My dazzling Zoe: Snapshots of a life cut short

"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."
 Jack Kerouac

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.

Portrait, 2010.

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)

Croquet demon!

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.

211 responses
Wonderful, wonderful photos of a wonderful presence.
so sorry
My deepest condolences to you and your family ...
A hug from TEDxLaçado team.
May God rest her soul
Chris, I have been thinking about you and your family since I heard about this tragedy. I didn't know Zoe but I sat right behind her at your talk to #CreativeBath in October. I knew she was your daughter and remember watching her and thinking how proud she looked of you as you spoke. So sorry for your pain when you and yours have been an inspiration to so many.
How tragic for her life to be cut short...beautiful photos of someone who obviously had a love for life. As someone who recently lost my mother recently and suddenly, (although I know it is not the same as losing a child) I know how painful it is not to have been able to say goodbye. But you are right. In death, we can appreciate life, and live our lives in the name of the ones that are no longer with us here on earth.
I am very sorry for your loss, sir.
2dys ago postd JK quote on FB.Life is precious & w/ no warranty promised of time.So glad she lived each breath as her last!
Chris, huge condolences to you and your family on your unimaginable loss.
So sorry, Chris. Fantastic photographs, I'm sure she'll be well remembered. x
Very sorry for your loss. Absolutely tragic. Very beautiful tribute to her -- thank you for being so open in sharing about her and your loss.
I've never met you, but am sat here at my work desk in tears.
beautiful tribute to a beautiful daughter.
deepest sympathy, Jx
So sorry for your loss, Chris. Thank you for sharing this.
Tragic loss, one cannot imagine what you are going through; but what a beautiful tribute and manner to ensure she lives on.
Chris I am so sorry
few words, Lots of love
My condolences Chris, it's so obvious from the pictures you've shared how much your daughter was loved by friends and family.
You'll be forever young and pretty and THAT gorgeous smile will always be missed.
I am so sorry sir. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for sharing this special soul with us ... have been thinking about your family all day long. God bless
What an amazing girl, Chris. Sending you one of my favourite poems with love:

Anam Cara
Some nights stay up till dawn as the
moon sometimes does for the sun.

Be a full bucket, pulled up the dark way
of a well then lifted out into light.

Something opens our wings, something
makes boredom and hurt disappear.

Someone fills the cup in front of us
we taste only sacredness.

I am so sorry to hear about your loss, Chris. I admire your courage and grace, however, to create a tribute that uplifts us all. As a fervent TED fan and member of the Woodstock community, I want to extend my condolences and my highest regards
A beautiful tribute to a divine spirit that will always live on!
Chris, my deepest sympathies. As a parent I can only imagine the pain you are feeling. May the joy of her life bring you healing.
What a beautiful soul. She taught the world how to live with passion.
My heart goes out to you and your family, Chris. So very sorry for your loss.
Words cannot express… she was clearly a beautiful soul. Keep feeling, even though it hurts. My thoughts are with you.
I'm totally in shock upon hearing of the loss of your daughter Chris. It almost seems unreal to me. So sorry to hear this. My deepest condolences to you and Jacqueline.
I met you and Jacqueline the very first time in 2005 at the inaugural TEDGlobal in Oxford. Both of you have touched countless individuals throughout the years, making them better human beings.

My elder daughter's best friend died tragically 2 years ago at about the same age as Zoe. The initial pain and grief has gradually turned into a powerful force as my daughter has now become a strong woman with a zeal for life and passionate about her work.

I do hope that in time you will become an even more influential force helping the global citizens to make this a much better world to live for all.

My deepest condolences to you Chris and your loved ones.

"On the
day I die, when I’m
being carried toward the grave,
don’t weep. Don’t say, “He’s gone! He’s gone!”
Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and
the moon sets, but they’re not gone. Death is a coming together. The tomb
looks like a prison, but it’s really release into Union. The human seed
goes down in the ground like a bucket into the well where Joseph
is. It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty.
Your mouth closes here and immediately
opens with a shout of joy


I have three daughters - 18, 14 and 8. I am in tears for you.
I feel such pain for you and your family. What lovely memories you have shared with all of us today. Take care.
We're deeply sorry for your loss

Bethany and I were so saddened and shocked to hear about Zoe, and the "impossible phone call" you received. Our hearts skipped a beat at the thought of something so tragic touching the life of a dear friend. May her memory be a blessing to all the lives she touched. With warmth and love from all of us to your entire family.

Chris, our thoughts are with you and your family after this tragic loss.

