Flight MH17 Maslin family tribute
Parenting, What's On Our Mind

What the tragedy of MH17 taught me

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
July 24th, 2014
Flight MH17 Maslin family tribute

I had a really rough day with my kids today. One of those days that seems filled with yelling. Theirs and mine.

I yelled at them because it took them thirty minutes to eat half a piece of toast each this morning. I yelled at them for antagonising each other in the car. I yelled at my son for throwing the ball in the house near the television and I yelled at my daughter for refusing to get out of the shower.

Flight MH17 Maslin family tribute

About an hour ago I kissed them goodnight, tucked them in and like every other night that has come before this one I said, as if it were one long word, “goodnight, love you, have a good sleep, see you in the morning”.

As I settled back into work/procrastination mode at my desk, I found myself reading the statement that Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris released following the death of their three children, Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin and their grandfather, Nick Norris on flight MH17.

It was one of the most harrowing and beautiful things I have read in my life. It was an honest and dignified message of love in the eyes of an ugly, hateful act.

A message to the soldiers in the Ukraine, the politicians, the media, our friends and family.


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.


No one deserves what we are going through.


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


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.


Yours truly

Anthony Maslin & Marite Norris.



I immediately went back upstairs and lay next to my sleeping daughter and cried into her hair. I went into my son’s room, lay beside him and drank in his bedtime breath.

I cried for every person on board flight MH17. I cried for their families and their friends; for the grief that they will carry with them for the rest of their days. I cried for Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris who have so violently lost their three children; denied the chance to lay beside them and breathe their breath. Smell their hair. Say goodnight.

Flight MH17 Maslin family tribute

Anthony and Marite at a tribute to their three children

Most of all, I cried tears of gratitude that for tonight, my babies are safe with me.

I hope that on some level Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris are aware of the love and support of the world around them. I hope that they, along with every other family who lost a loved one that day, know that they are in our thoughts and our prayers.

I hope that they can take some comfort in knowing that in our communities, our country and the world over, their little darlings will never, ever be forgotten.