Touching tribute for beloved Sara
SARA Zelenak had a laugh and a way with words her loved ones will never hear again.
But her parents are setting up a not-for-profit charity to honour their daughter, to help people suffering from the loss of someone dear as the result of a sudden or violent act.
Sara and seven others died a year ago today in a vicious terrorist attack on the London Bridge and Borough Market area.
The 21-year-old Brisbane woman had been living the dream, working and travelling in Europe.
But she was stabbed to death despite the efforts of onlookers to distract her random attackers and save her. South Australian woman Kirsty Boden was also killed.
Sara was only weeks away from meeting up with her parents in Paris.
Her friend Sam Hetherington said Sara was the kind of person that "touches your soul" and there was an unfillable gap where she once stood beside her.
"No one can tell you how hard it is to lose your best friend, especially when it makes no sense the way she was taken," Ms Hetherington told The Sunday Mail.
"I miss her laugh that would make me feel like there were no problems that couldn't be fixed, her unwavered assurance that everything will always be okay and that fun should always be the priority.
"I try my best to do all the things I know she would be cheering me on to do because in those moments of life is when I most think about her, and that always makes me smile, like she always did."
At her funeral, Sara's mother Julie Wallace spoke of her last conversation with her daughter.
"The last thing she said was 'Mum, see you in 26 sleeps in Paris'," Ms Wallace said.
"'I can't wait to eat croissants, French food, cheese and wine.'
"That didn't happen. Unfortunately no one knows why - we'll never understand."
Sara's parents are setting up a not-for-profit charity Sarz Sactuary to honour their daughter.
"As parents, we don't think we will ever be able to come to terms with losing our child," the charity website says.
"We, along with our two sons and extended family, feel the pain of losing her every day - but we also continue to feel her love surrounding us and feel her guiding us in everything we do."
The charity will have seven day programs with free access to treatment for people suffering after the loss of a loved one from a sudden or violent act.
They plan to set up their first sanctuary next year on the Sunshine Coast.
Go to sarz-sanctuary.org to donate.