Losing a parent at any time in life can be extremely difficult, but one young Brisbane family has been left devastated after losing both their mother and father within a month of each other earlier this year.
The Smith family of Brisbane lost their beloved 48-year-old mother Karen due to prolonged health issues in August, while her high-school sweetheart and husband Adam, 53, passed away unexpectedly less than a month later. This left their three young sons without parents, but a beautiful gesture by their eldest son Jacob, 22, has touched the hearts of the nation.
Filled with grief, the boys had no choice but to find strength in each other, with Jacob stepping up and deciding to become the legal guardian of his two younger brothers, 17-year-old Riley and 15-year-old Kane, accepting the full financial and parental responsibility that comes with raising his two teenage siblings.
Knowing he would need to be close to his brothers, Jacob was forced to leave his high-earning FIFO (fly in, fly out) job to find work closer to his brothers.
“It’s something I needed to do,” he told Yahoo News. “I love them, they’re my brothers.”
He told the publication that while the brothers have been greiving, they’ve stepped up and matured in light of the tragedy. They’ve also been overwhelmed by the community’s support for them. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by for the brothers by their cousin to help with their mortgage, Kane’s education costs and grocery bills. The original intention of the campaign was to raise $10,000 for the brothers, but at the time of publication more than $14,000 had been raised.
“These strong, talented and close-knit brothers deserve the chance to grieve, grow and find happiness, without the financial burden they are faced with,” a message on the GoFundMe page read. “Every little bit helps and your kind donations are so greatly appreciated.”
Members of the community have continued to throw their support behind the brothers by donating money and leaving messages for them on the GoFundMe page.
One comment read: “Jacob you are an exceptional young man – I am the oldest of my siblings (being 1 of 3 sisters) and as you, we were brought up with great values and morals and I would have done exactly the same if I was put in the same situation – God bless you and your brothers and all the very best.”
Another said: “Stay strong boys. I’m sure your parents are looking down on you and are very proud of you all!”
A third added: “Blessings to you all and may each day get a little sunnier as time goes by! Your mum and dad would be so incredibly proud of the amazing young men you have all become.”