TEDxOakville Team

Oh Chris, I just got the news from Julia Cohen. My heart goes out to you and your family and bless you for rising to celebrate her life. Gillian
This is heartbreaking news, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember watching you and Zoe walk along the beach in Monterrey after TED, how magic and beautiful it looked to watch a father and daughter so close, so happy just to steal a walk together by the ocean. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and photos.

From the pictures I can see that Zoe was a beautiful girl. During her time here, she gave joy and warmth to everybody around her. This will always stay with you. God bless you.

Chris, condolences to you and your family on your loss. Pray for comfort and peace to you and your family.
Good grief.

This is heart-crushing. I have a luminous daughter exactly her age and I can't imagine how her sudden loss would ruin me. Unfortunately, you can.

All I can say that might encourage you is that these brief stars have an immortality in memory that continues to inspire the living with a purity that life in the world would not like have preserved with such clarity.

The great love of my life dropped dead at 30 some 15 years ago and she lives still in everything I am and do. Moreover, her loss transformed my sense of the Spirit as it dwells in the persisting human soul in way that fundamentally transformed Love for me.

I wish I could throw an arm over your shoulder. This will have to do.

My heart goes out to you and your family Chris.
Very sorry for your loss. The pictures alone show a life lived large.
Chris, thank you for sharing this. As a father, I understand how generous it is of you to share this wonderful collection of pictures and information about her.
Dear Chris - with my very deepest sympathy. Zoe's light will continue to shine through you and the good you do for this world.
Made me think of a movie quote: It 's not about the amount of breaths you take. It 's about the moments that take your breath away. Zoë had à lot of those in her Young life.
So sorry
Very, very sad to hear the news. Thanks for posting such a lovely tribute to someone very special. Condolences to Chris and his family and all those who knew Zoe.
Oh, how sad. So very sad. My sympathies to you and all who loved Zoe.
I have a daughter just a little older than your beautiful girl. I can't begin to imagine what you are going though. I hope that the precious memories that you have will help sustain and comfort you.
What beautiful images.
My deepest and sincere sympathy to you at this time.
i'm so sorry to hear of the loss of zoe. my heart is with you and your family.
I am so sorry to hear the news. It is at times like this that words fail me. Your pictures are a wonderful tribute.
Im with you. RIP
This is unthinkable...
My heart goes to you and your family and all Zoe's friends.
chris i am so sorry for your unimaginable loss - love to you and your family - thank you for sharing part of Zoe's journey - grateful I met her in Oxford and had a glimpse into her delightful soul -
Deepest condolences for this tragic loss.
thank you for sharing your memories Chris. My thoughts are with you all.
So sorry ;(
With our deepest sympathy

TEDx Paris Team.

