Kel’s Angels

Today is the anniversary of Kellie‘s death. All over the world, the people she impacted in life will be feeling a deeper ache today. 365 more days around the sun on this blue and green planet, in our little sector of the universe. For many of us she is our Supernova. A brief, brilliant miracle. A solar biker chick, burning trails in the galaxy.  Spinning on a dime and firing up the skies as she blazes past.

I think of lyrics from a song that has always helped my own mother-grief, Bright Star by the Indigo Girls. This song has always spoken to me and for me. Today I’m dedicating it to Kellie’s girl, Ash.  For me, it is the song from a daughter to a mother she has lost. I’m sure Ash has her own grief music closer to her generation!  I just wanted to share this one from my heart to hers.

Fare thee well my bright star
It was a brief brilliant miracle dive
That which I looked up to and I clung to for dear life
Had to burn itself up just to make itself alive

And I caught you then in your moment of glory
Your last dramatic scene against a night sky stage
With a moment so clear that it’s as if you’re still before me
My once in a lifetime star of an age

So fare thee well my bright star
Last night the tongues of fire circled me around
And this strange season of pain will come to pass
When the healing hands of autumn cool me down

-Indigo Girls ‘Bright Star’

Today I received an email from Kellie’s husband Mark.  He wrote to share the latest news of the Scholarship Fund they created in Kellie’s name. I love the idea of a legacy like that. Her passions, her generosity.  Here is what he wrote:

Hi All –
With today being the 19th of July, I thought it would be meaningful to celebrate our memory of Kellie today with an update on the scholarship.

Nicola was our first recipient who went on to achieve remarkable success in her final year with a GPA of 6.66, two publications, and several readings. Beyond this she was continuing to submit to larger journals. She shared how this would not have been possible without receiving the award. In short, the outcome for our 2016 recipient exceeded all expectations.

Luc, Ash, Ann, Charlotte and I attended the presentation event late last year at QUT where the 2017 recipient was announced. We have another very worthy recipient in James (picture attached). I am particularly pleased to understand James specialises in writing Sci-Fi. As part of his address, it was good and unexpected for Luc and Ash to hear Glen talk about Kellie’s passion and engagement in class.

As I think about Kellie’s legacy, the part that resonates (as I write this note) is how she never gave up exploring and sharing her passion for life with those around her.


The ‘Ann and Charlotte’ Mark speaks of are his new wife and new baby. The family is doing really well according to my sources, in case you were wondering like I did! Babies are magical joy bringers. Big love to the van Meurs. And big love to you Kel. Your angels are here doing their thing; your angel gift to those writers enables them to do theirs.

We miss you. X

2 thoughts on “Kel’s Angels”

  1. I’ve never put into text how Kellie and her sparks of life affected me. When she passed, it was a few days (or weeks, time betrays me) before I was due to have a large, experimental surgery that was quite risky. I’d had a couple of my regular gastro and vascular doctors plus a psych sit with me a few times to explain everything. What could go wrong, what I’d have to live with afterwards, my recovery time, etc, etc. I was very scared.
    The night before the operation, my gorgeous GI doctor sat with me and asked if I still wanted to go through with it, as well as asked why I wanted to do it. I thought of Kellie in that moment, and the Sara Bareilles song “Brave” that she loved. I gave myself a shot of morph through the PCA, sat up and said that I couldn’t live with the what ifs. My doctor said I was brave. She left, and I cried tears mixed with grief, fear and most importantly… hope.
    I know we weren’t particularly close, Kellie, but know that in that moment that you were my hero.
    My operation had it’s complications but it was a success. I’m not on hospice and I’m still here. You had a part in that. Thank you.

    1. Aw Kendall. Yes, her impact was profound, wasn’t it? I imagine her cheering you on in that moment. Brave enough to fight for the ‘what if’. Thank you for your putting into words the Kellie Factor. Beautiful, funny Kellie. Brave and bold Kellie. She was a light in the lives of so many of us.

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