of people in my life during those times.

If one has ever seen the movie, Bridget Jones’ Diary, one can relate to the horrors of someone possibly finding these vicious diatribes somewhere down the road and gasping in horror at what it was that I was really thinking at that time.  The entries certainly don’t paint me as a loving, caring person nor, as 3 dimensional.  The fact that I really never wrote in those books unless I was hurt, angry and bitter over something or another, didn’t help matters any.  I never wrote about the good feelings or my happier days.  Those stayed unwritten.  Afterall, they were to be enjoyed and never needed writing down but, sadly, the less than wonderful was not only there in black and white but, brutally written from the gut during those moments of pure anger, hurt and bitterness.

When I looked back at it all now, of course, it’s all ancient history and I couldn’t help but wonder why I’d written all of this down and kept it.  It’s not like any of it was doing anyone, especially me, any good to have it hanging around where someone could one day have read it.  At those points in time, they were simply raw emotions doing the writing as I attempted to vent some of the venom I felt coursing through my veins.  They were anger and hurt transformed into words but, nothing more.  So, why did I feel the need to keep them back then?  Why not just write it out, rip it up and get rid of it?  Why keep it so that others might eventually stumble upon them?

While blogging, it’s crossed my mind that most of us who blog, feel that we have something to share with others that may be of interest to someone else other than ourselves.  Could it be that deep down inside of us, we are Journal Exhibitionists?  Are we simply writing web based journals for all to see?  Is anything that we have to say, really that awe inspiring that we think it’s even worthy of anyone else reading what we have to say?

Personally, I think that blogging, journaling and diary writing is a form of art.  We may present our pieces as abstracts, fine art or simply expressions of ourselves.  What we write about may not be anyone’s cup of tea or it may be everyone’s.  We never know until we’ve written it and let others read it.  However, one thing is for sure.  We want others to read what we’re thinking or we wouldn’t be writing it on the world-wide web.

So, I’ve burned my old temper tantrum files, tossed the keys to the old diaries and here I am, with the rest of the bloggers, now writing out in the open for all to read, minus the temper tantrums, for the most part.

There are, of course, times when I will use a simple scrap of paper to write and vent out my anger but, I now destroy it shortly afterwards with a short, self-created ceremony where I release that negativity into either ashes with a match or the large and powerful shredder that sits under my desk.

Either that, or I write it out in a computerized diary (times have advanced), under password protection, instead of those flimsy key-locks that take the snip of a pair of cutting pliers to break the words free to be read.

May no one ever figure out my password.

What I Think Happened To Mariam Makhniashvili

I’ve written several pieces about the Mariam Makhniashvili case and followed it all the way through from the day Mariam was announced to the public as “missing”.  Sadly, she has been found, but not the way that anyone who knew about Mariam’s disappearance had hoped it would end.

~Please note that these are simply my own personal opinions as well as visions and nothing more.  I am not involved in the case in any way nor, do I know anyone in this case personally.  I only know what I have read and heard in the news and from travelling along the routes that were hypothesized that Mariam may have taken to where her remains were found.  Nothing that I’m saying can or should be taken as gospel truth or fact in any way.  All points are simply my own hypothesis to date and not intended to be thought of as news.~

First of all, I’ve made it no secret that I have not bought into the suicide theory that media have portrayed it to be.  I do not believe that Mariam was that desperate or depressed that she would have taken her own life, that day or even in days later.

From all that I’ve read and sensed, Mariam seemed to have been happy to have been in Canada and with her parents.  At the least, I sense that she was happy in being reunited with her mother.  She had stated to her grandmother via a telephone call (according to a CTV W5 interview which aired on March 17, 2012) that she was “excited and happy to be in Canada”.

Her mother, Lela Tabidze, also commented in answer to the question of her daughter’s possible depression during this interview, that Mariam was happy.  She’d come home from the Dragon Boat Races in Toronto (the night before she went missing and had acted as a volunteer through a YMCA program for Newcomers to the country), “happy”.  Lela stated that she had walked both Mariam and George to the elevator the next morning and they waved goodbye to one another.

Other news sources have previously stated that Mariam had done her homework after coming home that evening.  She left that morning, taking nothing with her except her backpack which we now know contained her books and a home packed lunch.

Lela also stated that while Mariam was frustrated with her rate of learning English, she was determined to learn and would “analyze everything she read” until she got it.

None of this, quite paints the picture of someone who was going to take their own lives in my personal opinion but, then again, I’m not a doctor.

