By Violet Li
A joint funeral of three Clyde residents and one of their relatives travelling from overseas who drowned at an unpatroled beach on Phillip Island was held at the Bunurong Memorial Park in Dandenong South on Thursday 1 February.
Hundreds of relatives and community members from Melbourne and overseas attended the farewell with devastated hearts.
Kirti Bedi and Suhani Anand, both nursing students aged 20, as well as 23-year-old nurse Jagjeet Singh Anand, and their 43-year-old relative Reema Sondhi, lost their lives when they were swimming at the unpatroled Forrest Caves Beach that had a heightened chance of ripping.
Mr Singh, a registered nurse with a heart of gold, saved many lives throughout his career.
Ms Bedi and Ms Anand, both nursing students, planned to stay home and focus on their studies.
Ms Sondhi came to Australia for a holiday to visit her brother’s family and was staying with them in Clyde.
It was an excruciating scene at the funeral as family members sobbed and cried, overwhelmed by the loss of their loved ones.
Life photos and videos of the four were screened, with their happy faces flashing between their hometowns in India and the beautiful coastline of Victoria.
Attendants gathered around the open caskets and laid pedals on their lifeless bodies.
One family member said in a eulogy that together they could honour their legacy and cherish the moments the family had shared.
“The void has been created, which cannot be fulfilled,” he said.
“May the time help us. As I say, the time in the days takes away the grief that is on their part.
“Life has to prevail and continue even after our loved ones leave us.
“And thanks to all the authorities, Victoria Police, all the people who stand by the family who suffered the loss in these hard times.”
A cremation service followed the funeral and their ashes would be taken back to their respective places in India.
To assist with the families, donate at gofundme.com/f/phillip-island-tragedy-4-lives-lost-pls-help