Saskatoon

'It's OK, Mom': Chad Wiklun's family still coming to grips with his tragic death

It's been nearly one month since the 29-year-old worker died after an accident at the Agrium potash mine near Vanscoy, Sask.

Celina Danis and her daughters are taking Wiklun's death day by day

Celina Danis' partner, Chad Wiklun, died in August after an accident at Agrium's potash mine at Vanscoy, Sask. (CBC)

Celina Danis says she's still taking the death of her partner, Chad Wiklun, day by day.

It's been nearly one month since Wiklun, 29, died after an accident at the Agrium potash mine near Vanscoy, Sask. The father of two was pinned between two pieces of equipment while working a nightshift underground.

"It's not that easy. At night, it's the hardest," Danis told CBC News on how she and her daughters are coping. "We're permanently on night shift. Night shift was the last time that we saw him." 

Danis said Wiklun's death still doesn't feel real and still hasn't sunk in, even though she knows he isn't coming home. 

She's been leaning on the support of family, friends and strangers to get her and her two daughters, Casey, 8, and Carsyn, 6, through the rigors of everyday life.

Agrium has also been in regular contact with her offering any support they can, she said.

"It's overwhelming some days," she said. "Some days it's, like, too overwhelming but I get where they are all coming from. They want to make sure we're all going to be OK." 

Life still far from normal

With the seasons changing and a new school year now underway for the kids, life is still far from normal. 

"My oldest [Casey] has a great spirit," Danis said. "She goes to a Catholic school and she kind of knows about this. She's sad that daddy won't be there."

"My youngest, you know, [it] kind of hit her a little bit at the funeral itself," Danis added. "But other than that, she is the one supporting me."

"She'll grab the Kleenexes if I'm starting to cry. She's like 'it's OK Mom. If you have to cry, it's OK'," said Danis.

Danis said the biggest feeling she's had so far is loss as she still tries to come to grips with the fact that she is now a single mom.

'Just talk about him' 

"People have reached out to me saying they have had young children, even younger than mine, lose their father," Danis said. "They say, 'just talk about him; talk about him daily.'"

She said it was horrific to hear that another accident occurred at the same mine not even two weeks after Wiklun's death and can't imagine what he would be feeling if he were still around.

She believes the two workers knew each other and worked with one another underground.

While Wiklun's not around anymore, Danis said she and her two daughters are constantly getting reminders that he still is. 

"From every point of life, I guess he's trying to communicate with us," she said. "At home, the other day, I was there and I have this overpowering sense that he was there watching me." 

"Just make sure that you tell your loved ones that you love them," Danis said. 

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