We of the administrative and editorial group at Tizona have suffered a tragic and devastating loss, as our administrator, Ash, was killed in a single vehicle accident. However, our loss pales next to that of her family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them all.
Ashleah was only twenty-two years old.
Ash was invited into The Tizona Group by the founder of our blog, and she was always a bit of a mystery to me, as she was to the rest of the administrative group. I don’t believe any of us ever actually met her personally, though some did speak to her by telephone, and we all had email exchanges with her from time to time.
As for myself, since I live in the US and Ash was Australian, these email conversations were often at very strange hours, which was a treat for me as I keep a bizarre musician’s schedule. Ash always struck me as very intelligent and well informed – quite remarkably so given her tender years – and it was always a distinct pleasure to correspond with her.
Though she leaves several unsolvable mysteries in her wake, one thing that was no mystery was the invaluable nature of her contribution to our weblog. I called Ash, “the enforcer” because she was such a dogged and tireless patroller of our reader comment sections, and she also brought a valued woman’s perspective to questions regarding the direction of our efforts. Plus, if any of us knot-headed editors forgot things like tagging posts, she always caught and fixed the errors and oversights… followed by an email admonishment, of course.
To say that Ash will be missed around here is an unfathomable understatement, but there are no words to adequately express how much of a void she and her work will leave at The Tizona Group. Nor are there any words that could properly express the profound sadness of we of the administrative group over this incomprehensible tragedy.
If you would like to pay your respects or post remembrances of Ash in the comments section, please do, but keep in mind that we will be sending this thread to her parents, so any and all offensive posts will be deleted.
In lieu of words, I simply offer a recording I made of Tears in the Rain by Joe Satriani.
Rest in Peace and Godspeed, Ashleah.
January 23, 2009, 5:11 am at 5:11 am
My deepest condolences to Ash’s mother and father in this time of grievous loss.
You raised and nurtured a beautiful soul.
I pray for comfort and peace for you.
January 23, 2009, 5:18 am at 5:18 am
God that’s awful.
January 23, 2009, 9:12 am at 9:12 am
I didn’t know Ash, but like many others I appreciated her wit and zest over the internet. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.
January 23, 2009, 10:01 am at 10:01 am
It is just so darned quiet around here without Ash. As one of the co-editors here, I know how hard it’s going to be to run this thing without her. She was quick and witty and kind, and freely put in a lot of time to keep this place chugging along.
Her contributions will be sorely missed here at Tizona, at Tim Blair’s, and at Andrew Bolt’s. The blogosphere will be a different place now, without her.
January 23, 2009, 10:04 am at 10:04 am
By the way, Gus, your rendition of that Satriani piece is a beautiful touch. Thanks for putting it up here.
January 23, 2009, 10:11 am at 10:11 am
I’m so sorry! That’s horrible. My oldest son is turning 22 in 5 weeks. I can’t imagine losing him at that age.
My sincerest condolences to Ash’s family and to all of you who teemed with her on this blog.
May God’s peace be with you all.
January 23, 2009, 11:00 am at 11:00 am
Just looked at the site.
I can’t tell you how upset I am:(
I am devastated.
I only “knew” Ash from Bolt’ blog for the past few years, following her stories, her love of steak, and the birth of her baby.
My most sincere condolences to the family.
May she rest in peace.
January 23, 2009, 11:18 am at 11:18 am
Oh my God. I am so sorry. Condolences to her family (poor Ember, now without mother or father).
January 23, 2009, 11:51 am at 11:51 am
Goodbye Ash, find a place to rest wherever youve gone. Thanks for that piece Angus.
January 23, 2009, 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm
Farewell, Dear Ash.
May you rest in peace and may your family heal.
January 23, 2009, 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm
Sad news indeed.
My condolences to her family and her friends. She will be greatly missed.
January 23, 2009, 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm
Farewell to an ol’ friend (and part-time sparring partner :))
January 23, 2009, 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm
“It comes as a thief in the night.”
Take time to remember, and don’t be afraid to laugh or cry at the memories.
