Mum’s trib­ute to bub­bly teen Com­mu­nity a huge support

Just over a month ago, on Au­gust 2, the lives of Wendy and Crys­tal Cloth­ier changed for­ever. Wendy lost a daugh­ter and Crys­tal lost a sis­ter. The fam­ily want to thank the com­mu­nity for their support over this tragic time, so Teresa Hat­tan sat down with th

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

There is a say­ing that no par­ent should have to bury a child.

A month ago, Mata­mata mum Wendy Cloth­ier had to do just that.

Her 17- year- old daugh­ter Jas­mine was the pas­sen­ger in a car which col­lided with an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle on the Kaimai Range.

Wendy and her el­dest daugh­ter Crys­tal spoke with the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle, want­ing to ex­press their love for a lost daugh­ter and sis­ter.

Wendy said she also wanted to set the story straight and to dis­pel some ru­mours she was aware of.

A Face­book page, set up to re­mem­ber Jas­mine, has hun­dreds of mes­sages, pho­tos and videos from friends, fam­ily and even those who didn’t know the teenager.

‘‘A lot of them are the same, that she was a bub­bly, friendly per­son. She did love ev­ery­one and un­for­tu­nately trusted ev­ery­one, but she saw the good in ev­ery­one. Ev­ery­one has said sim­i­lar things,’’ Wendy said.

As Jas­mine’s 18th birth­day ap­proaches, Wendy said her daugh­ter had been think­ing about what she was go­ing to do next year after school.

She said Jas­mine’s in­ter­ests in­cluded pho­tog­ra­phy and ‘‘self­ies’’. Her favourite sub­ject at school was me­dia stud­ies.

‘‘It’s some­thing that she loved do­ing – she didn’t re­ally re­alise her tal­ents but it was some­thing she had looked at car­ry­ing on fur­ther.’’ She also had a love of dance. ‘‘ She was a mem­ber of the As­pire Dance Academy since it started. She did have a lit­tle break from it at the start of this year but she’d just gone back and was get­ting ready for the end of year show. She loved her danc­ing and she had a good group of friends there.’’

Next year Jas­mine was look­ing at work­ing for a while and then head­ing off over­seas.

Un­der­stand­ably, the loss of such a bub­bly young woman has left a huge hole in the Cloth­ier fam­ily.

‘‘It was ob­vi­ously one of those mo­ments you never want to hap­pen.’’

Wendy said the driver had only been in Mata­mata a short time and was a new friend of Jas­mine’s. She be­lieved he had a full driver’s li­cence. He has since left town. This has been dif­fi­cult

for the fam­ily to come to terms with.

Wendy said the driver and Jas­mine were at the Cloth­ier’s home be­fore set­ting off for the movies on the day of the ac­ci­dent.

‘‘They left my place with him driv­ing, it was just a Satur­day af­ter­noon, they were just go­ing to the movies.

‘‘I as­sumed they were go­ing to Hamil­ton, I didn’t re­alise were go­ing to Tau­ranga.’’

Jas­mine had good friends in Hamil­ton, so Wendy ex­pected her to go to Hamil­ton. She had never been to Tau­ranga be­fore with­out her fam­ily.

Po­lice con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate the ac­ci­dent and it will be some time be­fore it is known if charges

they will be laid against the driver.

Wendy says things will never be the same now, but she and Crys­tal are keep­ing each other strong.

Crys­tal, who was study­ing in Dunedin, has put her stud­ies on hold and has re­turned to Mata­mata.

The fam­ily wanted to thank the com­mu­nity for all they have done.

‘‘We’ve been over­whelmed with kind­ness from ev­ery­one. We’ve had so many flow­ers and cards and I’ve got quite a close support team that have been there 24/7 for me.

‘‘It is nice to be a part of a small town at a time like that,’’ Wendy said.

For those who haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced the grief of los­ing a child, it’s hard to of­fer support.

‘‘There’s not much you can do or say, but there’s been lots of bak­ing.’’

Wendy said her beloved daugh­ter’s farewell, her fu­neral, was per­fect.

‘‘She would’ve loved it. fit­ting and a cel­e­bra­tion life. It was re­ally nice.’’

Jas­mine worked part-time at Ware­house Sta­tionery and the company had been ‘‘awe­some’’.

Wendy said a cus­tomer of Jas­mine’s had wanted to do some­thing spe­cial to cel­e­brate her life.

Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents helped, but the cus­tomer or­gan­ised, paid for and set up and re­leased 500 pur­ple bal­loons at the ceme­tery.

Wendy said it was a fit­ting trib­ute for a young girl who would have gone on to do amaz­ing things. It was of her

Photo: SUP­PLIED

LOVED: Mata­mata teenager Jas­mine Cloth­ier, 17, is be­ing re­mem­bered by her friends and fam­ily as a bub­bly young woman.

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