Even though psychologists and psychiatrists can and will state that depression and suicidal thoughts and actions can be hidden or impulsive acts, it does not make sense that a young woman, so new to the city, would have plotted to have left school to get to a place that she likely didn’t know and leap to her death while taking some one to one and a half hours to get to that point.  Minds change with the longer it takes to get to the point of ending one’s life in such a brutal and frightening way.

Having driven along that area several times, personally, it would take knowledge of the area thoroughly to know how to get onto the ramp where she allegedly leaped to her death especially, without being seen on such a busy highway.

Mariam had walked the short two block distance to Forest Hill Collegiate where she and her younger brother, George were newly enrolled.  Mariam was entered into grade 11.  George entered from the rear of the school while Mariam had parted ways, saying she was going to enter the front of the building because her first period class was closest to the front entrance.  And, so it was, according to news reports and photos.  Perhaps, being new to the school, finding her way around a place that she’d only been attending for four days prior to this day, it was quite possible that she felt more secure in entering closer to the classroom so as not to have to find her way around the hallways that she likely had not fully become accustomed to yet.  There doesn’t seem to be anything unusual or out of the way about thinking along those lines or in her having taken that route.  I’ve done something very similar myself as an adult…taken a more familiar route until I’m more comfortable with other ways.

According to news reports, tracker dogs were brought in to the area of Forest Hill Collegiate but, the highly trained dogs picked up nothing of any significance.  That, to me, may indicate that Mariam did not leave the school on foot.  It is more likely that she left in either a vehicle or via bus.

Police have stated that they could not see someone having been abducted in that area because someone would have seen or heard a scuffle in front of a very busy school at that time in the morning where everyone was entering the school for classes.  That point, to me, seems to indicate that Mariam must have either left the front of the school and taken the bus or, known the driver of a vehicle and gotten into it willingly.

Many news reports have stated that Mariam had no boyfriend and no friends here in Canada yet but, that always begs the question of whether Mariam had met someone that she hadn’t disclosed to either her parents or to her brother, George.  It is not unusual for a teen girl to hide the fact that she had met a male, from parents whom they believe may disapprove.  It may be that Mariam did not have a boyfriend but, perhaps, had met and talked to a male even as recently as being at the Dragon Boat Races the day before while volunteering.  It is possible that the male was also a volunteer.  She may have made mention of the fact, in polite and trusting conversation, of where she went to school (Forest Hill Collegiate) and this person had simply shown up, unexpectedly in front of the school that morning in a vehicle.

Alternatively, it is almost as likely that in the same scenario, Mariam may have decided to have met up with this person that morning and took the bus to the Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave area where her backpack was found.  Either way, I feel that Mariam did so willingly, not forced.

Her backpack was found orginally at 101 Roehampton Ave., mere steps from North Toronto Collegiate, another highschool in that specific area.  The backpack was untouched when first found and a resident in the building, moved it under a balcony so as not to allow the backpack to become victim to the weather.  He refused to open it as he believed it would be picked up by one of the teens who frequented the area or lived in the building itself.  It was later found and given to police behind 120 Eglinton Ave. E. which abutts/adjoins the 101 Roehampton building from the rear parking areas.  At that point, someone had rummaged through the backpack and left it behind.

This, to me, indicates that Mariam, herself, was directly in that area.  Had she simply shed the backpack, figuring she would not need it again, (lunch and all) she would have done so, somewhere along the route of either Eglinton Ave West or, along Yonge Street.  Even had she done just that, and someone had picked it up and carried it along Roehampton Ave., the man who found it at 101 Roehampton, found it closed and untouched.  No DNA was found on the bag, according to police.

Having travelled, personally, the routes that Mariam would have taken to get to 101 Roehampton, one can see that it was not simply a few steps in from busy Yonge St. nor, was access to that address easy from Eglinton Ave. E..  Mariam would have had to have known how to get behind that building from Eglinton Ave. E. to get to Roehampton from that address of 120 Eglinton Ave. East where the backpack was seized by police after having been called by someone else who had re-found it behind 120 Eglinton Ave. E..  Top that off with Mariam being so new to the city, and I find it is doubtful that Mariam knew that much about that area in order to get from Eglinton to Roehampton through the back of the buildings on her own.  This leads me to believe that either she was given directions to get to 101 Roehampton or, she was driven or shown the way by someone else.  Likely the person she may have met the day before.

