A mother whose ex-husband murdered their two children to “punish” her says the memory of her children is giving her strength and she hopes to start a new family.
Anatoria Takiwa (Tūwharetoa) has broken her silence after the murder of her children Andreas (3) and daughter Zaraiyah-Lily (5), who were killed by their father Jason Headland at their home in Perth on October 20 last year.
“The loneliness is hard. I’m lonely without my children. Sometimes I think it hasn’t fully kicked in,” Takiwa (30) told Native Affairs. She’s originally from Paraparaumu and moved to Australia 12 years ago.
Last month, Headland was sentenced to life with a minimum of 31 years in jail. The Supreme Court in Perth was told how Takiwa had ended their relationship a week before the murder and was staying with family while Headland was home with the children.
On the night of the murder, he called Takiwa to warn her of his intentions. She alerted the police and they arrived at their home to discover the bodies of the children and Headland with self-inflicted stab wounds. He had drugged the children by crushing antihistamine into their juice and the court was told that it was likely they died by asphyxiation after being drugged.
“Hearing what happened in court was tough. It was like I was reliving it. It made me go back into that shocked faze,” she says.
Asked how she feels about her ex-husband, Takiwa replies.
“I feel nothing.”
Takiwa says the support from her whānau and friends is helping her overcome the immense pain. She’s also sought help from a psychiatrist and will be joining a support group.
“The support I’ve been getting from family and friends has been overwhelming. What I miss the most is receiving cuddles from my children, hearing their voices and their laughs.”
Takiwa hopes to have more children in the future.
“Sometimes I think it might fill in the gap that I have. When the time comes and if I have another family, I’d be alright with that.”
She says her main source of strength is knowing that her children are watching over her.
“I have their teddy bears and they go everywhere with me. Remembering the happy memories helps me a lot."