What a wonderful woman, and a beautiful tribute. I'm very sorry for your loss.
Chris, what a precious, lovely lady. My prayers are with you and your family always.
To Chris and all the family, my deepest sympathy and sorrow. Zoe will always be remembered.
Chris, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family.
Chris, and your family, so deeply sorry for your loss. I hope your unimaginable is comforted by the imaginable and quite real love Zoe will always be in your heart and soul.
I often think about you all. One just never imagines that the first contact to be made in so many years will be due to such tragic circumstances. My 1st christmas in Bath started with Zoe (aged 5) waking me up with a traditional Christmas stocking followed by a walk in the snow at Combe Downe. Zoe was so excited by the christmas tree at the foot of the stairs which had miraculously appeared overninght, and she was full of incredible stories (where did that extraordinary imagination come from?). I still have her colourful pencil drawings which she gave me to hang in my Monmouth Street office. Having last seen Zoe in Whistler 2000 where she was clearly developing into a very engaging and confident teenager, I'm not surprised to read that Zoe had matured into a remarkable and beautiful young women. I can not imagine the emotional roller-coaster of feeling so proud and so heart-broken at the same time. My thoughts (with huge hugs across the miles) and love are with you and your family.
Chris, I worked at IGN back in the late '90s. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences...
Chris, Kymberlee and I send our deepest condolences. I remember perfectly being introduced to Zoe by you in Monterey and commenting on how vibrant she was. I can not imagine the depth of this tragedy and it's impact on you and your family. We were glad to have known Zoe this past few years.
A heart full of love for you and your family, Chris. I'm deeply sorry for your loss.
Chris, what a beautiful, graceful and joyful presence Zoe *is*. When you reach the point when you can see past your grief,whenever that may be, I pray you will find peace in recognizing the gift she was in your life. Bless you and your family.
What a beautiful tribute to an amazing person.
I had the great pleasure of meeting both of your lovely girls in Ox, they were so pleased at how you were doing with all this TED stuff and more - I am so damn sorry to hear this news, and send the warmest, deepest condolences to you and yours.
What an amazing woman and a wonderful tribute. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and the entire family. God bless.
Hugely sorry for your loss Chris. I had the pleasure of meeting Zoe and her boyfriend Ali at multiple TED's and she really was as so many described her. A real positive force of nature. This is real loss for the many people she touched and the communities in which she was a part. Your post here is a beautiful memorial and the project that's been created in her memory is a great one. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
It is hard to imagine a more beautiful angel then the one made out of your Zoe.
Pictures you share & stories as well are full of genuine loveliness, warmth,
humor & her commitment to seizing each day, juicing it for all of its gifts and then
sharing with all those around her. I add my humble condolences to the world of
people who know & send love to you, your family & precious Zoe.
With great respect, Carl
heartbreaking, my condolences to you and your family, what a girl! from a TEDster in Bath
Very sorry to hear of your loss - best wishes.
Thank you for sharing these beautiful images and your precious memories of your daughter. May love, peace, and strength be with you.
Thank you for sharing her and your memories with us. Amazing spirit! Even in grief you are so completely generous to us TEDsters and the world.
I never knew her or indeed heard of her until this morning - but from these photos I can tell what a fantastic person she was and I'm so sorry.
Chris - My deepest condolences to you and Jacqueline. Your photo tribute is beautiful and I am left at loss and in pain. I would like to support your hope to set up a memorial or tribute to her. She shall never be forgotten.
So sorry for your loss and your grief. Can't even begin to imagine your pain... She is a beautiful young woman and this is a lovely tribute to her.
Chris and family - I am deeply sadden at your loss. I pray your hearts are comforted and that your sorrow is soothed by the love you and your daughter shared.
I really sad situation. Hope u and your family stay together to overcome it.
Tragedy is the word that comes to mind. Life seems extremely unfair sometimes. But I'm sure that you and your family will turn this sad event into something glorious to improve the world. Like you seem to be doing at every TED. Life can be very short, let us make a difference while we're here.
Chris, I am very Sorry for your loss.

Our deepest condolences on you and your family's tragic loss of such a beautiful spirit. Her memories will live on in the lives that she touched in her short time on earth. Peace be with you.

As a parent of three teenage girls, I feel your loss acutely and take strength from you sharing pictures of a life that looks lived with sparkle and joy.
Chris, I am so sorry to hear this. From these pictures and words, I can see that Zoe was an amazing person. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
This is a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing your love for your daughter with us. Please accept my sympathies and take good care of yourself.
Condolences to you on the loss of your precious gem. A little part of your soul must have died with her. I pray that you are granted with strength to bear this trial and that you are able to heal.
Bless you and hope to see you continue to light up lives through your work.
I am so sorry for you loss but so thankful for your sharing a life well lived. My world is now a little better knowing someone like that walked upon its face. I can only imagine how much joy she brought to the world while she was here.
Deepest condolences - I have found comfort in this poem in the past. Here is an excerpt. I am trully sorry for your pain. Heatherx

No, forgive me.
If you no longer live,
if you, beloved, my love,
if you have died,
all the leaves will fall in my breast,
it will rain on my soul night and day,
the snow will burn my heart,
I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow,
my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping, but
I shall stay alive,
because above all things
you wanted me indomitable,
and, my love, because you know that I am not only a man
but all mankind.

Pablo Neruda

Chris, And Family
So so sorry for your tragic loss.
Can't imagine...
Marc xxxx
Chris- I am so very sorry for your loss. I remember meeting Zoe at TED and was immediately struck by her sense of aliveness and zest, how she looked everyone in their eye and smiled quickly. No words can convey what you must be going thru... peace my friend..


Chris, I am so sorry to hear about this tragedy. I can't imagine how you are feeling. My heart goes out to you. The difference between you and the rest of us is that you know what we all lost - it's pretty clear that we who never knew her lost something special too.

Thanks for sharing the photos that give a flavor of Zoe's life. Your post reminded me of a passage from Wallace Stevens, which goes something like this, if my memory serves:

"The soldier of time lies dead beneath that stroke.
He dreams a summer sleep in which his wound is good
Because life was. No part of him was ever part of death."

