Why Indie Rose’s Legacy Means I’ll Never Take Life for Granted
It was Easter 2015 and we had travelled to Melbourne as we normally did, with 4 of our 5 kids.
It was Good Friday and I was arguing with my husband about something stupid. Pointless. Nothing. I had stormed off to another room when I got the phone-call from my sister.
I could barely understand what she was trying to tell me as her voice had a pain and grief I had not heard before.
She had called to tell me that our friend Kat had been travelling on the Yorke Peninsula with her young children Taj and Indie and an accident had occurred. Indie Rose aged 2 was gone.
Indie’s dad Kingsley worked for our family business so we knew the family well. My sister’s daughter Ella and Indie were the same age.
‘This can’t be right,’ I kept thinking in my head.
‘Things like this don’t happen. Beautiful 2 year old girls don’t get taken from their families.’
But it was true and she was gone.
My husband entered the room when he heard me sobbing and I collapsed trying to tell him what had happened.
I remember just sitting on the floor in a sobbing pile surrounded by the arms of my husband and children.
We wanted to be home and be able to help.
But there was nothing that could be done.
So in honour of Indie Rose her family and friends took to social media and posted candles being lit in her honour.
Soon after we gathered with the family for the funeral.
I had never seen grief like I saw that day when my eyes met with Kat. She could barely hold herself up and the pain was like a massive blanket we were all desperately trying to hold above the family.
As we waited to see Kat and Kingsley after the service, I thought of all the things I wanted to say to them, all the things I wished I could do for them. We hugged and I vainly tried to transfer every ounce of strength I had into them the tighter we embraced. There was nothing to say. We all knew the pain. Indie Rose had touched so many in her short life.
That day when we left the funeral I took Indie’s photo and the pink ribbon we had been given to honour her and I framed them. I placed the frame amongst all our family photos on the mantelpiece.
It is the spot I walk past when I am shouting at the kids to get ready for school, the spot next to the phone when I ring family or pay bills AND NOW it is a reminder that nothing is forever and life can change in the blink of an eye. Maybe shouting about school socks really isn’t that important.
It’s now 17 months on and the grief is still palpable. I had questioned before Indie’s passing, on the occasion when my thoughts had wandered to the darkest and scariest part of my mind how I would survive losing my child. I didn’t think I could go on – that it would be possible to go on.
But Kat and Kingsley have found strength to make it about something so much bigger.
Katrina, Kingsley and Taj are now passionate advocates for SIDS and Kids SA because in their darkest hour, SAPOL contacted the 24 hour Emergency Service and Dorothy, the Bereavement Counsellor for SIDS and Kids SA was at the family’s home within 48 hours after the accident to provide much needed support and guidance in their devastating loss.
This service provision of SIDS and Kids SA, which very few people are aware of, provides bereavement support for individuals and their families who experience the sudden and unexpected death of a child, from conception up to 6 years of age. This includes miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal, car accidents or any sudden death.
The ongoing, free service of Grief Counselling at SIDS and Kids SA is provided to the families for as long as they feel necessary, as the timeline of grief for a parent losing a child is one with no end.
As Kat says on the Every Day Hero fundraising page
‘Our goal now is about continuing her legacy. Saying her name. Letting her travel the world. Allowing her free spirit and immense circle of love to drive people to live for the moment, as nothing more is a guarantee in this life.
I’ve created this page because I want to make a difference. I’m inspired by the work of SIDS and Kids SA and wanted to support them by raising money as part of my participation in Sunday Mail City-Bay Fun Run 2016. Please help me help them by giving whatever you can using the ‘Give Now’ button. The more people that know about SIDS and Kids SA, the greater their impact, so please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means everything in allowing Indie’s legacy to continue.’
I asked Kat if I could write this article and share what Indie Rose taught me.
So everyday beautiful Indie Rose your legacy reminds me to slow down and not take life for granted. I will also continue to support your parents in every way I can.
Please give to the Every Day Hero fundraising page as Kat, Kingsley and the team set out to participate in the City to Bay Fun Run this Sunday.