Love Fi x
Fi had plans and knew exactly what she wanted from life. She had secured a place at St Aidan's College, Durham University to study Geography. Beyond that, she knew she wanted to become a civil servant, to be involved in government policy that would improve the life chances of disadvantaged groups and help make our society fairer. She had a strong moral compass and was uncompromising in standing up for her values.
Fi lived by those values. At her funeral, Fi's friends read the following, we hope it helps you get to know Fi.
'We've already heard beautiful things from Fi’s family, and we will later hear from Mr Branch. Now we want to share with you the Fi that we know and love.
One thing which comforts us is FI’s happiness in the past few months. The Fi we will remember is the Fi who never stopped smiling. Whether she was cutting up pizza with scissors after a night out or taking lit disposables, her iconic character shines through every memory we have of her. In her room there is a sign asking ‘what do you want to be when you’re older?’.. the reply is ‘happy'. And she was, she really was.
That's the thing about Fi ... she managed to balance work and play. Fi had the gift of being able to set herself goals and work until she met them. Even after she had gone hard on a night out, she would still come into school … Mr Branch even created 'Braidwood day' to ‘celebrate' Fi’s impressive feat of coming into school with a massive hangover ... and the mango juice definitely helped. Although Fi won’t be going to uni with us physically, we are taking her in our hearts and she’ll still be with us ordering our chicken legends (with spicy mayo) after a lit night out.
It used to bother me that so many people die and yet we only remember the names of so few, but now I see that it is not about having your own statue or being written into text books … our legacy is the way we affect the lives of those who love us; the people they become because of their memories of you. We internalise the traits of our loved ones which we want to remember. In this way we are all living collages, made up of the best parts of other people, and Fi was so full of goodness. Her loyalty, morality and honesty will live on inside all of us.
Fi lived by her beliefs. On her wall she has a quote, ‘speak the truth, even if your voice shakes’. Her principals were always so strong … and I think that was obvious to everyone who met her. Fi's twitter account is full of gems, our favourite is ’this time last year I was in America, today I’m at work eating a yoghurt with a fork because I forgot my spoon’ but her tweets about David Cameron’s receding hairline and her mum setting her up with boys on uni open days are also gold.
Fi chose her friends very carefully, and if you were lucky enough to be counted as one of them, then you knew you had someone you could trust and rely on.
Her strength of character and independence is obvious in everything she does. Her determination to live life to the full and make the most of of every moment is amazing; In this way Fi is truly iconic. I think that's one of the things that we will remember her for the most. She has inspired us to do as she did - to live our lives to the full. Anything else would seem like a discredit to her. Whether it's watching the sun set on Banwell Hill, or slaying on a night out, she will always be with us.
I don’t think we’ll ever get over the unfairness of such a beautiful life being cut so short, but Fi wouldn’t want us to think about her death, she’d want us to think about her life. As said in a poem that meant a lot to Fi "do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”. Although Fi’s death has created a hole in our lives that will never truly be filled, we have to remember that sometimes angels are needed back in heaven, and we are so lucky to have been graced with her presence on earth.