"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
Zoe Clare Anderson, 1986-2010
Two weeks ago today, riding a ski-lift on a glorious clear day in Whistler, I got the impossible phone-call. Zoe, my beautiful, larger-than-life 24-year-old daughter had been found dead at our home in Bath, England. At the time, it looked liked she'd slipped and fallen in the shower. It now emerges she collapsed from carbon monoxide poisoning, whose cause is still being investigated.
On Saturday we gathered in England with friends and family from all around the world to celebrate an extraordinary life. Amidst the terrifying grief, some light began to shine through as we marveled at the ways her life had touched so many people, and dreamed of how we might best honor her memory. At some point, I'll try to write something about that part. But for now, just the pictures.
1986... a tiny package of joy held close.
No opportunity to feed left unexploited.
Take my picture, if you dare.
That haircut. What were we thinking?!
I am SO much cooler than my baby sister.
Flute? Violin? No way. Give me something loud!
A penny for your thoughts, my dear....
Zoe and I learned to snowboard during an unforgettable week in Whistler in 2001
...and went scuba diving together most recently off Zanzibar, 2006
Er, I meant to mention, Dad, I installed some new jewelry during my gap year. Do you like it?
The world's coolest, funniest, most wonderful friends...
...esp her amazing boyfriend Ali
Her camera came with her EVERYWHERE
The child-whisperer. She had unbelievable connection with kids.
At my marriage to Jacqueline Novogratz in 2008, guess who 'gave me away'?
Celebrating an MSc in neuroscience with distinction from Kings College, London in 2009.
Possibly the world's sparkliest TED fan
A happy week last summer at the World Cup.
She loved family (here with her cousin and grandmother in October)
A lane near Castle Combe, England a few months ago.
Christmas 2010 was "the happiest ever".
We've set up a memorial page for Zoe. We want to protect a piece of coral reef in her name. "Zoe" means life. She was a scuba dive-master and passionate oceans advocate. She would have absolutely loved to see a beautiful ecosystem sustained by the people who loved her. And it's been amazing to see the loving comments and support pouring in.
There's a memorial on Facebook here with many more photos and beautiful tributes.
Finally, heartfelt thanks to so many friends who surrounded us with their love this past couple weeks. It's meant the world. Last month, Zoe was watching the TEDWomen conference over the web. Jacqueline gave an incredible talk, and Zoe tweeted one sentence from it. It was this:
Her life was indeed far too short. But the incandescent flame that is Zoe will be there forever, sparkling, beautiful, and inspiring many to live better and love better.