A distraught father has bravely farewelled his wife and only child, two weeks after the pair died in a tragic murder suicide – before promising he will always love her.
Erica Bond, 47, and her nine-year-old son Lochlan were found dead at their home on the New South Wales’ Central Coast in late August, following Mrs Bond’s battle with mental illness.
As the sun shone on mourners gathered at their joint funeral service in Ourimbah, north of Sydney, on Tuesday, a heartbroken Andrew Bond paid final respects to the family he loved and lost.
‘Lochy, I was so proud to be your dad – you made me a better man,’ he told the gathering.
Mr Bond also paid tribute to Erica, his wife of almost fifteen years, in a moving eulogy, saying it was ‘an honour’ to be her husband.
‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman look as beautiful as you did on our wedding day.
‘I was so proud of my family, I will love you always.’
Joining Mr Bond in grief was an outpouring of extended family support led by Mrs Bond’s mother April Straker.
Erica and Lochlan Bond’s bodies were discovered when emergency services were called to their Wyongah home on August 28 after neighbours reportedly heard a woman screaming for help.
Lochlan is believed to have been in his bedroom and his mother outside.
A much-longed for only child of both his parents, mourners remembered Lochlan’s life as one filled with friendship, family and his love of sport.
Upon learning of his tragic death, one of Lochlan’s classmates conveyed the simplistic grief experienced of his Year 3 friends, asking:
‘What am I going to do on school holidays now?’
Despite suffering from scoliosis, the youngster overcame his medical obstacles to excel in golf – to the delight of both parents.
Mourners heard that as a pupil at Tuggerawong Public School since kindergarten, he became known for his trademark and infectious smile to all.
One touchingly remembered him as ‘the nicest friend I’ve ever had,’ according to the school’s principal.
But despite the obvious outpouring of adoration, the tragic chain of events which led to the pair’s deaths hung over the sombre crowd.
One eulogy pleaded with mourners for understanding, saying Mrs Bond’s beloved son was ‘her whole world’.
‘Please don’t blame Erica, there will always be more questions than answers,’ she said.
But Ms Bond, who was well-known in the community as a passionate golfer, shared several chilling Facebook posts about depression in the lead-up to her death.
One of her last updates was a shared video about suicide prevention.
Another message shared on July 10 read: ‘Depression is REAL. People can smile all day and still be broken inside.’
Despite the tormented posts, photos showed Mrs Bond as a loving mother to her young son with a huge love of animals and family.
In July Mrs Bond uploaded a photo of her smiling son to Facebook captioned ‘What a handsome young man’ with a red love heart.
Other images show him trying sushi for the first time, swimming with his father, playing golf and hanging out with friends at a local skate park.
Ms Bond worked at Kooindah Waters Golf Club as a golf shop and drinks cart assistant, and was herself a passionate golfer.
After the tragedy Tuggerah Lakes Police Acting Inspector Matt Kelly confirmed the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide.
‘Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding their deaths but no other parties are being sought in relation to this incident,’ New South Wales Police said at the time.
A crime scene was established at the house following the deaths and a report is being prepared for the coroner.