Just found out that the illustrator of one of my books, Coming to Canada/A New Life  died.

Never met her, but her work really moved me.

She was an Iranian immigrant, came to Canada and lived here with her beloved husband for a while. He was an architect and died in a tragic accident a while ago. I think it involved some scaffolding.

She had two small children.

She went back to Iran, to be with family I guess. She’s won international awards and accolades including being on the I.B.B.Y. international list. Very prestigious.

I love the way she captured the essence of the characters in my story.

I heard that she had lung cancer right about when my book came out. It was in advanced stages so her passing wasn’t completely unexpected, but still.

She’s left two young children behind. May God help them.

And just last Friday I heard about a family who was struck by tragedy. I didn’t know them but all three of my son in laws did. He and his wife were originally from Ethiopia, he was studying at the Islamic university in Medina, doing a Phd in hadith (the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), I think. He only had a month left till he graduated, and they were going to come back here so he could teach others what he’d learned. His wife was taking Arabic courses. They had three small children, two boys and a girl, the oldest of whom was ten.

They’d been driving on a highway outside Medina when he’d been exiting to a gas station, he lost control, and the car flipped several times. He and two of his sons died at the scene. His daughter was in a coma but died a day later. Only the mother is left alive.

So tragic.

I don’t pretend to understand it, but I do trust that somehow this is necessary, I have faith that somehow this is all part of God’s plan.

I pray that God has mercy on Nasrin Khosravi and her husband and especially on her children and I pray that God has mercy on my son in laws’ friend and his children and especially on his wife. And I pray that God does not test me or my family in such a way.