Melbourne is in shock.
Late Thursday afternoon, news broke of four bodies discovered in a home in the north-western suburbs. A woman in her 40s and three children. No signs of disturbance, no echoes of trouble. Neighbours interviewed by media all shared the same view: the family seemed happy, actively engaged with others in the street, frequently meeting in each other’s homes for coffees and playdates. There’d never been any signs of domestic violence, or even disharmony. No shady acquaintances that visited the home, attempting to dish out a serving of overdue comeuppance for a dirty deed done in the past.
Yesterday, Victorian Police cleared the male—the deceased woman’s husband, and father to three children, aged 3, 5 and 7—of any crime.
It appears the unthinkable has happened. A murder-suicide, at the hands of the mother.
To date, no light has been shed on the events that led to such an unutterable tragedy. Many of us can take an educated guess at the mother’s mental state: post-natal depression so severe and dark there appeared to be no way out, no light, no chance of happiness. But, to take the lives of her three children? My mind cannot go there. There’s just no way they deserved this. Nothing that children so young and innocent could have done. I cannot understand why, or how, she sank so deep that ending their lives, as well as her own, seemed the only way.
Time will tell, of course. VicPol will continue their investigation and many questions will be answered. But there may be some that will hang, never able to be answered.
For the time being, my heart goes out to the husband, who simply arrived home in the afternoon, to find everyone he loved and held dear cold and unmoving in his house. How do you come back from that?