January 23, 2009, 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm
Oh no… 😦
January 24, 2009, 4:29 am at 4:29 am
Its too late on a friday for me to articulate myself properly in english.
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
January 24, 2009, 9:22 am at 9:22 am
I will remember her for her spirit – warm and friendly to those of like mind, a viper to the unenlightened! You never felt ignored when Ash was around. This blog won’t be the same without her – call that a cliche if you like, but even a cliche can hold truth and she was such an integral part of Tizona’s, I stand by it.
We will miss her.
January 24, 2009, 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm
A great loss of a fine young lady, my deepest condolences to her family & friends
January 24, 2009, 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm
I will miss reading her comments at Andrew Bolts. Very sad, she was so friendly and funny. Who will take on JULIEN and the other moonbats now?!?
Condolences to all.
January 24, 2009, 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm
I liked the music too, Angus Day.
January 24, 2009, 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm
I liked the music too, Angus Dei.
(oops) (fixed) (sorry)
January 24, 2009, 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm
[…] Follow-up to previous post about Ash « The Tizona Group […]
January 25, 2009, 1:54 am at 1:54 am
Ciao little one,
I guess I have waited to write something profound, but I am not really good at that (as many have noted). I’m not a poet, nor am I any good at speeches, but I will attempt to say some small thing.
Ash, you brightened the time I spent on the net, and hence, brightened the lonely times when I was away, even when I was deployed I was able to surf the net and see your posts, though I couldn’t comment.
You always shone through as a person of unusual clear-sightedness in a pretty foggy world. Through our emails you always told me that my current wife was the one, and at your (and other’s) urging, we eventually got married. I thank you for that.
Ash, you were always my friend, and when I came home early, you were so worried about the injuries I got, when I thought of them as nothing. Now I wish I had known you better. Despite all of the mysteries you leave behind, know that you have a friend back down here. Forever.
That’s a promise, and I don’t break those, over the internet or not.
From myself and Dirty Harriet, your friends, Godspeed, little one, make sure there’s some beer for us when we get there, okay?
Your Mate, 185, and WifeFromHell
January 26, 2009, 4:40 am at 4:40 am
I am greatly saddened by this news. Ash and I exchanged several e:mails over the last year or so, and she was an occasional commenter at my blog site. Very bright and very gutsy; I’ll miss her.
January 26, 2009, 4:51 am at 4:51 am
Oh, Lord, this is such sad news. My deepest condolences to Ash’s friends and family.
January 26, 2009, 11:29 am at 11:29 am
How bloody terrible. Deepest sympathy to Ash’s family and friends.
January 26, 2009, 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm
What a tragedy. Sympathies to all of Ash’s family and friends. We in the anonymity of the blog world will miss a sharp wit and intelligent contributor. Goodbye Ash.
January 26, 2009, 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm
This is just too awful. I liked Ash very much and she had spunk. Deepest sympathy to her family, especially Ember. VALE ASH
January 26, 2009, 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm
Oh, no. I can hardly believe it. My deepest sympathies to her survivors.
January 26, 2009, 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm
I am going to come across as horrid and nasty here, but I wish people to know that Ash did not leave a daughter behind.
She lied about that, as she lied about a few other things.
This is not to diminish the loss of her family, but in cases like this, perpetuating myths can be more damaging than first we realise.
In some ways, she was a good friend to some of us, but the friendship was always based upon an unreal situation.
My condolences are with her family first, and those of us she lied to second.
They found out that their daughter was not who they knew, and that has to have made a difficult situation moreso.
I can’t begin to guess at her motives – perhaps what seemed like a bit of fun got too much for her but she just kept it up anyway, perhaps she had some issues that led her along this pathway.
We won’t know and ultimately it doesn’t change anything.
The Ash we knew and loved is gone, and so is the Ash we didn’t know.
January 26, 2009, 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm
I don’t think that what you’ve had to say is either nasty or horrible, just factual. On Andrew’s blog, several people have described Ash as a mystery lady, and so she was. It seems that I was not the only one to twig quite some time ago that the Amadora/Ember/Maddy story was false. Why, we’ll never know.