From 101 Roehampton back to Yonge St. is too fair a distance east of Yonge St. and north of Eglinton Ave, for a “short detour” type of jaunt.  Therefore, it is likely not an accident that she went along that route and left her backpack there.  It is also not likely that she went that far in along Roehampton, then went back to Yonge and walked up Yonge to the 401 where her remains were found to leap off of that barrier.

When one couples that with the fact above and the idea that she had taken the bus there, she would have had to have paid another fare to have gotten onto the Yonge subway line which was a fair ways out of the path of the 101 Roehampton Ave address.  101 Roehampton is one full street north of Eglinton and at least a good block east of Yonge St., making it highly unlikely in my mind that she was heading directly to end her life from a busy highway overpass that was still at least another good hour’s walk from there nor, does it lend itself to the idea that she was intending on taking the subway all the way up.  None of it seems consistent with the idea that she was about to do what has been assumed to have happened in her taking her own life.

What follows are some “visions” that I’ve had concerning Mariam’s case.   Again, they are purely my visions and not to be taken as fact.

I sense that given all of the above, Mariam did not plan to end her life.  I sense that either she had been greeted by someone she’d met from the YMCA volunteer experience the day before, in a vehicle and been talked into leaving with him or, she voluntarily decided to meet him somewhere and took the bus to Yonge St and Eglinton Ave. where he met up with her there.

Beyond that, I have had visions of an apartment door with the numbers 5 and possibly a 2 within the apartment number on that door.

I have seen police in these visions having talked to the male during one of their canvases in the area after finding Mariam’s backpack there.

In my visions, this male appears to be in the age range of 19 to 23 years of age or so, (give or take a year or two), light to medium brown hair, approximately 5′ 7″ to 5′ 9″ tall with a build that seems to be within the 135 to 150 lb range.

It appeared as though he was still half asleep when he answered the door, rubbing his hair which stood up from not being combed.  It appears to be a thick head of hair that he has and possibly rather freshly cut.  In an accent, he mumbles, “I don’t know nothing about this girl” and tries to shut the door rather quickly on police as they show him the photo of Mariam.  This leads me to feel/sense that perhaps, this young man may have been part of the same volunteer group that Mariam and George had been part of for the Dragon Boat Races and may have spoken Mariam’s language or at least, more English than she spoke…enough for her to understand him.

I also have had glimpses of an older model, dark van pulled over to the side of the overpass area where Mariam’s remains were found as though Mariam may have leaped from the vehicle and gone to the side.

I have heard the name “Nick, Nicholas or Nicholai” being said.

I sense that it was not a “murder” but rather an accident that Mariam ended up going over the side of that overpass.  Perhaps, a struggle to get her back into the vehicle where he’d pulled and she’d pulled back with force?  I’m not certain at this moment.  However, I don’t feel that it was intentional that she went over the side on either of their wishes.  That may also explain why police say that they can find no sign of “foul play”.  I am not certain.

While I’m not sure if Police have already done so, I do hope that they have or will cross-reference anyone also volunteering for the Dragon Boat Races on Sunday September 13, 2009 to anyone living in the Roehampton Ave area or who may have been attending one of the two highschools in that area.  I fully believe and sense that the answers are right there, where her backpack was found.

I do not believe that Mariam took her own life and I hope that the truth will be found for Mariam’s family’s sake.  It’s a hard road for a parent to go on believing that your child has taken their lives and that you didn’t notice or do anything to prevent it from happening.

Please feel free to comment with your own thoughts and perspectives.  I’d welcome your opinions and thoughts.

Mariam Makhniasvili’s Funeral Approaches But Still No Answers

As the public funeral for former missing Mariam Makhniashvili approaches, Mariam’s mother, Lela Tabidze, granted her first interview with media since receiving news of her only daughter’s remains having been found, to CTV’s W5 which aired Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

During this interview, the grieving mother, a former broadcast journalist in her homeland of Georgia, has proven herself to be an extremely intelligent and well spoken woman.  She has also shown the world that she is gracious, gentle and kind at heart.  Beyond that, she is showing us all that she is one strong person for all that she has endured since having entered Canada, but, also the U.S. and even within her homeland.  There have been a lot of heartbreak, stress and changes which makes it almost unfathomable that one person could have taken so much and still be functioning.

It was plain to see that Life has taken its toll upon this woman but, in spite of her own, personal pain, she is being thoughtful and brave.  Her show of strength is one to be applauded.  With honesty and caring, she answered the interviewer’s questions, crying only once on camera.

Life for Lela and her family has been anything but an easy one.  Choosing to find a better future for their children and having lived within a poverty-stricken, war-torn country in Georgia, Lela and her husband Vakhtang, left their homeland in 2003 to go in hopes of being granted immigration ability to the U.S..