What a beautiful life story we have here of Zoe. I remember her as a little baby in Bath, and it's so lovely to see how she grew up. We are so sorry for your loss and as you live with this hole in your heart where Zoe once was, we pray you will know God's comfort and peace.
My heart aches for you. The year Zoe was born was the same year my sister died the same way. She was in the shower at our vacation cabin. The day before a new gas hot water heater was improperly installed. At the time it seemed like a freak accident. I wish it was. Every year it seems I hear of someone else die the same way. Each time I feel the pain and loss all over again. I have carbon monoxide detectors through out my house. Please pass on how important it is to have them.
There are simply no words... I am just so sorry.

I first met Zoe at TED2010... But is was at TED Global this past summer that I actually spent some quality time with her. Zoe was simply magical. Her joie de vivre contagious...

We spoke for quite a long time one night at the Malmaison Hotel about her life, her family and science. She was just as interested in finding out about me as I was in her. For such a young women she was so wise and funny and quick. People wanted to be around her and she was inclusive.

She talked about you Chris and how close you are. I said something along the lines that your dad must be so proud of you... She said yes but he just wants me happy... We talked about how having a close family is so special and such a gift. She was blessed and she knew it and did not take it for granted.

I have thought about her often since Oxford because I had never met anyone quite like her, I was looking forward to seeing her again.

I know that there is very little that I can do but I promise to honor your beautiful daughter and to think about her smile and her laughter often.

I send to you and your family my thoughts, my love and my prayers...

Regina Callan

Too sad to read on... yet all my thoughts are to live on and live full and better...
Deepest sympathies. Words cannot express this tragedy and we hope that you find the strenght to cope and heal. She was an amzing human being and will be dearly missed. Prayers & thoughts to the family & all of those who had a chance to know her.


I miss her, we all miss her. It was so fun to watch Zoe's energy and potential and imagine where it might take her next. Instead of giving guidance I'll ask her for it now instead..... xo
Chris, while your loss is beyond tragic, your tribute here has helped ensure a legacy worthy of your Zoe. On behalf of all of us at InSTEDD, Larry Brilliant's 2006 TED Prize, let me say that we'll spread word of her life and her passions, and joyfully contribute to the permanent preservation of her coral reef. I can't imagine a more fitting, gorgeous, and worthwhile memorial.

You might remember Lucretius described that, at death, we all dissolve back into a sea of atoms, appearing as an ocean of silver, copper, and gold, with each prior life soon becoming living atoms in the next generation. That's Zoe, infusing lives to come with sparkle, and wit, and grace, and intelligence, and energy. Those new lives will be the better for her influence.

Thank you for letting us learn of her. My family sends our gentlest love to each of you.

Eric Rasmussen

Our sympathy, empathy and condolences! It does seem that "in the time of her life," she truly lived ... certainly in large part because you made it possible.
I am so sorry for you loss Chris! I can't even imagine how painful this must be! May all the forces of the world be with you and your family!
Chris & family, may the light and love Zoe radiates in pictures, memories and shared moments continue to light the way forever... and create & inspire always...

my sincere condolences,
James With

I am so very sorry to have read about your daughter..May God be with you and your family throgh this tragedy.and may Zoe'e soul rest in peace! amen!
My deepest condolences go out to you and your family. I am terribly shocked and sorrowful over the loss of such a bright light and daughter; Zoe. As a parent, I can't even pretend to fathom your pain, but I can extend a hand of comfort to you and your family. May her memory be cherished and may you find healing love and blessings in the community that honors her.
Blessings always,
My deepest condolences to you and your family Chris. Thank you for sharing your darling Zoe's pictures. She was a bright light in the world and I can feel the impact she's left on those who knew her.
May your process of grief over your loss truly be a healing so that you find your way back to peace.
Dear Chris,

As a parent, I ache for you. For the loss of a thousand more quiet moments like those captured in these beautiful & intimate pictures. I ache for you because there is nothing I can say that will soften your loss. But I am sorry. Truly sorry.

My own sons are this age, just spreading their light into the world. I look at them & see endless possibilities, how they will inhabit this world & what it will become because of who they are. The laughter & love & exuberance of Zoe is so evident. Know that she has already changed our world because of that.

May you & your entire family be surrounded & sustained & held up during this time with the love of the countless people she has touched...

with love, Brian

Chris, I am so very deeply sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine what it must be like. Derek Powazek taught me a long time ago that on the web, sometimes when you don't have words, you leave a dot. Like the tradition of leaving a stone at a grave.


