Mom Astrid Gadeyne has never really responded until now. A year after the terrible tragedy, she does it. In a letter. “Today, one year ago, it was supposed to be an ordinary fun day for Maud and Ona, but… it ended in outright horror for them,” she writes down her feelings.
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“It has been exactly one year since the ground completely disappeared from under my feet. A terrible, painful, cowardly, – for me – incomprehensible act. My world completely collapsed! It is terribly hard to have to continue without Maud and Ona. I still wonder: why?”
The girls were picked up from school by their dad on November 16, 2022, and not much later they died of suffocation at home in Waardamme, West Flanders. The potato farmer himself disappeared overnight, but was captured a few hours later after his truck crashed into a pole.
No reason whatsoever
There was no reason to take the lives of these innocent and sweet children, Astrid continues and then addresses her deceased children directly.
“Dear Maud and dear Ona, never again get up in the morning with you, prepare your school bags and take you to school. No more picking you up at daycare and having to hear: ‘Mommy, I love you.’ Never hear again how much fun it was at one of your friends’ birthday parties. Never again going to the swimming club on Saturdays.”
“No more pranks and jokes, no more creative works of art, no more puzzles or playing games… No Sinterklaas, Christmas, New Year, birthdays, family gatherings, holidays. Nothing left, except the urn with your ashes on my cupboard at home…”
“We will miss you forever. Although you enjoyed all those events so much, everything is so painful now,” the mother wrote.
“No day is the same”
“You were the most important thing to me and to many others. You were the most precious thing in the world to me. Now only memories remain. We love you.”
Their school ‘De Kiem’ tries to keep in close contact. The special rest area on the playground, which will be inaugurated on November 16, is a tribute to Maud and Ona.
“It was originally a place at Maud’s request to relax when she was having a hard time. Unfortunately, she will no longer be able to experience this place herself, but we hope that other children will use it when they need some peace and quiet,” says the children’s mother.
“Sadness, loss, pain… I wake up with it every day and go to sleep with it at night. If you can sleep at all… No day is the same. My family is destroyed, my family torn apart. Maud and Ona will remain physically absent, but they will live on in our hearts, FOREVER. I love you!”, writes mother Astrid.
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“On November 16, my client especially wants to keep the beautiful memory of Ona and Maud alive during a commemoration,” says her lawyer Kristiaan Vandenbussche.