Vakhtang, a former professor of philosophy in Georgia, had received placement as a scholar in California.  Lela accompanied her husband, leaving her children behind in the care of Vakhtang’s mother and Lela’s sister, hoping for it to be a far shorter separation than the five years it turned out to be.  They spoke every day by phone, the grandmother and aunt reported while also being interviewed in Georgia, Mariam’s former homeland.

“She was excited to come,” Mariam’s grandmother told the media through interpreters.  “She told me, ‘Grandma, I’m so happy here'” in a call to her grandmother back home in Georgia, once here.

Lela admitted that Mariam was somewhat disgruntled and frustrated with her rate of learning English but, persisted and would “analyse everything she read”.  Lela also went on to explain that Mariam had come home happy the night before she went missing, having spent the day, volunteering at Toronto’s Dragon Boat Races.  She had waved to her mother as she’d gotten onto the elevator the next morning with her younger brother, George, to go to school, backpack complete with new books, binders, pens and a home packed lunch.  It was certainly not what one would see as the picture of a young woman who was so depressed that she had plotted to end her life.

When asked about the suspicions about the possibility of family involvement in Mariam’s death, Lela calmly but assuredly set the record straight.  The entire family had been given lie detector tests and many interviews by police before being cleared as suspects.  She went on to explain that she had never seen Vakhtang ever violent in any way prior to Mariam’s disappearance and, stated that he was and has been under great stress.  It was that stress that doctors had deduced had been the cause in triggering the violence associated with the delusional disorder he now suffers from.  While she said that she knew his actions were not right, she spoke honestly in saying that she did feel that he was able to be helped and wasn’t giving up on her husband, still hoping that things could improve for him and with him.

She spoke matter of factly and without blame or excuses in talking about the couple that her husband had stabbed which landed him in Millhaven prison for six years.  David and Deloris Langer were not exactly the helpless good samaritans that they have been portrayed to be.  What the general public may not be aware of is the fact that the Langers had been conversing with Vakhtang via internet prior to them posting his bail for the stabbing attack on Sean Ure, the neighbour across the hall from Makhniashvili.  They had not used the name their real names and posed as private investigators, with Deloris using the nick name of Trixie Dixie.  It was only after the stabbing and trial that Lela learned that the Langers had not been strangers at all.  They had known Vakhtang through their conversations over the net by using aliases but, Vakhtang had not known who they were when they posted bail under their real names.

What was most striking about the information that was also provided in this interview segment were the facts.

Tracking dogs had been brought to the scene of Forest Hill Collegiate when Mariam had been declared missing.  They picked up no trail, no scent.  In my personal estimation, this may be indicative that Mariam did not leave the school area on foot.

Secondly, it appeared that while police had originally thought of the finding of Mariam’s backpack as a break in the case, they quickly dismissed it as being of any use since there was no DNA found on it.  That, to me, may have been a point which could have been either stated or, looked upon differently in my opinion.  The fact that the backpack had been found, intact, where it was, may have significant meaning to this case.  As I have stated in an earlier post, https://mylittlecorneroflife.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/police-re-visit-area-where-mariam-makniashvilis-remains-found/  the area where her backpack was found, was out of the way of the alleged path Mariam may likely have taken to get to the 401 overpass where her body was found.  There may be a clue right there as to where Mariam actually was that could have potentially led to something further and still might, if looked upon with the correct perspective.  There was reason for her backpack being there and being off route to the 401 overpass. Unfortunately, at this time, this point seems to be being dismissed, at least, to the public.

Meanwhile, she is about to lay her only daughter to rest while still trying to be strong for her remaining child, Georgi, her son and await to see what the future holds for her with her husband’s mental illness.  She will have to shoulder the burdens that have come to her and her family, alone for yet another couple of years at the least and, may have to go it alone for some time more to come.

Facebook has shown her to be an advocate now for others who are facing their children missing as well as helping to implement new laws for the protection of those families who face the same situation she has so bravely had to experience within her own life.

Tabidze has graciously permitted  the doors to be opened to the public for her daughter’s funeral so that the public may be allowed to say their goodbyes and give the family their condolences.

Visitation will be held this coming Friday, March 23, 2012 at Murray Newbigging Funeral Home, 773 Mt. Pleasant Drive, Toronto, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and from 7:oo p.m. until 9:00 p.m..  The funeral service will be held in the chapel at the funeral home 1:00 p.m. Saturday March 24, 2012.  Only 100 people can be accommodated within the chapel, we are told.

