'Whip Up' Blogger's Tragic Drowning Leaves 2 Kids Orphaned & Our Hearts Break

Kathreen RicketsonOh, my heart hurts today. The mom blogging community has lost one of our own: Kathreen Ricketson, better known on Twitter as WhipUp, is gone, as is partner Rob Shugg. And the couple's two children saw it all -- their parents drowning, rescue workers trying desperately to revive their mom, to no avail.

Those poor kids. Can it get much worse than that?

Ricketson was on a cross-country family adventure in her native Australia, an adventure the mother of two and blogger behind sites Action Pack and Whip Up was chronicling for a book. According to news reports, she and Bob went in for a swim, and their 10-year-old son, Orlando, is the one who sounded the alarm that his parents were drowning. He reportedly went into the water to join his parents and saw them face down.

Orlando and his 13-year-old sister, Otilija, then had to stand there and watch it all go down, from their mom being pulled to shore and folks doing CPR to emergency workers searching the water for their dad.

There are some things kids should never see. Their parents' dead bodies top the list. At least not like this, not in the throes of death under tragic circumstances. 

But we never really get to choose this, do we? There's more time to plan when a parent is sick, more chance to talk to your kids about what is going to happen and whether you want them to be there in your final hours. Even letting kids in to an open casket funeral allows for planning -- you can sit the kids down and talk to them about what THEY want.

Not everyone wants to remember a loved one that way. And for kids, well ... it's hard enough for a 13-year-old and a 10-year-old to deal with the loss of a parent. These kids lost two, very suddenly, very tragically. And they didn't have a choice about seeing (or not seeing) how it all went down.

Our hearts go out to Ricketson's and Shugg's kids today. I can only hope that they'll be able to look back at their mom's blog and see how much she loved them and loved doing things with them.

Already the blogging community has set up a way to help the kids:

Enquiries can be directed to Julie McMahon via email to procrasticraft {at} gmail {dot} com or mailed to PO Box 370, Dickson ACT 2602 Australia. There are also directions on how to make contributions straight to the bank over at Whip Up.

Were you a Whip Up or Action Pack fan?


Image via KathreenRicketson

tough topics


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nonmember avatar Cass

I get that you guys "know" the mother, but the father's passing deserves more than a brief mention of the "parents' dead bodies".

onefo... onefootcutiepie

How in the world did they both drown?? was it rough water or something?? Horribly sad!


@onefootcutiepie: That's what I was wondering too.I'd assume that they were avid swimmers being adventurers.Sad all around.

MrsCh... MrsChurch

Ugh, how devastating.

nonmember avatar sigh

Actually, his name is Rob, not Bob.
A simple check of the website would have told you that.
Maybe a correction is due, and some respect for giving people their proper names.

nonmember avatar Flora

Way to go with over sensationalizing the story, guys. Yes it is truly horrific, especially so for their family and friends. Seeing this story, as a friend, made me feel sick. Imagine the kids reading this? And they will most definitely be seeing this.

Really truly put yourself in their shoes. Stop sensationalizing something that is not your personalu truth. And for goodness sake, his name was Rob not Bob.

Sam Samantha

So tragic but what caused 2 adults to drown?

Something sounds fishy no pun intended.



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