Your beautiful day Sash

We had thought about this day for so long Peach and at the end it was as we had hoped for in our dreams and was also quite mysterious in unexpected ways. A lot of people opened their hearts to you all together Boo. So this day we hoped would never come embraced us and helped us heal.

Thanks to Auntie Jess for a first account of what a beautiful day it was and how she felt you by Mia.

You would have loved driving in the limo sweet pea with Bubby and Granny and Gramps and Mom and me and Mia. We had a chuckle when the Klars passed us hair in the wind in a red convertable PT cruiser. We wound our way through the beautiful tree covered hills of the cemetary and walked out to see grandpa Bruce's spot that you are so close to, check out his collection of golf balls, we left one of your beloved soothers with him for you.

We then drove down the grass hill to the small grave as a lot of people waited, we looked at all the people who came to say goodbye, family, friends, neighbours, nurses, friends and business and social contacts of your grandparents and people we had not seen in many years and people we did not even know.

We came out together with Mia under the big sky surrounded by green, birds chirping and the hot sun and Rabbi Beilfeld celebrated your life. I was focusing on your little coffin, liking the slight pinky wood after al the discussions we had, and on Mom and Mia so I dont remember much of the Rabbi's words, I will ask him for the service.

Two things stood out. The references to the supreme being who lances and binds the wounds. That resonated with an article I read last night while thinking of what to say to you. Great trauma can produce great healing and people think that just like post traumatic stress so there is post traumatic healing.

He likened our ebb and flow of hope to the cockeyed optimist in the musical South Pacific who sings "i'm stuck like a dope, with a thing called hope and i can't get it out of my heart". That's not my generation or yours sweet pea, but I liked the poetry. The Rabbi was amazed as we all were at the timing of you and Mia and I think it was then he made the reference to the mystery and challenge of us all being, as Tony Bennett put it, Strangers in Paradise.

And isn't that reference a coincidence boo? A few days ago I was looking at our movies to see you and I saw videos of Will crooning to you, to the best of my knowledge the only time you have been serenaded, and that was the song (video is at the end of the post).

After the Rabbi, Granny walked over to you and told us about you and then Mom and I also spoke about how much you meant to us and then we put earth on your little earthly home "with our own two hands" just like in the song. And then it was a crush of people hugging us, some of whom we did not know. Normally at the services we go to people make two lines and the family walks to the car and then you meet at the house, instead here it was a bit of a free for all, which you would have loved. The Rabbi then spoke with Mom and I closely, saying the prayer how the lord giveth and taketh away. So many people came, but a few hugs were a special connection to Sasha: Hank and Cynthia who we met at Sick Kids and whose beautiful daughter Piper has Alagille Syndrome and is now 3 years strong; and Allison, Rebekah, Rilley and Tessie, with whom we lived for 5 months at 4D, and who brought a beautiful hand made goodbye card for Sasha and a beautiful welcome card for Mia.

Because there was no chapel service I am not sure if there is a book of people who came. The limo was our little bubble - I guess the thought is that it is more private and dignified for the family to remain in the car - in retrospect I would have preferred to greet everyone because not everyone could make it back to the house.

Back at home we had so many people in the back yard talking about what a lovely service it was, under the umbrellas and you would have loved the white tent and all the food. The highlights were seeing all the kids running around, especially Matthew and Ethan learning to twirl with Erika and a bottle of bubbles so that bubbles streamed all around. They put on my big hat and called it the bubble hat. And Matthew bonded with Uncle Ofer and so cutely called him uncle grover, shouting across the street when Ofer got to the car, Uncle Grover, give me a hug, and a kiss, and a high five! Much sharing, with Wilf and Shulamid we talked about the power of love; Wilfie was one of the first of our family friends to spend time with your sister Mia at Mt Sinai and it is wonderful to reconnect after many years. In his cancer work he spends a lot of time with people like you who must fight to live and it helps us appreciate what we did together.

Then we had a sleep and at 8pm we had a service. Again people that loved you came by including two of your nurses and we said the prayers in English and Hebrew and, in a lovely tradition of the Rabbi's, people were asked to tell stories about you. Granny told walking stories, Elizabeth spoke of when you looked like a cupcake, Sean told of us dancing in hospital, as if we in another world and Mom spoke of how much she loved your mischievious side. I couldnt speak. We were all touched, there were so many hugs and kisses, people of all generations in the back yard we played in together. Exactly as Mom wanted. And then I was so happy to give your lovely nurses Julie and Shauna your sister to hold. Julie said hullo and Mia surprised us with a huge smile.

And we had some laughs, which is great medicine. We were telling Grandpa about a crazy comic, all trying to remember some of his lines and Grampy was really tickled and then Katherine remembered his name was Sasha Baron Cohen (which is just one of those other coincidences), aka Ali G.

I leave you with two video series.

First, to thank Granny, we have you hanging out with grampy, followed by starting the hat game with big eyes and then Granny joins the hat game for big smiles.

And then that amazing coincidence of Will serenading Sasha July 20, 2005 with Strangers in Paradise as you work the leapfrog and more crooning and that impish smile over the shoulder and then you shout Will down and he moves to high five lessons.



  1. Anonymous2:01 AM

    When we met up with you again at the cemetery it was an honour for Granny and I to help carry you to your final resting place accompanied by the rich strains of the singing of Cantor Anna Trubashnick.

    Rabbi Bielfeld's service was magnificent as you so richly deserved. I was so proud of the two eulogies movingly delivered by Granny Marcia and your Dad, Jonathan. In different ways they evoked your charisma.

    Right beside me was Mia in the stroller - a miraculous juxtaposition.

    Your Mom, who has been your fiercest advocate through all the medical procedures you endured, was sad but serene, knowing that she and your Dad had done everything they could possibly do for you and now, it was time for you to rest.

    Thank you Sashie for what you did for us in your two remarkable years. You provided an example of fighting against adversity and yet remaining amazingly joyful and appreciative of everything.

    In the last six months we saw you nearly every day and relished the quality time we spent with you and the close bonds that developed between us.

    We love you a lot.You will always remain a special part of our lives.

  2. hey everybody. it is me erin. i am at schoool. HI Pmmy! hi mia! hi jonny!

  3. dear sash,

    i love you very much. thanks to your mommy and daddy, i've been able to share your special day with you, even though i was not able to be there physically. i know everyone misses you so much, and they are all trying to be strong for you, and for your baby sister.

    you made such a positive impact on so many people, so it is no shock to hear how many showed up for "your day". i think about you often, and will never stop doing so. you are at peace now, and have left an everlasting footprint in our hearts and lives.

    i love you.

    xoox mongo

  4. Anonymous10:26 PM

    dear johnathan and pam:

    paul just told me about Saha and Mia and we want to extend our deepest sympathies during such an inexplicable, sad, but magical time. our hearts go out to you both and to Sasha, may she rest well after a life hard-fought.

    michael and anastasia khoo

  5. Sasha,

    I can't stop thinking of the Rabbi's words.."this is not a coffin, but a treasure chest". That is the smile that I send to your Mommy and Daddy today.

    Love Cyndi xoxo