In the meantime, police are allegedly continuing to seek answers.  They know the start and the ending but, they do not know the whys or the hows behind it.  It is those questions that we all seek answers to.  Having those questions answered cannot save Mariam but, no matter what the real answers are, they may help to prevent future tragedies such as Mariam’s case and hopefully, save other family and parents from the hell that Lela Tabidze, Vakhtang and son, Georgi Makhniashvili have lived in for the past two and a half years.

One more question needs to be answered as well.  Can we, as a Society, afford to let those questions go un-answered?

Some would say that it’s costing taxpayer’s dollars to answer them and would serve no good since Mariam is no longer with us to be helped.  Others, would agree that these answers may help prevent another teen from the same type of fate, whether it be suicide or foul play.

I am with the latter group.

Police Re-Visit Area Where Mariam Makniashvili’s Remains Found

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120316/Police-block-highway-ramp-Mariam-found-120316/20120316/?hub=TorontoNewHome

 

 

Friday March 16, 2012
Police closed off the 401 Eastbound ramp between Avenue Rd and Yonge St. to re-examine the area where Mariam Makhniashvili’s remains were found below on The Don Valley Golf Course on February 28, 2012

Ironically, my husband and myself were in the area today where Mariam Makhniashvili’s remains were found.  We had arrived as police were packing up to leave after they had re-visited the site again today for further investigations.  It was eerie that, we too, had wanted to be in that area today at the same time that police had gone back to re-examine that area, cordoning off a large section of the 401 Eastbound Collector’s lanes to do their investigation.

Still reported as being thought of as a suicide, one can only wonder why police were there again today since they are continuing to maintain that this was indeed a case of a disgruntled and depressed teen taking her own life.  Perhaps, they are readying themselves to dot their i’s and cross their t’s to put this case to rest in the near future?  Or, perhaps, public pressure is growing upon them to prove their hypothesis.  As the days go by and the public starts to digest the reality of this tragic loss, a lot of people are beginning to express that they do not believe that Mariam took her own life…especially, there and particularly, in that manner.

By now, it is most likely that there is very little, if any, forensic evidence still available that hasn’t already either been collected by police or has vanished with the ravages of weather, animals, people etc. in that area over the past two and a half years since Mariam went missing.

However, from a different perspective, it’s easier to see that a person, by foot, would have had a great deal of difficulty in not being seen getting onto the stretch of highway above where Mariam’s remains were found.

Aerial View of  Hwy 401  Eastbound Collector Lanes At Yonge St. Off Ramp

 My husband and myself, drove from Mariam’s former home to the front entrance of Forest Hill Collegiate before continuining along Eglinton Ave West towards Yonge Street, heading east then, turning left beyond 120 Eglinton Ave East where Mariam’s backpack was found behind the building.  We also traveled along Roehampton Ave to 101 Roehampton where the backpack had originally been found but, allegedly, moved at some point within a two week period prior to police being notified of it being found behind 120 Eglinton Ave. East.

We then, drove west along Roehampton to Yonge St. and drove north on Yonge to the 401 over pass area where her remains were found below the ramp on the Don Valley Golf Club grounds.

Let me tell you that it was not by any stretch of the imagination, a short stroll to get to that area from where her backpack was found.  It was quite a distance to have walked.

Secondly, had Mariam taken TTC to have gotten to that area, 101 Roehampton and even 120 Eglinton Ave. East, is out of the way of the Yonge Subway entrances.  It’s extremely hard to fathom her having gone that far off of track to have gone past North Toronto Collegiate at 70 Roehampton then, double back to get to the subway entrance.

It makes absolutely no rational sense that Mariam would have left Forest Hill Collegiate, knowing she was going to end her life to walk that type of distance to do so.  Nor, does it make any sense whatsoever that she would have taken that detour along Eglinton Ave. East or Roehampton (the next street north of Eglinton and east of Yonge street, running parallel to Eglinton Ave East) before heading up Yonge by foot or via subway.  Something does not jive with this idea.

There is some reason why Mariam’s backpack was found between the abutting properties of 120 Eglinton Ave. East and 101 Roehampton.  Both properties’ rear areas or parking areas, directly adjoin one another from behind.  That fact gives an easy explanation as to why Mariam’s backpack was found originally behind 101 Roehampton but, found some two weeks later, having been moved from that address to the one behind 120 Eglinton Ave East.  Police have already determined and reported that the backpack was moved from its original placement at 101 Roehampton to the rear of 120 Eglinton Ave East.

