Samantha Armytage opens up about mother's death: 'It shakes you'

·Lifestyle Editor
·3-min read

Samantha Armytage has opened up about dealing with grief since losing her mother, saying she sometimes finds it difficult when people offer their condolences to her on the street.

On the latest episode of her podcast, Something To Talk About, Samantha spoke with murdered schoolboy Daniel Morcombe’s parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe.

Samantha Armytage on Sunrise
Samantha Armytage has opened up about dealing with grief since losing her mother. Photo: Channel Seven

Daniel was abducted and murdered in the Sunshine Coast in 2003 while waiting to catch a bus.

His parents established The Daniel Morcombe Foundation in his honour, “to educate children and young people about how to stay safe in physical and online environments and to support young victims of crime”.

Speaking on her podcast, Samantha asked the Morcombe’s about how they deal with people coming up to them on the street and says she struggles with it herself, since losing her mother, Libby, in November.

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“When you’re recognised, it takes everything off into a different direction. I lost mum in November, and at the service station, people will come up to you when you’re putting fuel in your car and say ‘I’m so sorry to hear about your mum’,” Samantha explained.

“You’re thinking ‘Thank you’, of course it’s lovely, but you’re not in that zone and all of a sudden you’re shaken out of putting fuel in your car you go ‘oh god’.

murdered schoolboy Daniel Morcombe’s parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe
On the latest episode of her podcast, Something To Talk About, Samantha spoke with murdered schoolboy Daniel Morcombe’s parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe. Photo: Getty Images

“I’m not comparing my lot in life to what you've been through at all, but I’m using that as an example that when you’re recognised, and people mean well … it sort of shakes you out of your day to day. I know most people mean well.”

Denise said she understood and is often stopped on the street by people asking her if she’s Daniel’s mum and it does take her back to that day.

While she says people tell them that they’ve lost a child as well so they know how it feels, Denise said: “They don't really know how I feel. It's difficult. But we have to smile, we say ‘thanks very much’ and you walk along.”

Meanwhile, Bruce said there are only two places that it irritates him if people come up to them on the street.

“One is if I have a knife and fork in my hand, if I’m at a pub or a restaurant eating. Please, I'm going to poke you in the back of the hand with fork,” he joked.

“Or the other one is in the gents. The boys are just standing there doing their business and then want to shake your hand.”

In an earlier episode of her podcast, Samantha said the death of her mother caused a lot of things to change in her life.

“All these fundamental shifts happened, and I’d never really experienced grief before ... but to lose your mother was such just a pivotal and extraordinary event in a woman’s life, and it fundamentally changes you,” she said.

“And all of a sudden you start thinking about grief, you starting going through your own grief.”

Sam said it affected her work as a journalist, saying: “because then the stories that you hear, they touch you extra-deep ... I kind of have an inkling now of what’s going on.

“It changes you as a person and I suppose that’s part of life.

“We all go through this. We’re all going to have older parents, we’re all going to have parents that have a stroke or a heart attack - there will be these situations.”

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