Farewell Amy, and Thank You

My favourite children's author died today. And it hit me like a tonne of bricks, for some reason.

I was introduced to the incredible craft and beauty of Amy Krouse Rosenthal after our daughter entered our lives. We received a box set of Little Pea, Little Hoot and Little Oink from my brother. As soon as I read these gems, I was in love with her voice. You know when you read something and it sounds like the voice inside your head, and you think, I wish I had written this? Yeah, that. I was connected to the simple structure, humour and universality from the get-go. 

I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I had never visited her website until today. I felt I knew her through her work. I had never sought out more about her; her work speaks for itself. Imagine my delight to find reams of videos and other creative endeavours waiting to be discovered there, and the chance to know her more deeply! 

As I explored her site a little today, I found this, among other things. (I would make one edit, near the end, from "mankind" to "humankind"...otherwise, it makes my heart sing!) It was written and created several years ago, but I connected with her words and message immediately. They reflect my personal journey toward and into a meaningful life for the past several years, and especially lately.  

I was puzzled why I was so upset about her death today. I'd never met her. I wasn't stalking her every move on social media. I hadn't even been aware she was unwell. I haven't read everything she's every written or seen everything she's ever created. So what was up? I sat with it through most of the day, and came to this:

I realize I'm sad that she won't produce any more amazing work to add to the collection of kindness, beauty and delight she brought into this world.

She was only 51. I'm sad that her husband and children and extended family and friends and colleagues will miss her presence. Having recently been through the what-ifs, and the writing good-byes and capturing life advice and making videos as last mementos for my loved ones, I know her reality could have been mine a couple weeks ago. And that hits close to home. I imagine she felt the same things I was feeling about leaving too soon. And my heart breaks for her and her family. 

I'm sad because I will never have the chance to attend a writing class or a book signing or other event and meet her. I realize now, as I look at my vision board about my creativity and writing, which features two of my favourite of her books (Little Pea and Uni the Unicorn), that she really was who I was hoping to become, as a writer, anyway. And now she's gone. 

And yet, I am so grateful that she was here, and that she created, and inspired others to create. And that she left such a gorgeous legacy in her work, which I get to keep exploring. 

And so, because of Amy, I am motivated to Always Trust Magic, Beckon the Lovely, Connect, Do, Embrace the Empty Space, Figure It Out As I Go, and Go To It (from Amy's 7 Notes on Life TEDxWaterloo talk). 

In love and light,


Content copyright Jilly Hyndman 2019. Portraits of Jilly by the talented Michael Bell.