I am still formulating what I sense may have happened and will post that in another entry in the next day or two but, today was a sobering reminder that Police have work to do still and we hope that they won’t simply write it off as a suicide or, “misadventure”.

Be the judge yourself.  Can you see how this young woman would have manoevered her way along this highway to leap to her death without being noticed?

Please comment if you have an opinion.

 

 

 

Police re-visit area where Mariam Makhniashvili’s body was found Friday March 16, 2012.

Funeral Being Planned for Mariam Makhniashvili

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1145311–mariam-makhniashvili-s-funeral-being-planned-for-this-weekend?bn=1

Funeral plans are being made and may have been completed by Mariam’s family and set for March 24th, 2012.   Details are not available to the public at this time.

As people revel in parties, dressed in green, hoisting mugs and glasses of green tinted beer in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Mariam’s family will be mourning the reality that their daughter and sister will not ever be coming home again.  They will not see what she would have done with her life or what she would have looked like, beyond their last goodbyes to her on the morning of September 14, 2009.

It is questionable as to whether Mariam’s father, Vakhtang will be permitted to attend his only daughter’s funeral.  He is currently serving a 6 year sentence for the stabbings of two people in Millhaven, a prison not far from Kingston, Ontario.

While Life has had to continue for the family these past thirty months or more, it will come again to a grinding halt with fresh wounds being re-opened as they lay her remains to rest in a far more dignified way.

Mariam deserves a proper burial or cremation with dignity.  She did not deserve to die.

My hope is that police are still working fervently on this case, going back over any sources of information that they may already have had or, in finding new clues.  As people dress up in silly garb, drinking green ale, this weekend and her family lays Mariam to rest in her final resting place, my hope is that police are re-visiting every possible avenue to finding out the truth as to what happened to Mariam.

I am still sure in my heart and soul that this young woman did not end her own life.  I am certain that the answers are out there.  May police find them and may Mariam’s family be blessed with some peace in knowing that Mariam is in no pain or suffering anymore as they say their final goodbyes to her.

What Is My Purpose?

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”    ―      Ralph Waldo Emerson

There have been mornings of late, that I’ve awoken in bed, asking myself, “why am I here and what is my purpose?”  Tempted to retreat back under the blankets and contemplate the answers to these questions, I have had to work hard to get myself out of bed and into my day.

I’m sure that we’ve all been at this point in our lives at some time or another.  It may sound like depression talking but, in actual fact, it may be one of the healthiest set of questions that we can ask ourselves because it causes us to ponder whether we are doing all that we are capable of doing in this thing that we call, Life.

Of course, no one has the answers to these questions to give to us.  They are what I consider Cosmic Questions or, as some would say, rhetorical.  However, they are questions that give answers if we look within deeply enough.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”    ―      Dr. Seuss

Do any of us have some actual purpose?  Do we really need one?  More questions without answers being readily or even possibly available by anyone walking this planet.

I’m reminded of the old movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, with Jimmy Stewart where he is shown by an yet-to-be-winged angel, what other’s lives would have been like had he not been in them.

That movie, offers us one of the perhaps, best answers to these questions.  It shows us that we are like threads in a finely woven blanket.  When you pull out one, the rest begin to unravel and the blanket loses not only its stability but, also the shape, texture, look, pattern and feel.  One thread may not seem like a lot but, it has its purpose.  It sustains a weave that has been woven with that thread as a part of its finished product.

It’s that analogy that reminds me that even the tinest of creatures, the most seemingly useless of life, all have purpose.  There’s delicate balance on this planet that has been built from the least complex to the most complex.  Yet, every single layer, has been stacked upon the other.  Remove one and you’ve removed the balance of the entire system.  The least complex are therefore, just as important as the most complex.

Does it really matter that I am not achieving anything seemingly truly meaningful to the entire world?

The mere fact that we have been here has meaning.  We have served some purpose whether we see it or not.  Even microscopic sized creatures serve purposes so, we don’t need to be doing something grandiose to be considered to have purpose.  We simply need to be.  If we can be happy whilst being, we’ve put icing on the cake.

