The mum of three beautiful children who died aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has told a packed memorial service of the unbearable pain she has experienced since their death.
Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin and their grandfather Nick Norris – all from Perth in Austrailia - were returning from a holiday in Amsterdam, where their parents remained, when their plane was shot down over Ukraine.
“When their innocent bodies were blown from the sky, I stretched my arms as high as I could and screamed for them,” their mother, Rin Norris, told the crowd of 1,000 at Perth’s Scotch College.
“Now I see them only in my head. I can’t touch them, I can’t feel their warmth. I can imagine the memory of their bodies close to mine and the love in my heart will always be open for them. My arms will always be reaching for them,” she said.
The mum of three was speaking publicly for the first time since her and husband Anthony released a statement about the ‘hell beyond hell’ they were living through following the crash.
“My three kids filled my world with a joy like a huge and ginormous balloon filled with lollies chuckles, sunshine and indescribable happiness. They taught me so much these wise little teachers, they taught me the names of the dockers players and the rules of AFL.
“They taught me to speak Chinese and all the capital cities… how to climb trees, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavours and that chips in milkshakes actually taste pretty good,” she said.
Rin also honoured her dad in the heartbreaking eulogy.
“For 41 years three months and two days I was lucky and proud to be the daughter of my old man,” she said.
Anthony told service goers that his children had travelled to numerous countries around the world, cramming more into their short lives than most people do in their lifetimes.
He described his children, aged 12, 10 and 8, as ‘unblemished, innocent, perfect souls’.
“It may give all of you some perspective to remember that the only thing worse for us than the hell beyond hell that we are going through now is the horrific thought that our family had never existed,” he said.
The dad said he found solace in the fact his three children died travelling with the ‘wisest person’ he knew, in grandfather Nick Norris.
“Someone said they were so close, they were meant to be together,” he said.
A short video message from the three children to a long-time family friend they were meant to meet during the holiday was screened at a service.
In the video, the three children ride their bikes through a park before telling 'Aunty Linda' they miss her and hope to see her next year.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop flew back to Perth from Ukraine to attend Sunday’s service at Scotch College.
Our thoughts are with the family at this devastating time.