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'It's a sick, gut-wrenching feeling every day': Parents of slain teen Luka Gordic react to sentencing

For the parents of slain teenager Luka Gordic, every day comes with a sick, gut-wrenching feeling. Mitch and Clara Gordic spoke to CBC's Belle Puri about how they've been coping with their son's death.

Mitch and Clara Gordic say every day is a struggle

Clara and Mitch Gordic, in an interview Jan. 11, 2019 following the sentencing of three people in relation to their son Luka's death. They say every day without their son is a struggle. (Belle Puri/CBC)

The parents of slain teenager Luka Gordic say they'll likely carry the weight of their son's death until the day they die.

It was in 2014 when Luka was swarmed and stabbed by a group of teens outside a 7-Eleven in Whistler. In the years that followed, one man, Arvin Golic, was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Now, three other men have been sentenced for their roles in Luka's death. On Friday, one was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years. 

Two others were sentenced to 18 months in custody and 18 months probation after they were convicted of manslaughter.

Their names can't be released because of a publication ban. The men were 17 at the time.

Shortly after the sentences were announced in a B.C. Supreme courtroom in Vancouver, Clara and her husband Mitch sat down with CBC reporter Belle Puri to share what their lives have been like without Luka.

'I'm so consumed with my thoughts'

They say every day is a struggle.

Keeping themselves busy helps take their thoughts off of their son's absence. Work, exercise and new grandchildren have helped greatly, but the suffering is still quietly there in the back of their minds.

Clara says she now suffers from depression, anxiety and PTSD. She takes medication to help and can't see a future in which she's no longer using pills to help cope with the pain.

Mitch and Clara now live in a new home, but memories of Luka remain.

How hard has letting go of Luka been? He has a room in the family's new house:

Letting go of Luka Gordic's memory has been difficult for his parents, who singled out a room for him in their new home. 0:23

Happiness hard to come by

In the four years since Luka's death, the Gordics' other children have married, and Mitch and Clara are now grandparents. Their grandkids, both named in honour of their uncle, are now beginning to crawl.

"It's fun, that's what makes us sort of happy. We are happy for our children and grandchildren," said Mitch.

But those moments are fleeting.

"Anytime there's an occasion, wedding or any kind of party like Christmas, that's when we are sick. You think [it] should be a happy day, but that's when we think the most about Luka."

Real laughter is hard to come by for the new grandparents:

Mitch and Clara Gordic says while there are moments they can smile, real laughter is now non-existent since Luka died. 0:53

A legacy for their son

Despite the convictions, the Gordics keenly feel Luka's loss.

Golic is still serving his sentence and the person charged with second-degree murder may appeal his sentence. 

The couple moved out of their former home in Burnaby, where the families of the convicted men live. The chances of bumping into them have been reduced.

In the meantime, the two are working to ensure Luka's legacy lives on.

"We have a few scholarships that we give every year to kids and when we hear someone is in need, we gladly want to help," says Mitch.

Mitch no longer fears death now that Luka has died. He holds out some hope he may one day see his son again:

Mitch Gordic, whose son Luka was killed in 2014, says he used to be afraid of death but doesn't fear it anymore. 0:52



Watch CBC Vancouver's interview with Clara and Mitch Gordic:

Clara and Mitch Gordic, whose son Luka was killed in 2015, speak to CBC Vancouver News after three more people were sentenced for their role in Luka's death. 4:17