Mother Theresa sums it up nicely for us all in this quote,

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.”    ―      Mother Teresa

And, with that, I begin my day each day, knowing that no matter what I do or don’t do in it, I’m serving some purpose by simply being part of this world.  It’s one heck of a kick start to your day to realize this because whatever you do throughout your day, you’ve got a purpose whether you see it or you don’t.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Still Pondering Mariam Makhniashvili’s Death

It’s days later since police have announced the discovery of a body in Toronto and I am still having a very hard time believing that Mariam Makhniashvili, also known as “Marika”, took her own life.  I simply cannot believe that she left that morning, deciding to deceive everyone and leap to her death at the Don Valley Golf Course from that overpass.  I don’t know why I cannot let it go.  Call it a gut feeling if you will but, something just is not sitting right with me with the idea that she ended her own life in that manner.  I cannot let it go within my own mind and intuition.

First of all, in order for her to have gotten to that area on foot (as has been speculated), she would have had to have passed all sorts of security cameras along both Eglinton Ave and Yonge Street.  Not ONE was found.

Secondly, did she simply walk along the 401 to that overpass?  Even were she to have come up a set of stairs that led to the overpass (from the grounds below)…with all of the traffic that goes along that overpass at all hours of the day and night, how is it that NO ONE apparently saw her on that stretch.  Most people committing suicide usually do not just instantly “leap”.  Instead, they take a moment, thinking before they do so.  Someone would have seen her scaling the wall/barrier to leap.

This all leads me to believe that she was in a vehicle to get to that point in the first place..unnoticed by either video surveillance along her route, people she passed by (there must have been dozens of people if she walked along two very busy routes as well as the 401 hwy).  Perhaps, she leapt from a fast moving vehicle?  Perhaps, she had a struggle with someone and it became an accident that she went over the wall?  There are just too many questions that don’t fit the profile of a suicide.

To assume that she was depressed because she was quiet, a bookworm and stayed indoors, is nonsense.  She was at the Dragon Boat Races as a volunteer with the YMCA a day or so before her disappearance and George had said that there was nothing out of the ordinary.

To assume all that has been assumed due to lack of evidence otherwise, concluded on a badly decomposed set of remains, is doing an injustice to the memory of this young woman in my personal opinion.  To assume that she had not known anyone or had a boy in mind that she liked?  Who is able to say that she hadn’t met someone who she kept as a secret to herself?  Who is to say that she wasn’t communicating with someone here in Toronto while back in Georgia?  Who is to say that she hadn’t intended on meeting someone (where two other highschools were situated) at the apartment complex where her backpack was found?  How can police come to this conclusion based solely upon the autopsy report of death due to a fall from the above bridge?  Perhaps, she did fall.  That doesn’t mean that the fall was a result of her wanting to end her own life…unless police have kept information from the public all along such as a suicide note having been found in her backpack?

Something is amiss but, I will not believe that this young woman has taken her own life.  At least, not until it is proven in some way.  It’s a convenient way for police to give an ending to a search for a missing person’s case that went cold and still has no leads at the current time.  I hope it won’t be closed as such.  At least, not without proof that she did, indeed, end her own life and why.

Not A Suicide: Mariam Makhniashvili

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Makhniashvili+death+mostly+solved+reasons+remain+mystery/6277992/story.html

How is it that because there’s a lack of any sort of evidence and a young girl was new to a city, police have declared that Mariam Makhniashvili has commited suicide?

The young woman’s body was found some two and one half years after she had been reported as missing, on a golf course.  A forensic autopsy has deemed that her badly decomposed remains were consistent with the cause of death by a fall from a great height.  There were no witnesses having seen her beyond when her brother last saw her and no video of her anywhere.  The sole clue was her back-pack, found in front of an apartment building a distance away from her school.  There was “nothing of interest” found in her backpack to indicate either a potential for suicide nor, a struggle or foul play.

Mariam was new to both the country and the city so, police have conjectured that she ‘might have been depressed’ and decided to end her life.  With half a brain, one has to question how it was that Mariam would have known about the overpass that she allegedly used as her jumping point in the first place?  Police have estimated that it was at least a full hour’s walk from her school yet, no video surveillance cameras along two major streets have yielded any sighting of the young woman throughout her entire walk and no one has come forward to say that they saw her during that hour long stroll.

More key to this case is the idea that Mariam happened to be simply ‘strolling’ along the 401 overpass atop or near Yonge street and no one noticed her?  This is a sprawling six or eight lane, highway.  It’s not pedestrian friendly in the least and therefore, highly unusual to see anyone walking there, let alone, over to the side of a steep drop to the bottom of 17 meters or better.  How can it possibly be that not a soul saw her there, let alone, how she even got onto the highway by foot in the first place.

