Face sad mile­stones

Sunday News - - NEWS -

‘‘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.

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