opinion

Today, there is one person we're thinking about.

While news feeds are flooded with stories about Karen Ristevski – the Melbourne mum whose remains were discovered partially buried in Mount Macedon bushland on Monday – there’s one person I can’t stop thinking about.

Sarah Ristevski. Karen’s 21-year-old daughter.

While speculation swirls around who killed the Avondale Heights woman, and the media carefully poise cameras out the front of the Ristevski family home, Sarah is behind the door, shielding herself from the whirring lights – invisibly grieving the mother who raised her.

Our news story is Sarah Ristevski's life. One that, before June 29 last year, was quiet; the life of any ordinary university student with a mum and a dad and a house in the suburbs. A life that spanned years of buttered sandwiches, school reports, grazed knees, sleepy Christmas mornings and love.

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What would it feel like to be living Sarah Ristevski's life today?

LISTEN: What it's like when a loved one goes missing. Loren O'Keeffe shares her story. (Post continues after podcast...)

I'm only a year older than Sarah, and today my thoughts, my heart, are with her. With every new development and breaking news story, I ache for what she's endured over the past eight months and what she's set to endure for the years to come. It's a pain I can't possibly imagine, a nightmare so intense it's as if it were written for a horror film, not for a normal millennial from Melbourne's north-west.

Tears of frustration rolled down my face when I read Karen's body had been identified yesterday evening.

I'm so breathlessly angry another woman's life has been ended. We all are.

It's tempting to point fingers in times like these; to pore over reports and share conjecture about who the evil monster is who took a mother's life. But this is not a whodunnit thriller. This is a 21-year-old's life. A life that was so perfectly, wonderfully ordinary, that it never demanded our attention until evil knocked on the door.

Today, I'm thinking about Sarah Ristevski. I hope she's being cuddled. I hope she's being loved.

And I hope she remembers her mum not as a news story, but the way every daughter deserves to remember the person who gave her life.

As someone who loved her endlessly and abundantly.

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