Face sad milestones
‘‘We just did things that he would have liked. It was good, but also really sad,’’ she said.
‘‘Personally myself I am struggling with coming to terms that he’s gone.’’
The birthday had been harder than the first Christmas or new year without the couple around, she said.
It was on Jesse’s birthday that all the emotions properly boiled up.
‘‘Look, we are still trying to come to terms with what happened. It’s pretty sad. Not just for us, there was another person also,’’ Krystal-Leigh said, referring to Liebl.
‘‘Her family are having to go through all of this too.’’
Heath and Skylar are living in Invercargill with Samantha’s parents. The children are thriving, despite Heath sometimes wanting to see his parents, Krystal-Leigh said.
All the money raised on a Givealittle page, more than $20,000, had been placed into a trust fund for the children to use when they were older.
Krystal-Leigh and Jesse were close.
‘‘Our parents had split up and both had had other kids. We were each other’s main family. We always had each other’s back.’’
Having both her father and her only full-blooded sibling die in short succession had actually brought her and her mother closer together.
‘‘I guess it’s the silver lining. But we have really had to be there for each other through all of this.’’
It was also a reminder to motorists of the dangers, KrystalLeigh said.
‘‘I don’t know how much of a difference it is going to make, but just take care out there.’’
Jesse’s aunt, former NZ First MP Ria Bond, had been due to travel with the couple, and then had changed her mind due to a complication with flights.
Bond is also believed to be helping raise the young children.
The case is still with the coroner.
A Givealittle appeal for Jesse and Samantha Shortland’s children Heath and Skylar raised more than $20,000.