Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alison Hietala Lee

My heart is shattered by the news that Alison Hietala Lee, a beautiful, bright, capable, curious, loving, unique young woman has slipped away from this world as she gave birth to her daughter. What a loss. What a loss.

I can't find words to describe the grief that I feel and my time with Alison was brief. A few short years. Just long enough for me to fall in love with her lovely spirit and bright mind. Just time enough for me to imagine what a gift she would be as she began her professional career as a Speech Language Pathologist. I was so proud of her and so certain that she would bring joy to all the children she would serve and to their parents and to the other professionals who worked beside her. As I think about her husband and family...I can hardly let myself think about them because it is too painful.

In all the worlds of God, Alison I will try to trust that there is an important place for you because right now, here, there is a terrible hole. You are so loved.





Alison helping me create a video model for children with autism in a game that has been posted on You Tube since 2007 and watched by several thousand people on Autism Games.

18 comments:

Niksmom said...

Oh, Tahirih! I am so , so sorry for the loss of your colleague and friend. My thoughts go out to you and to her family.

Tahirih said...

Thank you. Thank you especially for your prayers as I am sure Alison's family will need them.

Dr. Larson Kidd said...

Thanks for posting this Tahirih. I love watching her in the videos and hearing her voice. I love remembering the angel Alison was as she drew all near to her in an effortless yet remarkable way. I too feel so grateful to have been blessed by her in my life for the brief time I was. Her gifts to us all are her legacy. I hope Alison's family reads this and knows how much we love her, and that we are here if they need us.

Susan Larson Kidd

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss of your friend. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Sandra said...

May she RIP...She touched many souls in her short time here... I am very sad...Alison was like family to us ... She made a very big impact with all of us...Beautiful spirit indeed......Sandy Nelson

April said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
April said...

I am so sad to hear this news. I went to graduate school with Alison in Duluth. I was a 2nd yr grad while she was a 1st yr. Our whole group up there were pretty close. We spent a lot of time in the computer lab, in classes and bouncing off therapy ideas. I am now a speech therapist for the anoka hennepin school district. Alison was beautiful, sweet, funny, extremely intelligent and loved kids. A lot of us have had children since then, and it just seems so unfair she had to give her life. God has a plan, but it is so hard for us to see. I pray for her family, husband, friends, and all of us who had the chance to know her. She will be missed and she will live forever within her beautiful daughter. I haven't heard but hoping her daughter is doing ok.

Colette Murphy said...

I can't stop thinking about Alison. She was a talented, caring, intelligent, and funny woman. She made me laugh more than anyone else in class. My heart breaks for her family. And I think about all the lives she's touched, and all the families she would have helped. :(

Amanda Isaacs said...

Thank you for posting this! I am Alison's sister Amanda Isaacs. Alison loved being in school and learning. She shared so many of the things she was learning with me, told me stories about her fellow students and teachers, and truly connected with the people she met. God has a plan with all of this, and it was wonderful that he was able to leave us a gift in her place with baby Eleanor Alison. Feel free to contact the family. Many of us are on Facebook, there is a CaringBridge page searchable under ellielee, and funeral information through the Bauman Anderson Daniels funeral home.

April said...

Thank you Amanda for the information. Praying for Ellie and I will try to share some of this information with my graduating class in Duluth, as they too were touched by knowing Alison.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I am Alison's cousin and she was very special to her family. It is so hard to believe she is gone. I've known her since birth and I have to say - she was one person who always kept the essence of who she was, and her spirit was evident from the time she was born. You never had to guess how to be with her, you just knew. But when you know someone so intimately all their life, you don't stop to think about how others see them. I can see by your blog that Allison was the same person everywhere she went - wonderful. She is now singing with the angels.

Senia said...

Tahirih, I thought of you when I heard about Alison, as she was the one that referred me to you when I was planning my Autism camp. She was a special friend to me and as you said, she will be terribly missed. Thank you for posting this tribute to her!

Senia said...

Tahirih, I thought of you when I heard about Alison, as I knew you two worked together. Alison was the one that passed your name along to me when I was planning my Autism camp. She was a special friend to me and, as you said, she will be missed tremendously!!!

Tahirih said...

Thank you, everyone, for commenting here. I particularly appreciate the information provided by Alison's sister. Everyone reading this blog is probably hungry for news about Baby Eleanor and many wondering about Funeral arrangements so thank you Amanda for posting this.

Jolene said...

Many familiar names above. Hi, everyone. Tahirih, you wrote a beautiful tribute...you have a way with words. Like all of you, my heart broke when I heard the news about Alison. What a loss. She was a beautiful, beautiful person with a caring soul and a VIBRANT personality. When I heard of baby Ellie's struggle, I thought of a story that Alison told several of us when we were still in undergrad at UMD--we were sitting in Montague 30 talking about child language development (future SLPs, what can I say??? :-) and Alison shared that her family had told her that she was extremely confident, articulate and determined as a young child. Alison laughed and smiled and she told some stories that her family had shared with her as they all reflected on Alison's childhood spirit and wit. I believe that if any baby can fight through this, it is Alison's baby, who undoubtedly got many of her amazing mother's traits. We've lost a gifted colleague and friend. I, too, hope that Alison's family can know how much we all love her and how thankful we are to have had such a remarkable person in our lives.
Jolene Hyppa Martin

Anonymous said...

Baby Ellie passed away this morning. It will be a double funeral tomorrow.

Michelle said...

Thank you for posting this. It was comforting to see Alison's smile again. I was Alison's classmate at UMD during our undergrad years. She had a way of always making us laugh when days got tough. I was blessed to know her.
- Michelle (Hansen) Field

Jill Hietala said...

Hi Tahirih,
This is Alison's mom. Thanks you for your kind words about my daughter.

I want you to contact me if you can through email:
jillhiet@msn.com