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Rhian Elsmore farewelled

Family members release butterflies at the end of Rhian Elsmore’s funeral service.
Family members release butterflies at the end of Rhian Elsmore’s funeral service. CHRIS ISON CI--

“LITTLE one, we hope your spirit is free and you’re happy. You remain in our hearts forever.”

Rockhampton teen Rhian Elsmore’s mother Samantha and father Douglas farewelled their beautiful girl and little go-getter at a funeral service yesterday.

The East Chapel of the Rockhampton Crematorium was overflowing with close to 400 of Rhian’s family and friends at a service to remember, celebrate and farewell a young life cut tragically short.

“She had the most beautiful smile and big blue eyes,” Samantha said during a eulogy to her daughter.

Just two weeks ago Rhian’s boyfriend was charged with the 17-year-old’s alleged murder.

Rhian was allegedly murdered on or about April 8 in bushland north of Rockhampton.

Her body was discovered on Monday, April 26 after she was reported missing a few days earlier.

Rhian was sister to Tegan and Bailey, as well as a granddaughter to Greame and Theresia Timson and Robin and Helen Elsmore. She was a niece, cousin and friend to many.

Like most little girls she loved fairies, unicorns and Harry Potter.

She was a cub scout, loved rollercoaster rides, computer games, music, dancing, gymnastics, fishing and going to the rifle range with granddad. She also had a need for speed and she developed a gift for writing stories and poems.

Growing up Rhian was the type of kid that would try anything.

She watched her big sister ride a bike, and when it was her turn, two days later the determined little girl had mastered it.

Douglas said when Rhian was younger and over a friend’s house for a play, he thought he lost her.

“When I turned up to her friend’s house there were two ambulances and I saw her come out on a stretcher,” Douglas said.

But Rhian had broken her arm after a fall from having a blast while twirling in the backyard.

Rhian received “Peter blue rabbit” as a gift from the ambulance officers. “Peter blue rabbit came home and shared her (Rhian’s) endless love for dolls and stuffed toys,” Samantha said.

Rhian always filled the house with music, and percussion was her theme.

So when she received her first black and white glittery drum kit, she was over the moon.

Sadly the last two years of Rhian’s life were difficult for her to find her own pathway and some days were described as being darker than others as she faced depression.

Earlier this year, Rhian’s parents said she’d informed them she was happy and they thought perhaps there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

“The series of events that brought us here today have shocked us ... we have felt anger, remorse and love,” Samantha said.

At the start of the service Rhian’s family performed a ritual by placing origami cranes, a Japanese paper folding art Rhian had mastered, on her casket. Cranes were also given out at the service to family and friends as a gift to remember Rhian, and some of her favourite music was played, along with a slideshow of photos to celebrate her life.

Her sister, grandparents and good friend Kaila Wallace offered words of comfort and hope during a symbolic candle lighting with four candles representing grief, courage, memories and love.

Instead of buying flowers, money was donated to Beyond Blue, a charity organisation that helps to prevent depression.

Samantha and Douglas finished the eulogy with a quote from Rhian.

“You don’t know me, you only think you know me.”

Love – A poem written by Rhian Elsmore

Love is what brings us together, even in the hardest of times...

Love is an everlasting friendship that never ends and always shines...

Love is carved in special words like friendship, family and also friends...

Love is a lovely gift that to anyone should never ever end...



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