Thursday, May 16, 2013

In memory of Kathreen, a woman who knew what was important...

This morning I woke up and read the very sad news about the death of Kathreen
and Rob who is missing. Kathreen is very well known in the crafting community
and runs a very successful website called whipup.

They were on the trip of a lifetime with their two children, 10 and 13
around Australia. I've been watching their pictures in my Instagram feed.

I've felt so sad all day. Yesterday morning they woke up in their tent
and had their breakfast and probably had a bit of argy bargy about chores
because that's what families do,
and then at some point they went down to the beach to enjoy the sea.

Just an ordinary day like any other.
Except it wasn't.
It was the day the trip ended.

I said this morning, and I'll say it in this space,
If you had one year left to live,
wouldn't you want to spend it camping with your kids?

Imagine all the conversations they have had as a family
as they travelled on the road, as they cooked dinners and washed the dishes.
Long leisurely conversations about the things that matter.

This afternoon I got out a couple of fabrics that were "too special to cut up"
and made a banner with hugs and kisses.
I ran out in the rain in bare feet and cut a branch off a tree
and my dear friend Gill popped around and she crocheted the cord to hang it up.
I've hung it by the back door to remind us
to tell each other "I love you"
and to treasure each day as the gift it is.

I also put some wild flowers in a travel cup at my entrance
to honour Kathreen and the way she lived her life,
in a way which encouraged others.

She leaves behind a legacy bigger than she could possibly imagine,
the best way to remember her is to be present with our friends and family
and make sure our priorities are in the right place.

Kathreen, you will never be forgotten.


  1. What a beautiful tribute Deb. I really love the hanging and think we probably all need one on the backs of our doors too

  2. Such sad news. I don't even have words.

  3. You always say the right thing deb, what a gift you have. You said what I was thinking, and I can have a good old cry now XX

  4. This is the saddest thing I have read in a long time. Absolutely bawling. A beautiful tribute, and beautiful words (as always.) I think we might need a reminder like that in our house, too.

  5. Beautiful post!! and well said!

  6. OMG Deb, what a tragedy. i did not know it yet. Those poor twoo children. let's pray for them!!!!!

  7. OMG Deb, what a tragedy. i did not know it yet. Those poor twoo children. let's pray for them!!!!!

  8. I've seen quite a few blog posts about this sad news today, your words like the others echo the sadness of such a tragic event. I love your banner and the needed reminder too xxx

  9. Kath was my friend - online for a long time and then real life only recently. She was an absolute treasure and made the nicest scones I've ever had. Her spirit and encouragement of others was ginormous. I will miss her more than words can describe. I am disgusted by the media reporting, and the stealing of her photos on Instagram without acknowledgement. I am so, so angry but I'm also so sad very with how she died and now her gorgeous kids have to grow up without a mum and a dad. All our hearts are broken and her closest friends here especially so. I cant do anything but be there for them, and help out with organising the fund in any way i can. i haven't been able to put it into words until now. Thank you for your blog post. And thanks for allowing me to vomit my grief all over your comments page. Love ya to bits and pieces, Deb.


  10. How utterly tragic and awful. So sad for those kids. Heartbreaking.
    A lovely tribute by you.

  11. oh Deb what sad, sad news xxx

  12. That is truly tragic news, my heart goes out to their family and especially their children x

  13. That is truly tragic news, my heart goes out to their family and especially their children x

  14. That is truly tragic news, my heart goes out to their family and especially their children x

  15. Beautiful words Deb (and the banner is beautiful too) xxx

  16. Very thought provoking is short xx

  17. Live Laugh Love
    a beautiful tribute Deb

  18. Beautiful words for a beautiful sad

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely words and xoxo banner. I knew Kathreen only online, and have followed WhipUp and her instagram, and have her books. She was such an awesome inspiration, such a huge online, supportive presence. I am just heart-broken for her two gorgeous children, having to live life without their Mum and Dad, who loved them so much. These last few months of family time will form such precious, life-long memories for them. Cat.

  20. I just can't get it out of my head. It has been on the news quite a bit here in WA. When she and her family arrived in WA I welcomed her on instagram and now I wish I could go back in time and say "get out of here" it is no good.

    I just can't understand how it happened. The conditions were fine so how did it all go so terribly wrong???

  21. Such a lovely tribute Deb - my heart goes out to that family :(


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