I wasn't sure about writing this post, but kept coming back to the idea of it. I felt I had things I wanted to say. Love I wanted to share. Absolute adoration for and inspiration from this woman, this friend, that writing about her felt important. About a week ago, my dear and old friend Amelia O'Connor passed away. It was sudden, tragic, and the kind of news that shakes you to the core. For a not-quite-29 year old woman, mother of two young kiddos, beloved wife and rockstar of a photographer to be gone is hard to believe. Amelia touched so many people with her work and her heart of gold. A lot of people have written beautiful things, have shared in this grief, and it has made it a bit easier. I love knowing how loved she was, and how wide and bright she shined. She had a very special warmth - her hugs were amazing. She was real, honest, strong, supportive, generous and endlessly full of hope. I grew up knowing Amelia, from a young age, knowing her family and her story, and later, knowing her own little family and the beautiful life she created for them.
The thing about Amelia is that she got it. She understood what was important, what mattered, what made the days special. She loved the world around her, believed in hard work and hope, made the most of everything - celebrated everything and had a kick-arse time doing it. In between all the tears and grief, the shock and ache of it all, I have taken a lot of solace in that. I have been grateful for her friendship, albeit distanced and fractured these last few years, as we lived in different states. I spoke to a friend Soph last week who said 'I just felt comforted knowing that Amelia was out there, in the world, being awesome' and I laughed at how true it was. I miss her a lot, but am reminded again and again of how special she was, how her way of being was something to hold onto. I am reminded that kindness, being a good and loving person, is really all that matters.
I've been listening to Exile on Main St by the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac Rumours, because, of course. And lots of Joni Mitchell's Amelia, a song so poignantly beautiful and full of courage seems just right for this always friend.
* All images by Amelia O'Connor