“We’ll never recover – we just learn to live with the pain and stay strong for each other.”
Those are the words of a daughter whose mother and brother were killed at their home in the Black Country.
Lydia Wilkinson, who spoke to the Express & Star earlier this week alongside her father Peter, has further opened up about the tragic loss of her brother Pierce and mother Tracey.
She described how her mother said her daughter’s surprise visit was ‘the best Mother’s Day ever’ – just days before she and her son were knifed to death.
Lydia, 18, had come home from university in Bristol to surprise Tracey, 50, on Mothering Sunday at home in Stourbridge.
Along with little brother Pierce, 13, and father Peter, 47, the family had enjoyed a happy weekend together, tucking into a Sunday roast before Lydia went back for lectures on Monday.
But just four days later, Tracey and Pierce were stabbed to death in their detached, gated home, in a horrific attack that left Peter fighting for his life.
Heartbroken Peter and Lydia have spoken out about the brutal attack that tore their family apart.
Biology student Lydia said: “Emotionally, it’s a rollercoaster. You don’t know how you feel – you can’t feel anything but grief.
“We’ll never recover – we just learn to live with the pain and stay strong for each other.
“I last saw mum on Mother’s Day – I’d come home from uni for the weekend as a surprise.
“We were a big happy family round the dining table, laughing and joking with the dog.
“She said it was the best Mother’s Day ever.
“That’s my last memory of my mum and Pierce.”
Lydia returned to university but on March 30, the terrible news started to come through that her family had been attacked.
She added: “When I found out, I was in my halls of residence at uni and my boyfriend rang to check everyone was OK.
“Initially, I found out what had happened on social media and online – at first I just saw that there had been three stabbings, and I didn’t know much more.
"Soon after, I heard from the police and they told me about the fatality of it – they’ve been exceptional in terms of support, care and sensitivity.
“It was horrendous, just awful – I was on my own, but my friends rallied round me and my boyfriend’s parents came to pick me up from Bristol, and drove me straight back to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, by which time dad had just come out of theatre.
“They told me he was going to be OK – I just felt a massive sense of relief, I’d lost two family members and really thought I was going to lose dad too.
“I thought I’d lost everybody – there was such a sense of uncertainty and loss, and it was so sudden and unexpected which makes it hurt even more.
“For a good few hours, I thought I had no one.
“It was a horrific period.
“I expect to see Pierce running down the stairs or playing on the computer, or mum pull up on the drive in her Land Rover – deep down, even though I’ve been to see them, I still can’t accept that they’re actually gone.
“I keep expecting them to turn up – but they won’t.
“Pierce was so compassionate, and mum just loved to help people – she always said she wanted to give something back.
“She couldn’t pass by anyone with a problem. As a family, we never had any conflicts – it really was like it was just always a sunny day at home.”
Fighting for life, her father Peter was rushed into hospital aware that his wife had been killed – but didn’t know the fate of his son until hours later, as he came round from surgery.
On Sunday, West Bromwich Albion fans and season ticket holders Peter and Lydia went to the Hawthorns stadium to watch the Baggies play Liverpool in a touching tribute to Tracey and Pierce, which included a round of applause and a page dedicated to them in the programme.
Heartbroken Lydia returned to the scene two weeks ago where she read some of the many messages that have been left in tribute outside the family home.
She said: “It’s incredible to see the amount of support, and how many people loved them – they were just wonderful people. Going back to the house was incredibly difficult – our happy family home doesn’t exist anymore, there are so many happy memories there but now it’s all tainted – but it’s an obstacle completed.
“We just feel like we’ve lost parts of ourselves that we’ll never get back.
“We’ve only got each other now – we just try to remember the good times.
“I can hear mum’s voice in my head all the time, telling me to hold my head up high – she’d want us to stay strong.
“We need to keep going and live for them, to make them proud – that’s what they’d want.
“We love them so much, and we have to carry on for them and for each other.”
Aaron Barley, aged 23 and of no fixed address, has been charged with murder and attempted murder and is due to stand trial on October 3.Subscribe to our Newsletter