Baby brings peace to Australian couple who lost 3 children in MH17 attack

2019-06-11 04:41:11

The parents of three children killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian missile have spoken of life after death with the birth of a new child.

Speaking before the fifth anniversary of the attack, which occurred over Ukraine on July 17, 2014, Anthony Maslin and Marite "Rin" Norris describe how daughter Violet, born in May 2016, has brought a "tiny amount of peace" back to their lives.

The Perth couple who lost children Mo, 12, Evie, 10, Otis, 8, and the children's' grandfather Nick, spoke of the loss for the first time on the ABC's Australian Story.

"We started to think about the possibility of having another child quite soon after the world ended, because it was a tiny little glimmer of hope that our life might not be continuously and forever just loss," Norris said.

"When I found out I was pregnant I was obviously happy but also worried, because I had known how to parent three children but parenting one little one who would live in the shadow of this tragedy was a pretty daunting task."

She is shown playing with Violet, now aged three, on the slide at a playground and also flicking through the pages of a family photo album, with pictures of the brothers and sister that Violet will never know.

Norris went on: "Violet was born three days after Mo's 14th birthday and four days before Evie's 12th birthday. I will never forget holding her in my arms and feeling just a tiny little moment of peace that I hadn't felt for so long.

"It was like, 'wow, a little bit of peace has come back into my life'."

Maslin said Violet was a little bit of all of the kids but was also her own person. "She's not Evie, she's obviously not the boys, she's a real little force of nature herself," he said. "And each night I tell her that I love her just as much as her brothers and her sister and that they all love her too."

Asked about the pressures on their relationship after the attack, Norris adds: "We know that we can't actually separate because that would just cause us more pain and we choose no more pain.

"We are so lucky that Mo, Evie and Otis were part of our lives and came into our world to teach us so many things. We are so lucky that we have Violet, that they sent her to us to allow us to be parents again to give us hope and joy."

In one of the final comments from Maslin, he says: "I am the father of four beautiful children and that's a lucky guy in anyone's language. You might not be able to see three of them but that doesn't mean they aren't here.

"So, yeah, they are here right."

The mid-air explosion killed all 298 people aboard the plane. Of the dead passengers, 193 were Dutch and 38 were Australian citizens or residents. An international investigations team said in May 2018 that there was "convincing evidence"  that MH17 was shot down by a Buk-TELAR missile from Russia.

It was reported in February that Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne confirmed that Canberra was planning talks with Moscow, likely to be held in concert with The Netherlands, over the downed jet.

Australian officials were said to be surprised that Russia had agreed to the talks considering how  vehemently President Vladimir Putin had rejected Moscow's ­involvement.

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