Beautiful 3-year-old killed by a stroke of bad luck so indiscriminate it takes your breath away.

There are days when I want to hold my three kids close and never let them go.

Days when you flick through your phone and see images of children dazed and bloodied just pulled from the rubble of their bombed home and you want to leave your own children sleeping, tucked up in their beds not send them out into the world.

Days when you read about toddlers left to die allegedly at the hands of those who are meant to care for them, babies beaten, children starved.

Days when you rail at the hand life has dealt these innocent children.

Today was one of those days.

Blake Shaw, 3, lost his life in a tragic accident this week. Image via Nine News.

As my children raced around the house asking for toast and searching for their shoes and reminding me that they needed to take in bananas for pre-school cooking day and to please please please please buy some more Pokémon cards as the boy next door had more than them and that was really really unfair – the horror of a much greater unfairness leapt at me from the pages of the newspaper.

The face of a three-year-old boy.

Impish, grinning, sitting on the top of a slippery dip. Rugged up in a hoodie, about to squeal his way down a yellow slide giggling and tumbling all the way. A three-year-old boy who today is gone, killed by a senseless, random stroke of bad luck that was so indiscriminate it takes your breath away.


This little boy, Blake Shaw was killed on Monday afternoon when a bookcase in his family home topped and crushed him.

Blake was sitting on the floor of his family’s farmhouse at Clear Lake, near Horsham, when the freestanding book case – that was situated against a wall in the family’s living room fell without warning.

In an instant Blake was killed.

His devastated family - his father Tim Shaw and mother Kirstie have spoken out saying they are inconsolable.

Mr Shaw told The Herald Sun that the family had moved from Melbourne to Clear Lake for “the kids.”

He paid tribute to his little son, they called him “an angel.”

“The worst thing the kid ever did was smile,’’ Mr Shaw said.

Blake was happily playing. Image via IStock.

Blake’s loving grandmother Dianne Shaw told the newspaper that they were devastated

“He was adored,’’ Ms Shaw said. “He was a beautiful-looking child. An angel.”

His grandfather told The Herald Sun it was “a fluke”.

“He just happened to be sitting on the floor and this thing fell down from the wall.


“It was just a bookshelf with doors on it. I don’t want to look at that thing, so I’m going to knock it apart and burn it.

The three-year-old, the youngest of three boys, was not climbing on the bookshelf, nor touching it. Reports are that the thing just fell.

It just fell and Blake was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And just like that lives changed in an instant.

While the sorrow around death of any child is incomparable, no matter how they died, its difficult not to feel confused by these types of random accidents.

When a child dies of abuse or incompetence we feel anger. When a child dies through deliberate violence we feel terror.

But how do you come to terms with this death? With the nature of a random accident? With the sheer awful unfairness of it.

As a parent from the moment your child is born you devote yourself to protecting them. You scour the world for any possible dangers and ward them off with the only weapons you have – medicine, technology, science, instinct and love.

You study the correct way to hold them and feed them, you use safety harnesses and baby gates, and car seats safety tested by engineers with multiple degrees.

You nurture them and caress them and hold them tight to ward them against anything, anything that could go wrong.

And then a bookcase falls in a farmhouse in country Victoria and you realise you can’t protect them against everything.

As a parent I am not sure there is anything more frightening.

Beautiful Blake Shaw was taken by an accident, a bloody awful unfair random accident and if his death can do one thing let it remind us all to love what we have right now.

To hold them and love them.

Today, as the Shaw family mourn the loss of their flaxen haired boy, we think of them.

We want them to know that the community is thinking of them and the love they had for their tiny boy. We wish as a community we could hold them up and help them through the days ahead but the best we can do is send them our thoughts and wishes and hope they find some comfort in the memories they have of their angel.

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