The Foundation


By Robert Innes

What have I learned about myself over the last five months?

I have learned that everyone’s grief journey is unique.

The actual journey for each person involved in this tragedy, starts at a different point. My journey started on a police boat at the crash point at about 2.00 am on the Friday Morning before Morgan was found.
How grief manifests itself in each individual differs greatly but however it has manifested itself it is “real”.

I have learned that you can not “fix” everything.

I was the head of the family and for the first few days was out in front “blazing” the path to find Morgan. When it became apparent that we were not going to have the miracle we so desired, it was clear that for our family unit to survive, it would have to be a “joint” project as the enormity of what we were facing was simply too great for one person.

I have learned that the strength and wisdom of my parents has helped me get to this point.

My father always said “Bad things happen throughout your life – by your words and actions don’t make the situation worse.”

It would have been easy to get wound up like a “pretzel” with the magnitude of tragedy in this accident. It unfolded on so many different levels - My daughter missing, friends killed and injured. By Friday, I had reached a point where I was determined not to lose anymore. I literally had very little left of myself to lose.

I have learned that grief “infects” people in so many different ways.

When Morgan remained missing in Sydney, some friends who we had only known for a year of our lives protected us from what was happening around us. I described it as a “vortex of grief” with us at the centre and innocent, caring people being sucked in. No one meant for it to keep spinning for as long as it did. But these lovely people’s lives will never be the same and some of that change is both negative and some is positive.

I have learned that we are not measured by the things we possess.

Kim and I have to thank the wonderful people that have helped us to get through this terrible tragedy. People who were our friends for only one year of our life in Sydney stood up, rescued us and protected us from the world when it was crashing down around us. We are joined to these people for ever and without their strength we would have surely folded. Our neighbours in Brisbane have picked up where they left off and we are cocooned by wonderful support.

I have learned about Depression and the Physical effects it can have on you.

The sadness just swamps you. A dear person, who had lost his fifteen year old daughter five years ago put it aptly. He said you never get over losses such as these, you just get better at dealing with the large grief moments such as birthdays, father’s and mother’s day and Christmas. However, the small things come up and bite you without warning. Downloading the photos on a digital camera with photos of your wonderful daughter you hadn’t seen, going through paperwork and seeing one of her assignments – it just goes on. We are yet to face so many firsts it is just terrifying.

Our favourite response

When asked “How we are” our favourite response is “getting there” but we have absolutely no idea where “there” is.

For the first time in our lives we are just marking time.

No one can know what it is like to get up and just struggle to get to the next day. My work is all about planning. I have no ability to plan anything. I just don’t know what tomorrow holds.

I have learned that my greatest fear is Morgan being forgotten.

The only reason I have set out to build this Foundation is because I could not bear to hear someone ten or fifteen years from now say “Morgan who?”