A combo photo of Azrina (inset) and her two children playing at home. They do not know their mother has died.
SEPANG: It was sahur time at the home of Flight MH17 chief stewardess Azrina Yakob. Her two children, aged three and six, were playing in the yard while waiting for their early morning meal.
But everywhere else in the house, there was deep sorrow over her passing.
There was a steady stream of visitors coming to extend their condolences. Among them were neighbours and relatives, some of whom had travelled from the northern states.
“We were too distraught and couldn’t sleep last night,” said Azrina’s youngest brother Mohd Firdaus, 27.
“Many people were also phoning us throughout the night to find out if we had any news on Azrina but all we could tell them was that she was on the flight.”
The family stayed up all night and were glued to the television for updates on MH17.
Mohd Firdaus described his sister as a cheerful person who brought joy wherever she went.
Azrina, 41, worked for many years with Malaysia Airlines, he said.
An aunt of hers, who declined to be named, was watching the children play.
“They still think their mother is away at work,” she said.
“Maybe it’s for the best that they are still too young to understand what has happened.”
Azrina’s husband was not in at the time.
Her mother, Habibah Ismail, 65, of Kampung Kelumpang in Alor Mengkudu, Alor Setar, said Azrina called her last week to tell her about her plans to return to the village.
“Since she didn’t come back during the beginning of the fasting month, she told me she would do so this coming Hari Raya. She always kept in touch with me.
“We received news of the tragedy from a family member who also works at MAS not long after the tragedy occurred,” Habibah said at her house which was enveloped in gloom yesterday as fellow villagers arrived to extend their condolences to the family.
It is learnt that Azrina, the second of four siblings, had worked with MAS for 20 years.