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This is how you can leave messages of condolence for the families of MH17 victims.

By ALISSA WARREN

I cannot imagine a life without my children in it.

Three little people make up my world.

Three teeny, tiny humans. Their little hands, their little giggles, their little shoulders, their creamy skin, the smell of their breath in the morning and their warm little cuddles.

Three little people who I didn’t even know five years ago mean everything to me.

My. Three. Little. People.

But today, there are two parents who can imagine a world without their three children. Two parents who have been brutally forced into that bewildering, eviscerating world. Two parents who are in mourning.

Two parents who are living in a house that was once full of the laughing, bickering and chatting of their three young children. They sit in sadness in a house full of toys, school bags and kitchen drawers full of kid-friendly Tupperware and drink bottles. All these things: orphaned.

Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris are living a life most of us can’t imagine. A life without their children. Last week, they were living as blissfully as I am. And probably, you. They were living, what I imagine to be, a pretty normal Australian life.

Until their children, Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and Otis, 8, boarded flight MH17 to come home with their grandfather.

That good bye was their last.

And it was only until I read Anthony and Marite’s statement that my heart plummeted. Because it was more than a statement. It was a letter. A real and honest letter.

Our pain is intense and relentless. We live in a hell beyond hell.

Our babies are not here with us – we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives.

Like you, I’d seen their faces. Mo’s. Evie’s. Otis’s. For days. Most of the week, actually. I’d stared at those little children, smiling up at me from news sites and newspapers. I certainly felt sad when I looked at their photo. But I felt it because I should and because I was, well, genuinely sad. These young children had lost a life for no good reason. They’d been robbed of their dreams.

But their dreams weren’t the only dreams that’d been robbed.

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Their parents had dreams for them, too. And now they’ve been robbed. Three times. In an instant.

The statement continued:

No one deserves what we are going through.

Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky.

Only days ago, Anthony and Marite were probably living the same kind of life so many of us complain about. I certainly do. Unmade beds, day-old milk, bath time, brushing my daughters unruly hair, picking the kids up from school, Saturday morning sport.

And that’s where the true horror of MH17 bares its grubby, terrifying core. This atrocity could’ve happened to my family. It could’ve happened to yours. You might disagree. But allow yourself to think a little broader. Yes. It could’ve. Perhaps. Maybe.

And with that, the mundane suddenly seems special.

Nothing can bring those precious children back to their parents. Nor any of the victims of #MH17. The people.

As Anthony and Marie concluded in their open letter to all of us:

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for our children, for Mo, for Evie, for Otis.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for Grandad Nick.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other.

This is a revelation that gives us some comfort.

We would ask everyone to remember this when you are making any decisions that affect us and the other victims of this horror.

So far, every moment since we arrived home, we’ve been surrounded by family and friends. We desperately pray that this continues, because this expression of love is what is keeping us alive. We want to continue to know about your lives, all the good and all the bad. We no longer have lives that we want to live by ourselves. So we’d like to take the chance to thank everyone, all our incredible friends, family and communities, and to tell you all that we love you very much.

We would also like to thank the people at DFAT; the local coordinator Claire and most sincerely, Diana and Adrian from The Hague, without whom we would not be here. We ask the media to respect the privacy of our family and friends – pain is not a story.

We must honour their wishes. We must leave them to grieve and to make sense of their lives in their empty house of love and loss and memories of their beloved three children.

Wishing for peace for Anthony and Marie and all the families who lost parts of their hearts on that plane.

To leave a message of condolence book for the families of MH17….

In the wake of the horror of MH17, the Australian government wants all of us to know that a condolence book has opened up where we can each leave a message of love and support for all those families who have been personally affected. Copies of these messages will eventually be given to the families.

Sometimes, in your darkest hour when life has brought you to your knees it is the smallest kindnesses from strangers which keep you going. Knowing that other people care can get you through the next hour of grief.

Two minutes of your time. The link is here.

 

UPDATE: We’re reading all your comments and taking the feedback on board. 
Many of you feel it’s wrong of us to publish anything about the family after their statement last night and we can understand that point of view. 
Alissa’s post was written last night as one mother’s thoughts and heartbreak and was meant as a show of empathy and support. 
I read the family’s statement about “grief is not a story” to be about media intrusion on them and requests for interviews and photographs. Not a post like this that’s about processing a terrible terrible tragedy and expressing love and sympathy for the parents and other families left devastated after the crash.
We did not feel that reaction was the same as intrusion. And please know that this post was only ever intended to be published for positive reasons.
But we will continue to read your thoughts. Our ears are open to your pushback.

-Mamamia Team

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