Vibrant life lost on ‘death trap’
LIFE on the brink of blossoming is a beautiful thing to see. Life snatched cruelly, quickly and without apology is a heartbreaking mystery.
Writing comes easily to me but these words do not.
Every sentence sends me reeling as if seeing them reflected before my eyes makes it final.
Painfully, all too real.
Recently we lost a young life on yet another section of road known to locals as a "death trap".
Wet weather, a notorious Ross Lane corner and an oncoming car conspired against 20-year-old Taylor Chase one afternoon as she drove her younger brother home.
While 10-year-old Charlie survived the accident with a broken arm, Taylor tragically died at the scene.
That Taylor was known among family and friends as sensible, responsible, cautious and mature beyond her years has done little to diminish our collective anguish, grief and disbelief.
My last memory of this sassy, smart, feisty, funny young woman was on New Year's Eve at The Falls Music and Arts Festival.
She was in fine form with five of her closest friends, who were all camping on-site so as to soak up every second of the carnival vibe.
She was exuberant and in her element surrounded by her great love - music - and her beloved girlfriends.
I took a few photos of Taylor and then watched her walk away, smiling at the knowledge that, like me, she was having the time of her life.
Taylor was a sister, cousin, niece, granddaughter, great-granddaughter and friend whose presence was indelible, infectious and unforgettable.
She was also the first born of one of my most treasured friends, who now faces the unbearable reality of living life without her constant companion.
Across the country and beyond, clusters of communities are mourning the loss of a beautiful young life taken far too quickly.
Family in Sydney and New Zealand, neighbours in Bangalow, teammates at Eureka FC, school friends from St Hilda's - all now in deep mourning for the quick-witted, big-hearted, fiercely loyal Taylor Paris Chase.
To Kate, Martin, Josie, Charlie and Violet - our hearts go out to you in this time of unimaginable grief.
To Taylor, it was a pleasure knowing you, albeit briefly, and seeing the deep love you had for your family.
To quote one of your best friends: "It's not so much that you won't see the world as much as the world won't see you."