Tears flow for Coast’s ‘sensitive heart’
ONLY weeks ago, eight-year-old Olivia June Douglas was looking forward to walking down the aisle as a flower girl at her mother's wedding.
On Monday, she was carried on the shoulders of her loved ones in a final celebration of a life cut tragically short.
Over 350 people packed the Gold Coast Highway Church to remember the vibrant child whose love will last her community a lifetime.
The popular young netballer and Oxenford State School student lost her life in a head-on collision on the Bruce Highway on September 14, while travelling to a Bundaberg netball carnival with her family.
Olivia had changed cars that day to enjoy a movie with a friend on the journey while her family followed in a convoy behind.
She had been eager to watch her brother compete and the keen athlete offered to play in his place earlier that morning.
However, tragedy struck just outside of Childers when the car she was travelling in and a ute collided.
Olivia died with her family by her side.
The crowd at the church today donned their most colourful outfits to reflect Olivia's cheery personality and celebrate a loving child.
Olivia's friends and teammates also wore their pink and black netball uniforms, while her collection of aunts had multi-coloured bows in their hair.
The church where Olivia was christened was also decorated like the birthday parties she enjoyed so much
Pink balloons and confetti adorned the room while rainbow unicorns floated near the small white casket covered in bouquets.
Much like the bright little girl her family had described, the service was filled with smiles and laughter as they remembered the talkative 'Livvy lou'.
Her mother, Tegan Mitchell spoke of Olivia's passion for her friends and family, her love for her little sister and adoration of her elder brother.
Shaking, Tegan took the stage accompanied by her husband-to-be and Olivia's step dad Tim Stark.
Olivia had been looking forward to her duties as flower girl at their upcoming wedding.
"You are the most delightful caring and compassionate person I have had the privilege to call my own," Tegan read in the open letter to her eldest daughter.
"Thankyou for being the greatest blessing a mother could ever dream of.
"As a mother my job is to protect you and look out for you.
"I am so sorry my angel.
"Today is your day to be that beautiful princess flower girl you were looking forward to being, I hope you enjoy your party my angel girl as you go to sleep for the very last time.
"The moments I treasure the most are laying with you as you wrapped your arms around my neck and smiled at me. The times you looked up at me with your sparkling little eyes to tell me, 'you're so beautiful Mum'.
"You made me so proud of your sensitive heart.
"I am so honoured God has given me the past eight years and 26 days to be your mother.
"I only wish I had more."
Olivia's aunties Taren, Erin, Liz and Katelyn all spoke of the sensitive soul that was Olivia.
"When Olivia turned two her love of parties began, she would often ask what colour is your party and make sure there was enough cake and candles to go around," one aunty said.
"So many family birthday party memories have Olivia right there next to the cake in the middle of the celebration, she loved a good party.
"Everyone who met Olivia fell in love with her bright smile, her caring personality and her beautiful innocence, she truly was the greatest gift this world has ever had the pleasure of knowing."
Nicole Douglas spoke on behalf of Olivia's father Andrew.
"It is too heartbreaking to think about all your wonderful potential and the life you would have led, so I think we will try to focus instead on the way you did try to lead your short life and the way you would undoubtably would have wanted us to,"
"We love you always Livvy Lou".
Dozens of purple notes with messages for the year-two student were scattered near the stage during the service.
As a tribute to Olivia's love of celebrations, mourners were served party foods and given bags filled with bubbles, note pad and whistles.
Balloons reading Olivia's favourite saying 'live, laugh, love' were launched by her netball team as the casket left the church.