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Woman who lost family in Oso slide: ‘You wake up and you hold onto the edge of the bed…’

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Natasha Huestis, 26, lost both her mother and her 4-month-old daughter in the Oso mudslide on March 22. (Photo: KCPQ-TV)

ARLINGTON, Wash. — As the community here remembers the lives lost during the Oso mudslide six months ago, the mother of the very youngest victim says she is determined to live her life to help others.

After losing her 4-month-old baby and her mother in the March 22 mudslide, Natasha Huestis exhibited tremendous strength back then — and she is still a beacon of hope today.

In the past six months, Natasha has learned there is no simple fix to such a devastating loss.

“You wake up and you hold onto the edge of the bed and you think, what is today going to bring? Today can’t be as bad as yesterday,” the 26-year-old said Monday night.

Natasha has taken those emotions — all that energy — and focused it on her future. She said her late 4-month-old little girl, Sonoah, was her inspiration for her to start classes at the University of Washington in the hope of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon.

Four-year-old Sonoah Heustis was the youngest victim of the Oso mudslide. Sonoah's grandmother was baby-sitting her at the time of the slide. Both died. (Photo courtesy of Natasha Huestis)

Four-month-old Sonoah Heustis was the youngest victim of the Oso mudslide. Sonoah’s grandmother was baby-sitting her at the time of the slide. Both died. (Photo courtesy of Natasha Huestis)

“She is somebody that I helped create and she was somebody who was going to be in this world and she was going to be a good person. She will always be in the back of my mind whenever I get to work with kids or whenever I’m around kids,” Natasha said.

Data pix.

She scattered Sonoah's ashes on mountaintops all over the area, she said, so that no matter where she travels around the area, she will be able to see Sonoah.

"I really found out how strong I was during this whole thing. I didn't know what I was made of until this happened.

"I don't have my family, my core center family, that kept me grounded as a person. Now I have to keep myself centered and grounded. And I am excited to see what that brings."

Natasha said she start school in just two weeks.

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