My sincere condolences to you and your family. I am indeed a fan of your work-- you have empowered such a wonderful community connected across all boundaries. My prayer is that you will feel all the love & light sent your way & that it will somehow provide some comfort at this difficult time.
Dear Chris - I have only just discovered your presence and personality on the web/TED and was so shocked to read this post. My heart goes out to you at this time of great loss. It is the times when we remember a loved one with happiness and joy that we are connected to them once again in spirit. I wish for you many happy memories.
My deepest condolences to you and your family. I lost my 19 year old daughter on Aug 11... I hope and pray that you find all the strength and support to deal with this unimaginable loss.
Chris, Jacqueline and thoughts are with you all.
At the core of our deepest grief lies a Love greater than we can imagine
Thank you for allowing beauty to shine through tragedy and sharing it with us. My Love and prayers are with yo and your family. Daniel
Having never met Zoe, I'm struck that every single photo of her seems to be exploding with happiness and joyous energy. The smile, the eyes, the behavior-! She appears to me glorious unbridled energy. May she live on in all things and people that way.
As the father of two young daughters, I can't even begin to imagine what you must be feeling. My deepest condolences go out to you and your family.
My deepest condolences. Looking through the photographs, Zoe exudes liveliness, laughter, and her zest ! I consider myself a part of your "extended" TED family.
Dear Mr. Anderson,

I'm so sorry for your tragic loss. The love of a father is one of the most important and wonderful sources of support and inspiration for a girl. It is easy to see that Zoe lived life to the fullest and that she had great love in her life.

I saw Anna's song on YouTube, and was moved to tears. As part of the TED community, my heart goes out to you and your family.

Mr Anderson,

Thank you for sharing these picture and thoughts of your daughter Zoe, thank you for letting our family learn of her. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

Ron, Rose, Aaron and Sam.

These amazing photos of Zoe are added to the beautiful ones I had in my head of her already. Zoe always captured my attention and heart. She so beautifully lived her name - life - bringing it to all of us who were lucky enough to cross her path. Love, Maria Eitel
Your post brought tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to you and your family. I pray that God will wrap His loving arms around you and sustain you during this time of grief. Thank you for sharing your lovely daughter's memories with us. Blessings, Benita
I'm a father of a Zoe. My heart goes out to you.
Ah, Chris, how like you to create a beautiful tribute to your daughter and share it with the rest of the world, even as your own heart is breaking. I lost a son early in his life and can only imagine how you must feel in finding this fully formed, totally independent and extraordinary woman has been taken from you. But perhaps not. She has left her mark, as you so beautifully chronicled here and will continue to do so.
I am so sorry for your loss. She seems like she lived life to the fullest. Her name in Greek means life, and what a fitting name.
A beautiful tribute to her life. I'm so sorry for your loss. Bless you and your family in this difficult time.
This post really moved me. I am so sorry for your loss of a beautiful, wonderful girl. Her memory will continue to inspire us all and I wish you and your family the best through this difficult time.

RIP, Zoe.

Dear Chris,
I am so sorry for your loss.
Zoe's spirit will live on in all whose lives she touched...
We single, barren women befriend all our friends children and develop our own special relationships - they give us children not had, we give them non-partisan adult friendships. Together, we love, live and learn. I am attached to all your girls, and your beguiling Zoe deeply made an impression on me for her fierce sense of life and passion and I will miss her always. More than you can imagine. Love, Katherine xo
its great to do that with pictures - i was crying all over the keyboard when i did that for my dads passing last year. xxxxxx
I found this poem I wrote some years ago for the parents of a 17 year old boy mown down and killed by a joyrider and thought of you. Her life and your wonderful response to the tragedy of Zoe's death are a blessing and an inspiration.

All is well
Though you are in a dark wood, I am not
I am the chink of light you can see through the trees
Come my way and I am with you
Don’t go back I am not there
Let me live through you
Let your tears and laughter, your joy and sorrow
Be mine too
Let me live through those I love
My Mum, my Dad, my brothers, my sisters
My sons, my daughters, my friends
I live in the light for I am the light
My name is love
Take that first step towards me
All is well. Live

Thank you Chris for these treasures of Zoe's life. I can't tell you how much this helps.
You and the girls truely amaze me....

