The title of this post may seem strange, but strange is really the only way to describe it. When I heard of Peaches Geldof’s untimely and wholly tragic death yesterday afternoon, I felt simply gutted. Being the self-analytical person I am, I almost immediately began to question why – to lose your life at 25 years old is naturally terrible, but my sadness reached further than that. I couldn’t say that I was necessarily a fan of Peaches’ work (though the pieces of her writing I did read, I enjoyed), in the sense that, unlike the music of Amy Winehouse or the performances of Michael Clarke Duncan, it had never touched my heart. But something else about Peaches did, and though it’s tricky to explain, I’m sure many of you will understand the sentiment.
Over the last couple of years, Peaches had embodied a quality that we, as humans, root for – triumph over adversity. After losing her own mother at such a young age, and speaking often about her childhood and teenage struggles, she transformed with as much sincerity as speed into the role she will hopefully be remembered for. A wife, devoted mother and witty opinionist. Seeing this change, which was heavily documented in the press, made me smile. I’m two years Peaches’ junior, and have been aware of her and her siblings for a long time – I vividly remember hearing about Paula Yates’ death in 2000, and feeling sad for the children I recognised as being so close in age to myself. Since then, I loosely followed the Geldof girls’ journeys via the press and internet – Peaches’ lows were often mentioned during her teenage years, but her recent highs were what really caught my interest. I felt a genuine, if detached, happiness for her and her new little family. It seemed that she had finally found her bliss.
I did once see Peaches in person. I was stood on Oxford Street in London next to a slim, glamorous girl with a push chair for a good 10 minutes before I realised it was her. She was waiting for her husband, and no sooner had I cottoned on to her identity than she was gone, hand-in-hand with Thomas, smiling as she pushed their baby along the street. For someone who had led such an unusual life, she seemed so normal, so comfortable in the new beginning she had created despite the pain everyone knew she carried. Of course, it was a tiny snapshot. Of course. But it was nothing short of heartwarming.
So, why a difficult tribute? Because although I didn’t know Peaches, or a lot about her work, the person she became (or at least what we saw of it, again adding to the difficulty) makes an already awful situation that much more heartbreaking. I’ve noticed so many tributes being paid to her speaking along the lines of ‘I’m devastated, yet it’s hard to explain’, and I understand. When you didn’t know someone personally, you feel like somewhat of a fraud when paying your tribute – this is again what I mean by ‘difficult’. All I can say is this: her family are in the thoughts of so many at the moment, and I just hope they’ll eventually be able to find some peace. No child should have to lose their mother so young, something Peaches knew only to well herself. It’s just tragic.
Please feel free to leave your own thoughts or tributes below.