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Sunday, June 1, 2014

hold your children tightly

It's been quite a while since I have popped in to say hello.
Two weeks ago, we received the devastating news that my cousin's sweet little boy Sana'a was killed in a horrible accident.
As soon as we heard the news, we made plans for me to go to Yellowknife and be with my family. It was a scary thing to do, but I needed to be there, and I am so glad I went.
The following is something I wrote, just as I was on my way to's taken time for me to sit down and write about how I am feeling.
One thing that I am having troubles with is the idea of carrying on.
While the world carries on (and so do I), my cousin cannot. I am given the chance to carry on in life with my two beautiful babies, and she is not. I feel deeply aware that things like Facebook posts or blog posts, could come across as insensitive or hurtful. Just something I am thinking about.
Here we go with my post....
I made the long trek in, by myself to Whitehorse last week. It was a drive that I was scared to do. 
I was scared to leave my babies, for the very first time. And even more scared to embark on the trip to Yellowknife, to help support my cousin and family, as they go through the most unimaginable tragedy. I felt all kinds of guilt and worry, as I left my children, to go and attend the celebration of life for another little soul.
Tears poured down my face as I drove away. My son looked out the window, wailing and pressing his hands up against the window. I had never left him before in his 4 years of life, except just once, for one night.
As I made my way down that first bumpy stretch of the highway, I wept and wept.
It was a culmination of everything that has happened in the last few weeks, and a chance for me to just let go and not have any other pressures or responsibilities to attend to.
No one to take care of, no one to cook for or chase after. Just a chunk of time, where my feelings and thoughts were at the forefront. It was hard, but a therapeutic drive.
On down the highway I went. The long 5 hours drive gave me time to think, absorb, reflect and cry. With nothing but the mountains and wildlife to look at, my feelings were at the forefront of my attention.
There are no answers or any explanation of why this has happened. We have lost a beautiful little soul who is so deeply missed and loved. The pain will never go away for my cousin and her family. A piece of them will forever be missing and yearned for. It is beyond comprehension.
As I made my way to Yellowknife, the words that my cousin gave in her interview, repeated themselves in my head. Hold your children tightly.
In fact, I would go on to say, hold everyone you love tightly. Be thankful for the time that you have, right now. Right this very moment. Look at people you know, and who you don’t know, with love. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to be human, allow mistakes and forgive others of their mistakes. Don’t hold grudges. Life is too short. Soak in the sun. Admire nature. Pray for your loved ones, that they might have peace, strength and comfort.


  1. Beautifully written Johanna. I'm so glad you had some time to process it all. Those long solo drives can be very therapeutic :)

  2. My biggest, BIGGEST hugs, my dear friend. xx

  3. Oh Johanna, so sorry for this loss in your family. What a bright, beautiful boy he sounded like. I do not think your post was insensitive, but a reminder to all of us. A little reminding never hurts. And I will hold my little babe tightly.

  4. So sorry for your family. As always, your posts are just filled with emotion. I will hug my little one extra tight. Thanks for the reminder to live in the moment, and to appreciate life in itself.

  5. I am so very sorry. There are no words.

  6. Your words express some of the (huge, immeasurable, impossible-to-put-into-words) legacy that Sana'a leaves...a reminder to love with childlike abandon, to soak in the world and feel everything in it, to run in the trees, to splash in mud puddles without caring that it will make us dirty, to lay on the couch and cuddle with loved ones even though it means dinner will be a bit late. It was so wonderful to have you there in Yellowknife, Johanna. I know it took a lot to get there, and I'm so glad you did. xoxo


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