We lift her and send her soaring with our Love.
Her beautiful mind is open, wider than space.
No barriers to stop her.
Shining, Pure, Vibrant, White Light.
Our Muse

X -B

As a parent, I only can extend my sincerest condolences, deepest sympathies and heartfelt thanks for these wonderfully joyous pictures, sharing just a little bit of Zoe with all of us. She clearly was a light that burned bright and touched all those within her luminous presence.
My heart goes out to you and your family. Thanks for sharing the pictures and memories...what a wonderful tribute. Anna's song is so beautiful, amazing really.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I am heartbroken with you. I was unaware of Zoe until you noted her here. Unaware but not untouched. My heart breaks for you and for Zoe and and for each one of us who never know the souls that weave hope and optimism into the realm of possibility. Every prayer to every God is answered only by a child.
Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Chris, his family, and all who knew and loved Zoe. She was clearly an extraordinary person. Although we did not know her in person, through your words and pictures we feel as if we do, and it touched us deeply. Her bright light is living on.
Chris, please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve your loss and celebrate the life of your daughter.
We are so very sorry. Our thoughts are with you.
Chris, my deepest compassion and blessings for you and your family. You have given so much to the world. To lose your beautiful daughter Zoe is tragic. Zoe's radiant spirit and shining soul will always be here continuing to inspire people all over the world, just like her parents! Perhaps it would be possible to create a Zoe award for the brightest spark of the year. Love to you all.
So sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter. Your tribute is an amazing reminder of how precious life is.
Chris - Having a daughter about the same age, your loss is deeply personal even though I did not Zoe. Your tribute is touching, deep, and reinforces how short time is with our loved ones. Peace be with you. Hang in there. Your extended family is here for you.
Miss you Zoe
truly heartbreaking Chris especially seeing her life through the pictures -- such a radiant smile -- clearly her footprints live large as she seems like someone who truly lived deep and sucked the marrow out of life as Thoreau once urged. no parent ever wants to imagine the idea of losing a child -- thankfully, you have the love of Jacqueline and your extended TED family to provide a blanket of comfort. love and deepest condolences, paul
Dear Chris, I can't believe the news, we only just heard one month later of the tragic death of Zoe, for a few years one of the dearest people in my life. You may not remember me, I used to drive her to Canford. I always treasured those times and deeply missed her when I moved out here to Italy. She was funny, brilliant and always kind. One of the finest people I knew. She always talked about you and I felt privileged to be able to give her an ear when perhaps life was not so easy. I've been shedding tears since yesterday when I found out. I had really hoped to see her again. Sorry for your loss!! She was amazing and we know she got so much of that from you. Thank you for the photos. We wish you the best and hope you are finding relief. Richard Edwards, Asti Italy
I am very sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you, and your family. Thank you for sharing those wonderful photos. She will live in all of us.
such a vibrant soul it seems, so sorry for your loss, a beautiful way to honor her
Chris, my heart goes out to you and your family. As you say in your email, let TED2011 be the best TED we've ever had.
I am so sorry for your incredible loss. Very nice to see so much light in these pictures of joy, youth and good spirit. I am sure your life and what you are doing with TED will honor her deeply.
Sparkling insights flowed from Zoe. She clearly loved life to its fullest. From TEDxHomer, we send you ease in the silent moments where once her laughter would tickle your heart. May the support for you now and her beloved oceans fill the organizations working to steward those wild blue parts of Earth and Zoe. From her eyes we see joy, curiosity, and deep seeing. From our deep Alaskan waters, we flow love your way and are so very saddened by her vanishing from the energies of TED. Dream on Chris.
Chris -
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. The photos show such a beautiful and vibrant young woman.
I want to send you my warmest thoughts and prayers, and I look forward to seeing you at TED 2011.
Chris, As a mother, I cannot imagine this loss. It has taken years to wrap my heart and mind around the loss of my siblings. At the time, a friend said to me "we are not human beings having a spiritual life. We are spiritual beings having a human life." It helped.
Zoe was larger than life - that is clear from your beautiful photos.
I am so so sorry.
A cold wind, so sad. I am brought low.
Chris-This brought me to tears. I remember meeting Zoe at TED - she is indeed a bundle of beauty and energy and joy. She is no-doubt tearing up Heaven and leaving her mark up there too...
My heart is with you.
As a parent, I feel the void that losing a child must leave. I am so incredibly touched and moved by what you have shared. And I am equally humbled by your willingness to participate in TED2011. Zoe was but a bright moment. We will all pale in her shadow.
With much love,

You helped Zoe live a wondrous life and, through the memories you've shared here, she reminds and inspires all of us to live every moment – to make memories.

Oh, Chris, I am so sorry for your loss.

