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Zoe Anne Stewart Hyra, was born on August 24, 1994 with eyes wide to the world, challenged every single inch of her existence, and defined her own life's story.

She was a brilliant intellect, creative and exceptional in every venue. An accomplished author of myriad artistic expression - poetry, prose, drawing and painting, clever, profound and deeply haunting. She designed intricate needlework, mysterious lavender cupcakes, and jewels of handbound books, all to give away. She crafted provocative essays and offered keen observation; thoughtful enough to challenge and engage her most astute teachers and professors --- from philosophy to art history, linguistics to literature.

And she tried. I believe in my soul that she really really tried. And the pain was too great. Zoe was consumingly willful. Zoe was strong. Sail in an ice storm, leap from a cliff, tear down the house - strong. She explored every path to escape the torment of her mind, and her body defied the impossible, defied her escape, time and time again. I continued to believe that there was a purpose, a greater meaning, that she survived so much destruction, against any logical expectation. We fought every moment to keep her here. To make her stay. To hope that more time, more love, more time, might fix something, might better anything. Her illness was stronger then all of us.

We are left behind. Her family and friends and the many many people that she touched on her journey. Those that she questioned, and chastened, and comforted and held. I am waiting for the proverbial wisdom born of tragedy, the enlightenment from grief. My husband told me that he has a new heart- that hate and anger are now too heavy to carry. That there is only enough strength for love.

Maybe that is Zoe's lesson. When we are finally too broken to sustain hate and anger and too weary for the demands of judgement, what remains is love. As weightless and lofting and real as the crows' feathers that Zoe was always finding, holding them in her pockets until she found someone to pass them on. I am finding them still, tucked into notebooks, sliding from between drawings, mixed in the detritus of her leaving ---- breaking my heart. "Aren't they perfect? Aren't they beautiful?"

Zoe was truly all things. The chaos of her mind produced a scathing wit, a speaker of pterodactyl and quieter of frogs. She was a storm of temper, an intrepid adventuress, an empathic spirit and a bee whisperer. Our trail-grammarian. Zoe was beautiful and perfect and tormented and volatile and ours.

And the Fiercest loving being that I have known.


Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend the Celebration of Life on Sunday, January 14, 2018 begining at 1:00 PM at Islandwood, 4450 Blakely Ave NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. Please sign the online Guest Book for the family.

Islandwood: View Map




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