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Savonnah Hanelius

I was fortunate to be able to attend, on-line, the beautiful memorial service for Savonnah on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Amidst the heartache, family members expressed their love for Savonnah through their words, their tears and their presence.

The following poem was written and read by Rylee Bernetich, Savonnah's cousin.

A flower picked for you, While everyone is so blue How do I know this would be the one that describes you. You may never know what flower to choose, but isn’t it funny how we pick a bundle to lay with you. Our hearts hurt while we lay you to rest but we also would have picked a beautiful flower to match you when you were to wear your pretty white dress. A flower to lay on your urn today is what we will praise for you. But these flowers aren’t you, just a bundle of I’m sorrys and thoughts to say I love you. The everlasting love for you will never die young. You may have passed but I will never forget the past where you were here… to last. Dearest Savonnah… we always had a blast but tonight is our last… Your memories will last, today, and tomorrow and carry on forever within. Today I pick a flower purple and blue, as purple reminds me of you, for the ways I love you. And how my heart is so blue that I had to lose you.

From the program:


Thinking I would not be able to attend the service before learning it would be on-line, I started this post as a way of paying tribute to Savonnah, and because I wanted to think about her, her life, and her family I love.

I first listened to two beautiful songs by Stephen Foster. They talk about missing the departed and wishing they could still be here. For those who were close to her, if it seems like that won't feel comforting, I suggest skipping them and listening instead to Mahalia Jackson sing He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.

Gentle Annie

Thou wilt come no more, gentle Annie Like a flower thy spirit did depart; Thou are gone, alas! like the many That have bloomed in the summer of my heart (Chorus) Shall we never more behold thee; Never hear thy winning voice again When the Spring time comes, gentle Annie When the wild flowers are scattered o’er the plain?

We have roamed and loved mid the bowers When thy downy cheeks were in their bloom; Now I stand alone mid the flowers While they mingle their perfumes o’er thy tomb Ah! the hours grow sad while I ponder Near the silent spot where thou are laid And my heart bows down when I wander By the streams and the meadows were we strayed

Ah! May the Red Rose Live Always!

Ah! may the red rose live always, To smile upon earth and sky! Why should the beautiful ever weep? Why should the beautiful die?

Long may the daisies dance the field, Frolicking far and near! Why should the innocent hide their heads? Why should the innocent fear?

Ah! may the red rose live always, To smile upon earth and sky! Why should the beautiful ever weep? Why should the beautiful die?

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

Memories from my photo albums

Derrick, Jayson, Jenna, Devin, Savonnah

Devin, Derrick, Savonnah

Cousins at family party

For Za'Kiya

In Nina Simone's version of He's got the whole world in his hands, she sings, "He's got the little bitty baby in his hands."

Here is a song Jenna shared during this difficult time.

Jayson chose I'll Remember You for the slide show at the memorial service.

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May 11, 2023

Beautiful tribute to a very beautiful young woman! So sorry for your family loss. Love you

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