Sunday 6 September 2009

Rest In Peace, Amy

My name is Kate. I was one of Amy’s closest friends before she passed away in July in a car accident. She was 26. For a long time I’ve been deliberating over whether I should post this and I haven’t known how to deliver the painful news to people I don’t know. I wasn’t even sure whether I should say anything at all, but I feel a responsibility to post this because Amy obviously felt this blog held some importance to her or she wouldn’t have continued posting until she did.

It is very hard to write this so soon after and I still feel hurt, but some of you may have grown close to her and so deserve to know what has happened. Amy didn’t talk about this blog extensively with me, mainly because I do not follow cricket and I barely know how to play it. We’d known each other since high school and she had always been the one who’d excelled at this sport. She was selected for the NSW all schools team and very nearly entered a career in playing cricket but it was hard for her because she never had the support she deserved and eventually she chose other talents over this and became a journalist.

Amy talked more about this blog with her boyfriend Andrew, and it was him who told me that we should probably tell readers of her blog what had happened. He was going to write this post himself but he wasn’t able to, just as it is so hard for me to do this now. I can only assume that this blog meant something to her because she kept writing even after she recently changed jobs and started working in Canberra as a staff member handling media relations for Kevin Rudd’s office. It was physically and mentally taxing and because of it we hadn’t been in much contact for the few weeks before she became sick. But she kept posting here and so I feel you should at least know what has happened to her. Amy was quite sick with the flu when she passed away, and she’d been driving back from Canberra Hospital when the accident happened. She wasn’t the driver at fault, but she might have been able to save her life if she wasn’t feeling a little lethargic from the Tamiflu she was taking.

I would just like to say that Amy was an amazing person. She was so dynamic. There were so many facets to her life. She was a writer, manager, feminist, sportsperson and as she joked to me the last time we talked, “a political lackey”. I like to think that most people didn’t know the whole Amy except for Andrew and close friends and family, not because she didn’t want them to know but because there was always so much going on with Amy it was almost intimidating. I hope that some of you got to know more sides of her than one and I feel regret for those who didn’t get the chance to because she was well worth knowing. For as long as I can remember, right through to high school, Amy was involved in the community, volunteering at any charity that would take her in, doing her bit to make her mark on the world. Now she is gone, these marks seem to be everywhere I look. She felt very strongly about things and hated discrimination of any kind. A good deal of her earnings went to microfinance organisations and she’d made the lives of many women around the world better through this. It’s as though she was only just on her way up the ladder of success when she passed away and the injustice of this cannot leave me.

Maybe something even more important to Amy was music. Sometimes it felt like she knew every song ever written. She didn’t, of course, but that was Amy. She loved good music. I always thought she could hold her own in a conversation with Alan Brough or Myf Warhurst. Amy always told me that her earliest memory was of when she was 2 and at the Live Aid concert. Her parents were always big on music too, and they’d been living in England for a few years when they attended Live Aid in 1985. Amy said she didn’t remember much, just a huge surge of people and noise, but it was still a defining moment in her life. She was 8 when Freddie Mercury died and 18 when George Harrison did, and both times she cried because music and the people related to it were such a big part of her life. Amy was probably more devoted to The Beatles than any other band. She was the truest supporter I’ve ever met, and a genuine appreciator of their music. She was also the only Beatles fan I know who didn’t hate Yoko Ono, but rather, loved her for being a strong, amazing woman. Soon after we met each other in high school, Amy wrote to Yoko telling her how much she admired her as a feminist and I can still remember Amy’s shock when Yoko actually wrote back with some kind words and a “thank you”. I’ve never heard the end of it. That was a huge thing for Amy when she was a teenager. From then on, music and feminism have been two massive parts of her life.

It took a while to find the necessary details to access Amy’s google account and post this, but it has been sorted out now. I hope that some of you got to see the real Amy for the strong, funny person she was and I hope you remember her in years to come. There were many, many people in this world who loved her, including me.

Amy’s funeral service was held on the 16th July. Rest In Peace, Amy.

I am a nature photographer for a magazine, but I’ve occasionally asked Amy to take a few shots of her. I’m not quite as good at photographing people, but this is one of my favourite photos of Amy. It was taken at the start of this year.

Feel free to use this photo of Amy for any appropriate purposes and to remember her as we will.


Kate Mezzoni

Saturday 5 September 2009

Amy's last post

Amy had begun writing a post a few days before she passed away. It was a few words long and uncompleted, as it spoke of creating a Wordle, a graphical representation of the most commonly used words on a website.

We do not know whether she created one, but she was contemplating it. It seems fitting, then, that we do so for her, to bring this blog to a close and even to encompass all it represented in a few words.