A man and his wife lost their three kids in a plane crash and had been contemplating ending things, but they did not. Years later, they received a gift that would help them keep on living. This is a story of their recovery.
Anthony Maslin (Maz) and his wife Marite Norris (Rin) once considered ending the pain they were feeling inside. The couple had been parents to three great kids for years until they received the very terrible news one day that all three had passed on.
Their pain must have been all-encompassing because it almost pushed them to join their kids. However, they were not selfish enough to do it because they did not want another group of people to mourn their loss. This is their story.
The couple’s kids, 12-year-old Mo, 10-year-old Evie, and eight-year-old Otis, were heading back to Perth with their paternal granddad, Nick Norris, while their two parents hung back in the Netherlands, finalizing some details. It was the only thing that saved the pair from the tragedy that befell their kids.
Rin and Maz promised to see them soon, and after the kids left, the pair went on to reminisce on the “phenomenal” couple of weeks they spent as a family in the Netherlands. But, unknown to them, that fortune would change drastically less than 24 hours later.
Rin’s father, Nick, had taken the kids to Schiphol airport, after which he checked them onto Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 which took off on schedule at 12:31 p.m. local time on July 17, 2014.
One hour and 30 minutes into the journey around Eastern Ukraine, the watchtower lost all contact with the plane. Approximately 90 seconds later, debris started raining down over fields of wheat and sunflowers just on the outskirts of Hrabove, a village in Ukraine.
Maz and his wife were asleep when they received a phone call from his distraught assistant, who wanted to know if their kids had been on the plane. It led the man to Google, where he saw pictures of the wreckage.
The aircraft had been shot down. It broke Maz, and he fell to the floor stricken with pain. Then, his wife came downstairs to hear what had happened.
The pair’s children were adventurers by all rights, and at their very young ages, the trio had all traveled to many countries, with Mo racking up to 53 stamps in his passport and Evie 31.
Their life had been a fun one. Rin worked as a makeup artist in London’s theater scene, while Maz had a successful career as a stockbroker and had even gone on to become an investor in sustainability-focused start-ups.
When they were younger, their kids lived in a remote Muslim settlement while their father worked on the world’s first solar-powered water purification and bottling plant. The two wanted their kids to be well-versed in the different cultures and lifestyles of people worldwide.Evie, their daughter, had a very empathetic and creative soul like her mom, while Mo was relaxed and intelligent with a decent interest in sports. Their youngest was Otis, a bundle of energy who loved climbing trees.
It was tough for Maz and Rin to get used to the absence of their kids in their home, and when they returned to their Scarborough home, they avoided being alone. Thankfully, they had friends and family willing to spend time with them as they grieved.
Even the Australian community showed their support for the two grieving parents. Mo’s soccer team, the Fremantle Dockers, also paid tribute to the kids before one of their games.
It took some time, but eventually, the bodies of their three kids and Maz’s father were identified. Then, three months later, the pair flew to the Netherlands to bring them home.
As time passed, the pair started to deal with the sordid fact that their kids were indeed gone forever. They discovered ways to fight their PTSD and gradually began to move on.
In the beginning, they needed sympathy, but as time passed, they started to hate the pitiful looks they got from people.
In 2016, Maz and Rin received a gift from their late children in the form of yet another child. The two had been considering having kids but were unsure how such a child would cope with the tragedy before its arrival.
They were sure that they would be parents again if their three late kids wanted it to be so, and they did because, on May 10, 2016, Violet May Maslin arrived.It turned out that their worrying was for nothing because Violet was growing up well. Speaking about it, Maz said:
“I’m 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.”
The two will never forget their three late kids, and when they were asked about how it is affecting their relationship, Rin said:
“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.”
The pair have slowly come to terms with the tragedy that befell them, and thanks to the gift of life they received, things must have only gotten better for them.