Hannah’s note moved Grimshaw to tears
An empowering note Hannah Clarke wrote to herself and her young daughters has moved Tracy Grimshaw to tears.
In an emotional interview with Clarke's devastated family, the seasoned A Current Affair host had just heard how the young mother-of-three had agonised over whether to leave her abusive husband.
"She said to me before she left 'Mum, I'm 31. Do I stay here and just be miserable forever or do I get out and try to get a life?' mother Suzanne Clarke said.
"I said 'Honey you've got to get out'. That's when we started to make plans."
Clarke, 31, and her children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4 and Trey, 3, were killed when 42-year-old Rowan Baxter torched the family car on a quiet suburban street in Brisbane before taking his own life.
But just before her death, Clarke had written an emotional promise to herself on Instagram, laying out her grand plans for a new, happier life.
"Lloyd, she posted something on social media. You have it on your phone. Do you feel up to reading it?" Grimshaw asked Clarke's father.
"No, I don't think I can," he said.
"Let me read it," Grimshaw volunteered.
"I am a strong woman, I don't sit around feeling sorry for myself nor will I ever let anyone mistreat me again," Clarke had written.
"I don't respond to people who dictate to me or try to bring me down. I am a survivor not a victim.
"I am in control of my life and there is nothing I can't achieve. My girls will grow up being strong women who understand their worth."
It was those heartbreaking words that brought tears to Grimshaw's eyes and to those of viewers at home.
This ACA interview by Tracy Grimshaw with Hannah Clarke's mum, dad, and brother, is devastating. So sad, such a candid, insightful account by this grieving family. Absolutely incredible. 😭🕯️— Dr Lisa Kruck 🏳️🌈 (@DrLisaKruck) February 21, 2020
BRAVE FINAL ACT
Clarke's family gave a thorough description of Hannah's troubled marriage, from the rules she was forced to follow to an incident on Boxing Day when Baxter kidnapped one of the children and took them interstate.
But in one last "brave" act for her children, they revealed Hannah was able to give an "articulate" and "detailed" account of the attack to first responders before she died.
They said after she got out of the car, she rolled on the ground, trying to put the fire out. She then yelled out to a neighbour who was watering the grass, "Help me, I'm covered in petrol".
She managed to give a detailed account to both medical workers and police, "almost like a police report", they said.
"To the end she fought to make sure if he survived he got punished for what he did to her babies. She was so brave," her father Lloyd said.
After suffering burns to 97 per cent of her body, Hannah was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but died of her injuries later that night.
"I didn't know she'd been able to be that detailed," Grimshaw commented.
The family said she made sure to provide "as much information as possible" before she was sedated.
The Clarke family now want to start a new movement in Hannah's name called "Small Steps for Hannah" based off the fact only her footprint remained.
"My sister was so badly burnt that the soles of her feet were only part of her body that weren't burnt," Nathaniel said.
"So we want the symbol of her foot to be a symbol for her and her legacy. We want to try and start something to help women who are in this situation who have suffered domestic abuse, mentally, physically, sexually."
Tracey Grimshaw’s compassion and empathy for Hannah Clarke’s parents and brother is so moving. This is so very sad and so difficult to fathom. How will the family ever recover from the loss? My heart goes out to the family. 🌹 https://t.co/ZmumtKNVN4— Sally Davis (@DavisConcept) February 21, 2020
I commend Tracy Grimshaw & a Current Affair, for giving us the opportunity to meet Hannah’s family & giving the beautiful, brave family an audience to tell their story to, it seemed like it gave them a little solace to talk & plan, cried the whole way through but I am glad I did— 💧Elizabeth Marr (@JmarrMarr) February 21, 2020