I can’t imagine a greater heartbreak than the loss of a child. Once again life presents us with the awesome depth of the mysteries that surround us, and the questions we want to ask at times like this are at the very limit of the thinkable and expressible.

So often, when I consider these things, I am taken back to the Hindu poem

Bodhi Svaha

Completely gone.
Altogether gone beyond.
Oh what an awakening. All Hail!

With our deepest condolences.

This is very sad. My thoughts are with you, Chris.
Dear Chris,

Our thoughts are with you and your family.

Take care,


although we've only met a few times Chris, I am so sorry for your loss...I can only imagine. Thoughts are with you
I am so sad for your loss, Chris. I can't imagine the grief in losing a child. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

Bob Zeches

I am insanely sorry to hear about this tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and friends.
Chris, I am deeply shocked and saddened. Thank you for the photos. They say a lot.
Your post is heart-wrenching. I am very sorry for your tragic loss. And happy that you had a wonderful daughter.
Chris, I was so saddened to hear of this personal tragedy. A love a father has for his daughter is unmatched by any other in importance and connection. This is a wonderful tribute to the times you shared and the sparkle she added to everyone's life whom she touched. May you heal in time and celebrate those special times forever. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
beautiful tribute and such a tragic loss. my thoughts go to you and your family. may your wonderful memories sustain you.
Dear Chris,

My deepest and most humble condolences.

Speaking with Zoe was a delight and the world is less bright for the loss of her wit, charm and ready smile.

Truly there are no words for such a loss.

We plant a forest grove in her name.

Words do not come easy but please know that our thoughts are with you all.


So sorry, so very sorry ...
Chris and Jacqueline: This is so heartbreaking. Zoe was so beautiful and so happy. I have a 28 year old daughter and sometimes imagine the pain you are feeling when I can't reach her for a few days. You are both so loving and giving, and Zoe must have been surrounded by that love. See you at TED,
Jackie Leo
Chris and Jacqueline,
Please accept my deep sympathies. I lost my only sister some 46 years ago when she was just 14. Time does heal, but does not forget. May the light of love from so many surround you and yours as you begin move through the grieving/healing process.
Chirs - as a parent of an 18 & 16 year old, and a friend of yours and the TED family, words cannot describe the paralyzing fear and sadness that shot thru my body as I read your warm and tragic post. Alison & I are so sorry for your loss and are only grateful for the joy of the times Zoe spent with her Dad - look forward to seeing you at TED
Chris - words belie the immense sorrow I feel for you. Zoe must have loved you a lot, judging from the photos. Some day you will be reunited with Zoe. Until that day she will remain firmly in your heart through your thoughts.

So very sorry for your loss. As a father I can empathize with the impact this must have on you and your family. The way you choose to celebrate Zoe speaks volumes for the life she led and the legacy she leaves.

The whole Dialsmith team shares with you and your family our thoughts and well wishes during this most difficult time,

- David


I am so sad to hear about Zoe. Yet your words are so powerful and touching that it looks she will never be away from your's and our's lives.

Faisal Chohan

my heart cries for you and your family!!!
Zoe looks like the most beautiful, shining, gentle, joyful soul. I have a daughter of my own who is my heart. I am so sorry for your loss.
A devastating loss, but also an inspiring life lived, albeit too briefly. Chris, your strength too is an inspiration.

I can't stop thinking of this and you.

A beautiful post and Olympian in it's undertaking.




I am very sorry for your loss. There are no words to say.

The tribute is beautiful and shows a happy life, well lived but cut too short.



Deepest sympathy on your loss.


What a sparkler. Zoe's not really gone, Chris. She's just taken on an even more expansive form of life.



My heart goes out to you and your family.
And I applaud your strength.

I cried as I looked at the photos you posted.
I remember her well, and she lives on in all of us...
a true sparkly light.

Much love and appreciation for all that you do and are,

Chris, I just met you at TEDwomen with Pat Mitchell last fall. Norman and I are going to our first TED this year. I've been thinking of you since I heard about Zoe, and now I'm in tears after reading this.

What a sparkling spirit Zoe has...she shines through and is shining still. We will all celebrate her life this year and continue to be inspired. She will be with us. I really believe that.

Thank you for all you sorry.

Zoe just shines in all your photos, from the time she was a toddler to the Best Christmas Ever. William Blake's poem, Eternity, came to mind when I read your words and saw her photos:

He who binds himself to a joy,
Does the winged life destroy;
But she who kissed the joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity's Sunrise.

We will kiss the joy as it flies at TED 2011 in Zoe's honor.

