THE mother whose husband shot himself and their young sons before driving off Port Lincoln wharf has posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook.
Melissa Little, 29, who lost her family in the most tragic of circumstances in January, wrote in the note: “Hug your loved ones tight … Tell them how much you love them and never let them go!”
She said she had been “overwhelmed by people’s generosity” since the shocking murder-suicide in January, when Damien Little, 33, drove off the wharf in South Australia with sons Koda, 4, and Hunter, 9 months, in the car.
The grieving mum wrote that she was “truly grateful” for the “astounding support” she had received, which included more than $83,000 raised on the Facebook page “A Little Help”, where she left the message.
A description posted by a friend said the page had been created to help “cover the costs that no parent should have to endure.” The fundraising account was closed yesterday.
Ms Little said kind messages, prayers and “positivity” had helped make her days more bearable during “the hardest, most difficult time”, and the money had allowed her to put off returning to work until she was ready.
She said she wanted her family members to be remembered for their “happy times.”
“For those who knew Damien, Koda and Hunter personally, continue to cherish the memories of their happy times and happy faces,” she wrote. “And for those who did not know them personally please understand how I wish my family to be remembered, the happy fun loving times.”
Her note has been published with permission from the family.
Little had reportedly been suffering from mental illness in the lead up to the double murder suicide. Reports suggest he had refused to seek professional help but had appeared to friends and neighbours to be “happy” and “normal” in the weeks leading up to the tragedy.
News.com.au understands Little bought a takeaway coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through just moments before he shot his sons and himself in the car and drove off the wharf at high speed, plunging about 30m into Boston Bay.
His wife Melissa has since maintained she only wants to remember her husband and children in a positive light.
The couple, who first dated after meeting at a local high school, married in March 2007 in Port Lincoln in front of 110 guests. They had been planning to build their dream home on the town’s outskirts on a property that offers spectacular sea views.
But instead, Melissa is now left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, and grieve for the loss of her sons who she will never see grow up.
A coronial investigation is being held into the deaths, which shocked the Port Lincoln community, with local Mayor Bruce Green describing the day as one of the saddest in the town’s history.