She found out her husband's plane was missing, when a reporter called to ask how she felt.

Paul and Danica Weeks.

One month ago, Paul Weeks was a 39-year-old engineer, flying to Mongolia for his first shift on a brand new a fly-in fly-out job. Today he is gone.

You’ve undoubtedly heard his name in a news report by now… because Paul Weeks was one of the Australians travelling on board flight MH370.

It’s difficult to imagine what the families of people like Paul, and others on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, must be going through. It’s difficult to comprehend that level of devastation. That degree of uncertainty. That magnitude of pain.

But on last night’s 60 Minutes, two of the Australian families who lost loved ones on MH370, opened up about what they’re going through and shared it with the world.

Danica Weeks – and her two sons Lincoln, 3, and Jack, 11 months – have lost a husband and a father. The family live in Perth, and Danica is still struggling with the fact that she was on the closest land mass to where the plane is suspected to have eventually crashed. She was going about her day in Perth, while her husband crashed into the ocean.

“To know they had flown straight past us, so close to home, so close,” Danica says, her voice shaking. “And I would’ve been out at the shops at the time.”

For Danica, each new revelation from the Malaysian Government has been more difficult than the last… First, she was alerted to the fact that MH370 was missing by a journalist who called her for a comment. The reporter told her that, “There’s been an incident with the plane.”

Her reaction? She ran into the yard, and screamed.

Then, Danica had to receive that much-discussed text message from the Malaysian government, which announced that the individuals on board the plane were now presumed dead. In this instance, she says her reaction was that she was “sickened that someone would actually send me a text message to say that my loved one was dead”.

Sons of Paul Weeks: Lincoln, 3, and Jack, 11 months.

And now, Danica has to find a way to tell her two boys what has happened to their father.

Danica told 60 Minutes, “When you look into your children’s eyes… and I feel the pain because I know personally the man Paul was and I know what they’re going to miss out on for the rest of their lives. That is so overwhelming for me, that when I look at Lincoln I have to tell him his dad has gone.”


Amanda Lawton, from Brisbane, also spoke to 60 Minutes about the loss of her mother and father – Cathy and Robert.

“I feel so grateful that I’ve had 27 years with my mum and dad – good years. Mum was my best friend,” Amanda explains.

Cathy and Robert’s planned trip was bittersweet. Cathy was losing her eyesight due to glaucoma, and the couple had decided to go on a five-week holiday before her sight went completely – to allow her to see a little bit more of the world.

Amanda reveals her last words to her parents: “My last words to both of them… I gave them a kiss each and said, “Be safe,” and looked forward to seeing them.”

Amanda and her sister Jeanette Maguire say that they didn’t give up hope after the crash. After all, as Amanda asks, “How does a plane go missing in 2014? It doesn’t make sense.”

Amanda lost her parents on MH370.

And yet, the plane did go missing. And while we know more about how families of those missing are coping in the aftermath, we are no closer to figuring out how – or why – the plane disappeared.

Although the approximate location of where the plane went missing is now known, it is entirely possible that the plane will never be found.

On top of that uncertainty, the reason why the plane crashed – whether pilot suicide, terrorist hijacking or plane malfunction – may also never be known. There is very little closure for these devastated families.

As Danica Weeks told More FM in Queensland, “To just … say everyone’s dead, that’s where the plane is, without offering up any sort of evidence, it has been really difficult.’’

Our thoughts are with the families of all on board Malaysia Airline flight MH370.