Police are surmising to the public that she may have walked along a cracked sidewalk through the golf course area below, climbing a set of stairs which led to the overpass and jumped once at the top.  It is highly unlikely that with the amount of cars that travel that highway at all hours of the day and night, that no one would have seen her standing or climbing over the cement barrier wall that led to the grounds below and not, at the least, felt strange about seeing a young woman doing so.  It’s also highly unlikely that she quickly climbed the stairs, walked along the highway to the overpass area, climbed over the wall and instantly leaped.  Most suicide victims take a few moments, at the least, to consider what they are doing before actually doing it.  Yet, no one allegedly, saw anything.

There are several inherent flaws in the idea that Mariam commited suicide.

First, is the fact that Mariam left her back pack in front of an apartment building that would have taken her quite a bit of time to have gotten to via walking.  It is more likely that she took the bus as her school was within a two minute walking distance from Eglinton Avenue West, which is part of Toronto’s major transportation system.  If she took the bus to that area and dropped off her back pack, at that point, did she get back onto another bus after that?  Why did she stop there in the first place?  Even had she walked to that area and simply got tired of carrying her back pack, there are countless stores along that route with surveillance cameras yet, none of them have yielded any video of the young woman passing by.  That fact is more consistent with the idea that either she took the bus to that particular area or, she was picked up by someone in front of the school and driven there.

Secondly, from that point on, to the area where her remains were found, were also major roads with stores and businesses all along that route.  Surely, one of those businesses had video surveillance cameras that would have picked up her image.  Not one has yielded any sight of her according to police after a two and a half year investigation.  This, again, seems to lead one to believe that she was not on foot but, either by bus or in a vehicle.

Lastly, and most importantly, Mariam did not know Toronto all that well so, the idea that she knew how to get to this particular area, which was far above and beyond where she lived for such a short period of time, makes it highly unlikely that she had decided to go to that spot to leap to her death.   That is coupled with the fact that she would have had to have walked along a major highway system in North Toronto in order to get to it.  No public transit runs along that highway so, other than by car, foot travel was the only way to get to that point.

I cannot fathom that a 17 year old would have decided in advance to plan her death in that fashion.  I cannot begin to believe that she plotted to get to the school with her brother that morning, walking with him from the transit system, letting him go in, then walking to the rear of the school before leaving to walk miles to a point where she would leap to her death.  Nor, can I believe that this young woman, not knowing the city well at all, would take public transit to get to that area to end her life.  None of it makes much common sense at all.

What does make sense is that Mariam’s death is likely more consistent with having been in a car with someone else whom she knew or thought she knew.  Perhaps, it was a leap from a car out of desperation or fear that was traveling at such a high speed that she was propelled over the edge of the wall?  Whatever it was, this young woman likely did not commit suicide nor, was this done purposefully by her.

It appears to me that police have either found a simplistic way of explaining her death in a two and a half year old case that had gone cold with no leads or evidence to follow.  Either that, or they are hiding evidence from the public to flush someone out.

Remains found at golf course belong to Makhniashvili | CTV Toronto

Remains found at golf course belong to Makhniashvili | CTV Toronto.

If you don’t live in Toronto or even Ontario, you are likely not even aware of who this young girl was or her family.  For Torontians, this has been a big story for a number of years.  Most people have watched this story unfold, hoping for a miraculous outcome with Mariam Makhniashvili being found alive and well as the Elizabeth Smart case had unfolded.   Unfortunately, that has not been the case.

I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that this family has gone through and, will go through with another perspective now that this news has come to light and nor, do I want to even try.  Any tiny glimmer of hope that they had been holding onto, has now been put out and taken away.  The reality that she will never return home, is likely setting in though, I’m sure, not unexpected.

The stress that this family has endured for the past few years has been unfathomable and it’s taken its toll on the family.  This young woman’s father has had mental breakdowns and been convicted and incarcerated for six years since her disappearance.  It is said that he is suffering from a delusional disorder.  I’m sure it was likely set off by the stress of losing his only daughter.  Mariam’s mother, Lela and brother, Georgi are left to cope with the aftermath of all that has happened since they came to North America.  I’m sure they are now wondering why they had left their home in a distant land to come to this one.

The questions will linger on in the minds of the members of this family though as there is still the mystery of who, why and how.  Police will hopefully, continue to search for these answers that may never be known.  All that this family can now do, is to go on as best that they can, their minds, hearts and lives, scarred forever with this tragedy and what it has cost them.

May the answers to her death be found and whomever else may have been involved, brought to justice, sooner rather than later for everyone’s sake but, especially for Mariam’s family.  They need that type of closure and it won’t be there fully, unless those questions are answered and the murderer, brought to justice.

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