Inside a Bulli chapel, an image of Kristie Powell sat atop her coffin. So, too, did a picture of her much-loved, five-month-old son, Slater.
The faces stared back at a large crowd who gathered before them.
It was a tearful farewell for the family and friends of 39-year-old Kristie, whose body was found inside her Bellambi home last week. It was also a time of hope for the young boy she’s left behind.
Little Slater was Kristie's greatest achievement, those who attended her funeral at H.Parsons chapel on Friday were told.
“She was beyond being in love with him, she was besotted with him,” her eulogy, delivered by family friend Jacqueline Dee, said.
“From the moment Slater was born, she devoted her life to him and she excelled at motherhood.”
To her family, Kristie was kind, loyal, opinionated and extremely generous – a woman who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it, or her last dollar.
It was that generosity her brother, Ryan, wanted her to be remembered for the most.“When she had Slater and she had to provide for him she was still giving … she was leaving herself just enough to buy formula, or just enough to buy nappies and she was still finding enough to give to other people,” he said.
Ryan described himself and Kristie as “chalk and cheese”. “We were so, so different,” he said.
“She loved reading … I’m still only just learning. She loved writing ... I can’t spell.”
Kristie was “always late”, he said, but would be sure to let everyone know when she did arrive.
“That’s why I went third speaker [at the funeral service], so I could wait for her to get here. I was always on time,” he joked.
In an address also delivered by family friends, Kristie’s other brother Clayton told how he would miss her “infectious smile” and “absolutely terrible” laugh.
Kristie’s mate, Taryn, spoke of their 39-year friendship – Kristie was the “crazy elephant”, Taryn the “crazy monkey”.
“I’ve been through a lot of good times with Kristie, but from the moment the doctor put that baby [Slater] in Kristie's arms, she was complete,” Taryn said.
“Kristie has been my rock through an extremely eventful life; she’s been the one who’s held my handbag, wiped away my tears, listened to all my dramas that were ongoing, and she was always there to tell me everything’s going to be OK.
“Today, I say goodbye to my crazy elephant. May you fly high with the angels my rainbow-haired princess.”
Then, as the words of Ben Harper’s song Diamonds on the Inside reminded those gathered of her giving nature, pictures of Kristie's life flashed across a screen.
It was a moment of reflection for those paying their respects.The more-uplifting Daft Punk hit One More Time followed, as more pictures conveyed Kristie's passion for travel and her love of life.
The slideshow ended with an image of a bubbly Kristie, her vibrant rainbow-coloured hair captured in all its brightness, blowing kisses to those who gathered to say goodbye.
The man accused of murdering Kristie was refused bail in Maitland Local on Tuesday. The case returns to Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday.
Rip beautiful xox may you forever be your sons angel. Jindalee, Bellambi
Sending my dearest condolences to Kristie's family and her little boy. Rest in peace beautiful. Sharon Brown, Koonawarra
Really sad for you..your boy..family and all those dogs you loved..know your son is in the care of family..but guess the dogs have gone elsewhere..really hope they are ok too..when I was running from a terrible man my dog kept me sane..but then she was killed and that broke my heart..hope someone takes care of those dogs for your sake..and love and best wishes to your dear boy..fly high dear..we will keep up the good fight against violence as best we can. Ebony Quinn, East Corrimal
RIP I hope you are good up in heaven. Joella, Kiama
Very shocked and saddened of this terrible news. Far to young. Heaven has gained another angel. Thoughts and prayers goes to her family and and to her little boy. R.I.P 💔 Lee Gorak, Wollongong
My heart and prayers are with u both :( Kylie Shaw, Wollongong
There are no words to describe how sad this is... I have a five month old baby too, and cannot imagine a day without him. Beautiful Kristie, your little angel is so lucky to have a loving family that will look after him. Rest in peace Natalia, Sutherland
Your care for Yindi was always so brilliant. She loved you and will miss you. Jane Fullerton Smith, Wombarra
So sad such a beautiful young lady taken too soon it’s not fair. Alyce, Wollongong
My family is praying for your son. Kelly McColl, Tarrawanna
Didn’t know you. So, so unfair. Woodsy, Fairymeadow
Your spirit will live forever xx Jennifer, Berkeley
I didn't know you, but story touched my heart. Julie Harden, NSW.
Fly high angel 💙 taken way too soon. Prayers for your baby boy xo Belinda, Wollongong
RIP wishing your son all the best Brooklyn, Fernhill
I just cant comprehend the grief your family are feeling atm... you should never of been so vulnerable to such a creature.. I’m sooo sorry Tracey W, 2528
Fly High in Heaven Queen ❤💛 Kim, Bellambi
May you fly high beautiful soul taken way to soon from this curl world. Rebecca Sloan, Koonawarra Dapto
My heart really goes out to Slater who lost his mum. Adam, Bellambi
It’s sad to hearing a lovely mum got killed. Kevin, Canleyvale NSW
RIP KRISTIE Branka Roso, LITHGOW 2790
No mother should have to leave their infant through senseless violence. xxx Ella, Seacliff
I didn't know you Kristie, but as I looked up to the heavens you are a this beautiful 🌟 Aeisha, Warilla
I stood outside your home and prayed and cried for you and your precious baby. I never knew you but only lived around the corner from you. God bless you. God has an angel in his arms.. Kelly Fitzgerald, Bellambi