A rainbow appears in front of Andy Huestis and his girlfriend Alisha Garvin as they and other families gather to remember the victims of the Oso mudslide on Wednesday, March 22, in Oso. Huestis’ sister, Christina Jefferds, and her baby granddaughter, Sanoah Violet Huestis, were among the 43 people killed in the mudslide. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

A rainbow appears in front of Andy Huestis and his girlfriend Alisha Garvin as they and other families gather to remember the victims of the Oso mudslide on Wednesday, March 22, in Oso. Huestis’ sister, Christina Jefferds, and her baby granddaughter, Sanoah Violet Huestis, were among the 43 people killed in the mudslide. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

3 years after Oso mudslide, a prayer for hope and peace

OSO — They have practice at this now.

It’s the third time they have come to remember in this way, to share dinner and drinks, to talk and laugh, and finally, to release the lanterns.

It’s not just the grief they share, though they find comfort in knowing the others understand that part of their lives. New friends have become like family, and the nature of families is to change and grow. The babies from 2014 are toddlers now, being minded by their mothers not to jump in puddles. Those babies have new brothers and sisters.

On Wednesday night, the families of those lost in the Oso mudslide met at the site of the disaster to release paper lanterns, an annual tradition.

Handwritten messages had been added during dinner, 43 lanterns for 43 lives. One read “We love you.” Another: “Some say that time will help ease a grieving heart. They lied.”

March is always so soggy in this part of the Stillaguamish Valley. Every year, the families worry the rain will ground the lanterns. Every year, the rain clears just in time.

A prayer was read, to remember and honor those lost, and to ask for hope and peace.

Everyone helped each other, with a torch or a candle or a hand to shield the breeze. The lanterns floated away into the dark, sometimes just nearly missing the roof of a pickup truck or two. They rose into the sky, together.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @rikkiking.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Fraudulent 1999 Pokémon cards Iosif “Joe” Bondarchuk and Anthony Curcio sold to an undercover law enforcement purchaser in July 2023. (Photo provided by the DOJ USAO Southern District of New York)
Counterfeit Pokémon cards, a $2M scheme, and a getaway by inner tube

It was the latest stranger-than-fiction caper tied to ex-Monroe star athlete Anthony Curcio, accused of forging mint grades for rare cards.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Lynnwood
Suspected DUI crash injures trooper on I-5 north in Lynnwood

WSP spokesperson said two suspected impaired drivers have crashed into a state trooper in the past 24 hours.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Police: Man shot at ex-girlfriend, child in Mountlake Terrace apartment

Officers were investigating the Seattle man, 22, for first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and third-degree malicious mischief.

Former President Donald Trump exits the courthouse after being found guilty of all counts in his criminal trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York, on Thursday, May 30, 2024. Trump has been convicted of falsifying records to cover up a sex scandal that threatened his ascent to the White House in 2016, part of a scheme that prosecutors described as a fraud on the American people. He is the first American president to be declared a felon. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Trump convicted on all counts to become America’s first felon president

Twelve New Yorkers delivered their verdict in the case against Donald J. Trump. He was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with a payment to a porn star.

A "for sale" sign is posted outside Mountain Loop Mine’s Everett Aggregate Yard on Thursday, May 30, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
After months of controversy, mine’s Everett gravel yard is for sale

In April, a county judge ordered OMA Construction to stop all work, next door to Fairmount Elementary School. Now, the yard is on the market.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Boeing agrees to pay over $11.5M in back pay to employees

Nearly 500 workers received back wages, in what Washington regulators call the largest-ever settlement of its kind in state history.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 closure between Everett and Marysville delayed by weather

The key alternative route to I-5 was slated to be fully closed overnight Saturday. Now, June 8 is being circled as the date.

Benson Boone (Photo provided by AEG Presents)
Taylor Swift taps Monroe HS grad Benson Boone to open London show

Boone, 21, has become a global pop star since his “American Idol” stint in 2021. “Beautiful Things” is the biggest song in the world.

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Mill Creek man accused of crashing into taxi in Seattle, killing woman

King County prosecutors charged Aboubacarr Singhateh with vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault.

Grayson Huff, left, a 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary, peeks around his sign during the Marysville School District budget presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State OKs Marysville plan with schools, jobs on chopping block

The revised plan would mean the loss of dozens of jobs and two schools — still to be identified — in a school district staring down a budget crunch.

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to give feedback on the US 2 trestle and its future

Often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and on shaky ground? So is the trestle. A new $17 million study seeks solutions for the route east of Everett.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.