Kristi remembered as a girl with zest for life at funeral
TWO photos took centre stage at Kristi Kafcaloudis's funeral service: one of a bright-eyed little girl and the other of a beautiful, smiling young woman full of life and adventure.
The intervening gap between those photos was filled in by the many people from across the world who came to know the 24-year-old from Yandina.
Kristi died on September 5 after falling off Norway's famous Trolltunga Rock tourist attraction, a place they call "heaven on Earth".
Her service at the Gregson and Weight funeral home at Nambour was filled with tributes from people she met on her many adventures.
The friends she made while staying at a Norway youth hostel made a short video of the words that best described Kristi.
Sincere, a listener, open-minded, pure, easy-going, smiling and a lover of whisky were some of the examples given.
Kristi, a student at Melbourne's Monash University, was visiting Norway on an international exchange with the University of Bergen.
She had been enjoying many hiking adventures with her hostel group when she accidentally fell at the Trolltunga Rock.
The family only received official word of the tragic accident when a police car pulled up outside their home on Monday, September 7.
But Kristi's mum Milli, in a speech read out by celebrant Ann Hills, told how, on Saturday night, both Kristi's father Michael and her grandfather woke up in the night at about the time of her fall, thinking of her.
Milli had tried to phone her daughter on Sunday for Father's Day, but there was no answer.
In her last conversation with her mum Kristi was saying how she was hoping to use her TESOL course to volunteer with asylum seekers in Melbourne.
She also spent two hours talking about her new adventures and how the next weekend she was hoping to go scuba diving.
Kristi's infectious enthusiasm, particularly for cooking, was also revealed by her former Melbourne roommates.
Monash University campus executive director Vladimir Putnick attended the service and spoke about Kristi's stellar contribution to university life.
Mr Putnick said a prize would be established in her name "to ensure her memory lives on".
No flowers were visible on the funeral chapel, as requested by the family. They believed Kristi would prefer the money be spent on her favourite charities, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) or the Sunshine Coast's Helping Children Smile charity.
The Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Youth Choir also sent through a video clip of them singing Here Comes The Sun as a tribute to Kristi.
The only consolation for Kristi's family during this tragic time has been the knowledge that she died doing what she loved and was living a life "full of adventure and dreams".
"We are mortified by the loss of such a talented and lovely young woman with her whole life before her," her mum said.
"She was quite simply exceptional to us and to her many friends and will remain in our hearts and minds to encourage us to make the best of our lives and reach out to others.''