Grieving father has no answer

By Abby Gillies

A father has described the pain of losing his 14-year-old daughter, one of three Northland high school students to die within weeks.

The deaths are being treated as suicide. Two of the students, a boy and girl who were both 14, were romantically linked.

Speaking after his daughter's funeral service yesterday, the father said the family were still getting over the shock of losing their "lovely, bubbly, happy-go-lucky" daughter.

"Everyone's pretty shattered. It came with no warning. The day before she was happy as and her usual bubbly self, goofy self," he said.

She intended to go overseas to work or live and was planning for the future, said her father.

The death of his daughter a week ago followed that of her boyfriend a month ago.

The pair had briefly been "an item", and are understood to have attended the same school and youth group as another student who died.

Before her death, she had been active in her youth group, enjoyed playing sports and was popular.

"It's so surreal to me at the moment. There was no indication that she was going to do it. There was no depression. I can't understand it."

She had a loving family and a network of friends.

He urged parents to spend time with their children and to treasure it: "spend more time with your kids because they spell time as L.O.V.E."

Northland coroner Brandt Shortland says he will investigate the deaths of "a number of local teenagers" in Whangarei in the last few weeks to try to understand and learn from the tragedies.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf01 at 25 Oct 2014 03:54:18 Processing Time: 466ms