Victims' families find strength to move on together
THE two extended families at the heart of last week's Coolum tragedy are united in their grief.
Anton Dekens, whose daughter Louise and her partner David Young were killed under tragic circumstances at the couple's Coolum home last Wednesday night, spoke yesterday for the first time.
Mr Dekens is desperate to ensure that the events of last week do not continue to damage the families into the future.
"We love each other,'' he said simply of the relationship between the two families.
"On behalf of the Dekens and Young families I would like to thank our families, friends, community, welfare agencies and efficient and caring police force for their overwhelming support in this tragic event.
"The love and praise that has been shown for our loving, caring daughter Louise, son David and their darling daughter by the entire community is comforting for both families, and make us all proud to be their parents.
"Her laughter and his kindness we will never forget.
"Everyone will try to cope with what happened in different ways. But I would like to stress to all concerned that wondering 'why', 'what if', 'we should have', 'if only' or any of these thoughts will not change anything and will only delay the healing process in each individual's mind.
"Now we have to go forward and make our grand daughter's happiness and wellbeing our only priority.
"We as a large extended family, friends and community have to try to allow her a life as normal as possible in these tragic circumstances.
"Therefore I plead with everyone to respect our privacy and let us move forward with our lives as normal as possible. We also ask the media to do the same and be aware that there are a lot of young children in our families and they will also have to process and deal with what is written and depicted in their broadcasts."
Anton Dekens and Ernie Young said all the family had been overwhelmed by the kindness shown it by the Sunshine Coast's close knit building and broader community.