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‘My life is different now’: B.C. woman remembers parents killed in Iran plane crash, one year later

Click to play video: 'Victims of two Canadian air tragedies on how they coped with their unimaginable grief' Victims of two Canadian air tragedies on how they coped with their unimaginable grief
They were professors, physicians, newlyweds, mothers and fathers. A year ago today, Ukraine International Flight PS752 was shot down by the Iranian military, killing everyone on board. With the pain still raw, how have the victim's families coped this past year? Global's Negar Mojtahedi spoke with two women: one who lost her parents last year to the Iran plane crash and another who also lost her entire family 35 years ago to another Canadian tragedy. – Jan 8, 2021

There are times Kimia Pourshaban Oshibi tries to watch a documentary about social injustice and it’s too hard to watch.

It’s not because of the content on the screen, but because of the memories that come from the viewing.

“I used to read a lot with my parents. I used to listen to podcasts. I used to watch documentaries,” the 19-year-old woman said.

“The purpose of those things is more important than the action itself.”

Read more: Iran plane crash, one year later: 13 victims with ties to Edmonton remembered as brilliant, loving

Click to play video: 'Daughter of Iran plane crash victims shares her grief and coping mechanisms' Daughter of Iran plane crash victims shares her grief and coping mechanisms
Daughter of Iran plane crash victims shares her grief and coping mechanisms – Jan 8, 2021

Friday marks one year since both her parents died in the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. All 176 people on board were killed — 55 of them Canadians and 30 permanent residents.

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Naser Pourshaban Oshibi and Firouzeh Madani died just before they were both re-certified as doctors in Canada. They had been returning home to North Vancouver after visiting family in Iran.

Their daughter had been abroad with them, but flew home to Canada a week earlier.

“My life as a survivor of my parents has changed me forever,” Pourshaban Oshibi said.

“Those moments have been taken from me and that was unjust. Thinking about it is just — my life is different now.”

Click to play video: 'Air India family victim grieves Iran plane crash anniversary, offers advice on coping with grief' Air India family victim grieves Iran plane crash anniversary, offers advice on coping with grief
Air India family victim grieves Iran plane crash anniversary, offers advice on coping with grief – Jan 8, 2021

 

Grieving has been especially difficult under the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pourshaban Oshibi said it’s been an “extra bit harder” because she relied on family and friends to keep the memory of her loved ones alive.

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“You feel like you have no one in the world because you don’t see those connections around you,” she said.

“Tragedies like this — they just don’t end, and things never get better. You do learn to live with that grief, like everyone learns to live with the grief, but this grief is different because it does change your perspective about the world.”

Lata Pada, who lost her husband and two daughters in the Air India bombing in 1985, had some words of hope.

“I know that it’s just been a year. And I can trace back to how I felt a year in,” the Mississauga, Ont., woman said. “My pain was very raw.”

She said she’s risen above and has advice to others like Pourshaban Oshibi.

“Please treat yourself kindly and give yourself sometime.”

Read more: They lost family in the Air India bombing. Now they’re grieving for Iranian-Canadians

Click to play video: 'Iran government compensation offer ‘slap in the face’: victims’ families' Iran government compensation offer ‘slap in the face’: victims’ families
Iran government compensation offer ‘slap in the face’: victims’ families – Dec 31, 2020

Iranian state television announced on Dec. 30 that the Tehran government was setting aside $150,000 for each family that lost someone on the plane, but Canada’s special adviser on the plane crash, Ralph Goodale, rejected the offer, saying Iran doesn’t have the right to offer compensation to victims’ families unilaterally.

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Goodale, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other government members were scheduled to meet privately on Thursday in a virtual event with families and loved ones of those who perished.

Read more: Iran plane crash, one year later: 13 victims with ties to Edmonton remembered as brilliant, loving

Pourshaban Oshibi said the offer from the Iranian government is a slap in the face.

“I want people to know that we feel that we’ve been wronged in a very big way. And I think I feel that this is something that will go down in history as being so tragic,” she said.

“I haven’t done very many interviews over the year, but something I do want to get out personally is that we are thankful to the government of Canada.”

– with files from the Canadian Press

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