GRIEF: The Karara family of Wyreema woman Niomie Kennard are preparing for their first Christmas without her.
GRIEF: The Karara family of Wyreema woman Niomie Kennard are preparing for their first Christmas without her. Contributed

Sad family faces first Christmas after loss of young mum

AS THEY prepare to face their first Christmas without her, Niomie Kennard's Karara family are putting aside their grief to say thank you.

Family patriarch Brian Conroy was left shattered when his "little girl", 31-year-old mother-of-two Niomie, was tragically killed in a single-vehicle crash in April.

Both of her children were in the vehicle at the time of the crash but fortunately only received minor injuries.

Since news of Niomie's death broke, Mr Conroy has received nothing but support and generosity from the Warwick community.

A fundraiser for Mrs Kennard's children was strongly supported and Mr Conroy said most Warwick businesses agreed to donate to the event. "The people of Warwick have been fantastic and we are really grateful and just want to say thank you to everyone who has been there for us," he said.

"It means a lot to me that people were there for us and I wanted to take an opportunity to say merry Christmas to all of those people."

Mr Conroy concedes that his first Christmas without the daughter who was dubbed his "shadow" will be tough.

But this year he plans to take some time with what could become a tradition in the Conroy household on December 25 - quietly watching rare video footage of his daughter.

Mr Conroy has made several copies of the video and will cherish it.

"I will always remember her face and what she looked like but I was scared of forgetting her voice," he said. "It terrified me to think about not being able to remember the sound of her voice."

Although he is still battling the pain of losing his daughter, Mr Conroy said he was also focused on being a strong support for Niomie's husband Owen and the couple's children.

Sometimes Mr Conroy finds himself expecting to see his daughter walk through his front door but said he is often jolted back to reality when people simply ask "how's Niomie?".

"One of the hardest things about it all is there are still people who don't know and when I run into them, I have to break the news all over again," he said.



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