Thank you so much for sending us the photographs of your beloved Zoe, and your beautiful tribute. Our heartfelt sorrow is with you and your family, and all her many friends.

Nancy and Kary

Dear Chris, this is a truly beautiful tribute. May Zoe rest in peace.
I am sure she would have wanted you leading TED this 2011.
Best wishes,
Dear Chris and Jacqueline,

David and I are profoundly sorry for your loss. Your love and Zoe's life bounce off the page. It is obvious that anyone who knew Zoe had been privy to her joyous spirit. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to know a bit about Zoe and her glorious being.

Warmly - Emily

Chris, I am so sorry for your loss. My family's thoughts are with you and your family.
Dear Chris,
Thank you for sharing your story, feelings and these beautiful pictures. Zoe really seemed to be a joyful, bright, full of energy young woman and the world has lost some of its shine without her.
My deepest, deepest feelings for you and your family. Your family has done and is doing so much for the world with TED, and TED has done so much for me, I will never be able to thank you enough. Please know that my heart (and everyone's I guess) is with you and your family in this time, and please know I am sending you my strongest feelings and thoughts of love, peace, serenity and heal.

Jennifer and I were just heartbroken to hear the news.

I was giving my kids a bubble bath the other night and, instead of treasuring the moment, I had my iPhone out and was checking email and then I read about your loss and I sat there and looked at my young daughter and son and I started crying.

The kids suddenly looked over and said Dad what's wrong and I shared your pictures of Zoe with them and told them about how you were going to celebrate her life. We could see from the photos that Zoe lived her life to the fullest.

My kids asked us to give you a hug from them when we see you at TED

There are just no words to express how sorry we are for your loss.

all the best


Janet Baker asked me to post this:

To Chris and his family,

My heart weeps for you,
My spirit applauds your bravery
In celebrating unspeakable tragedy
With lasting good deeds.

In deepest sympathy,
Janet Baker

Thanks, Janet... and thanks so much to everyone for this extraordinary outpouring of love and support. It's incredibly touching... and healing.


I'm so sorry for your loss. The photos show life lived with joy and happiness, which could have only been instilled in her from the deep love of her parents.

Much love,



My deepest condolences to you and your family.

Zoe was clearly a bright light and your goal to have her light shine in the reef is a beautiful way to celebrate her spirit.

Julie Gardner

Chris, I finally had a chance to look at Zoe' pictures. I am sorry for your loss.

In Islamic traditons, there are no words that can be uttered to reduce the grief. Only pateince and time do that and I wish you patience and time.

Take Care,

Pervez Qureshi

As a father of two boys just making their way through all the pitfalls of youth and finally feeling I've sheparded them through the worst, your tragedy reminds me that we never lose that sense of responsibility and worry for our children, no matter how far they get in life. After I read what had happened to Zoe I put down my work and sought both boys out and told them I loved them, thinking deep down in my soul that such statements can never be offered often enough and also how fleeting life can be.
I grieve for you and your loss and hope you know that your honesty at this time makes all of us want to surround you with our love and support.
Kind thoughts,
Brian O'Sullivan
I read the news... and I cried!!!
Sincere condoleances Chris...
thank you for showing us how grace breathes.
warm regards.
I was reading my old emails and came across this post. As a father of 3, I'm very sad with your loss. Only time can heal your daily pain. You did a great job in TED this year (I was attending TEDActive) and I'm sure you'll continue your great mission of spreading ideas.
May God protect you an your family.
I'm someone from somewhere, doesn't matter.. But I shed some unexpected tear at the moment because of your loss.. Condolences to all family..
You don't me but..... I came across your post by accident and shed some tears. I was deeply moved and touched by your love for your beautiful daughter and bravery through this hard, hard time. I lost my girlfriend Lenore (Lenny) of 15 years on the December 30 2010 and that was the moment my life changed forever. I miss her greatly as we did everything together but she still lives on in my heart. I would still be compelled to write a few words to you even if my life had not taken the unfortunate path it has as I was deeply moved by your post in an unexpected way. My heart goes out to you and your family as I know how difficult it can be at times, especially when a life gets cut short so tragically. It's funny how a few lines of text written by a stranger can touch you so profoundly that you feel compelled to act.

So sorry,


I forgot to mention, I lived in Bath in the early nineties, a beautiful place.

I just listened to your Liz Gilbert interview and read your tribute. In tears for the unfortunate accident. Your daughter is lovely!
I am deeply moved by your post. Your daughters spirit lives on.
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