That said, her death, and the manner of it, is horrible and shocking to us all. I hope she didn’t suffer, and that she is now at peace.
January 26, 2009, 5:16 pm at 5:16 pm
I guess it really needed to be said, Nilk – and I’m with Sandi, for what it’s worth: what you said was not “horrible and nasty,” it was something that really needed saying to keep people from being further betrayed, I think.
I wasn’t sure what to say to people who were expressing honest sympathy and grief towards Ash’s now-orphaned “daughter” – a few, I emailed privately with the facts of the matter, and I did recently put an updated line into the “follow-up” post, but I’m glad you stepped up and submitted your comment when you did and saved a lot of people a lot of worry over a non-existent orphan. This situation is sad enough as it is.
January 26, 2009, 8:30 pm at 8:30 pm
I really appreciate your honesty. That would have taken a great degree of courage on your part under these circumstances.
January 27, 2009, 2:20 am at 2:20 am
Condolences to Ash’s family and friends. I only knew her through comments on Tim Blair’s blog. She always had a warm and kind word for anyone who needed it.
Nilk, I agree it was not nasty and needed to be said, I was concerned about her ‘daughter’ too, and it is simply one less tragic circumstance in what is already a horrible thing for her family. That she lied about this does not diminish what I said above: she was warm and caring towards those who (in anonimity) needed caring for.
Be at peace, Ash.
January 27, 2009, 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm
hi tizona group,
I have located your log site, through searching for news about Ash while overseas.
I knew about the accident as a news story in Melbourne and cried anyway.
I found out later that it was someone I knew and cried again.
I worked out Ash was our state road toll death 21 for the new year.
Once when she was a little girl she squeezed my hand so hard I was scared that she’d never let go.
I laughed when I read that Ash had developed an online personality here, and that she had made up stories about her daughter. I think that she was only protecting her privacy on the internet and the international blog site.
I cant even believe that she worked as administrator on this site – she has weaved many online stories beyond the news items in our local papers.
I think her online stories show she also had the makings of a very clever fiction writer and I hope that her family can find something from her past to read to console them.
Remember her comments and what they said about your own writing.
This is a beautiful tribute to one of Ash’s online communities, and I thank you for giving it to her family.
xx alicia bee
January 27, 2009, 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm
What a thoughtful comment, Alicia Bee – Thank you very much for sharing that with us.
You can bet your bottom dollar that she did. In addition to having authored a total of over 560 posts in little over a year, she was not just “an” administrator — she was THE blog administrator – and as such put in untold hours on the design, statistic and other behind-the-scenes work that it takes to keep a blog like this ticking along. To the point that now, in in the wake of her tragic loss, we’ve had to distribute the duties that Ash did almost singlehandedly among two or three of us.
That is a very interesting take on it, Alicia. Ash certainly was a very skilled writer, and her intelligence and wittiness and her unique insights on every-day goings-on would almost certainly have given her, if properly channeled, the makings of a creative and successful fiction writer.
Unfortunately, it brings home what a sad loss it is for her online friends who really enjoyed her writing, but most importantly for her poor family – my heart goes out to them more than I’m able to express at this point.
she has weaved many online stories beyond the news items in our local papers.
I’m am interested in hearing more about the news items in your local papers, and just more anecdotes about her in general from someone who seems to have known her somewhat better than those of us who “thought” we were close to her (well we were close, to the online Ash – just not the real-life Ash.). It might help the somewhat-uncomfortable sense of betrayal and confusion some of us (or I at least) are still trying to come to terms with.
I you want to discuss this more off-blog, you can contact this blog via email on tizonasweblog(at)gmail.com, or me personally at sdog61(at) gmail.com, and you have my personal guarantee that anything via email will stay off-the-record unless I have your explicit permission.
Thank you for your kind words about Ash. Whoever she was in “real life,” I will sorely miss the Ash I got to “know” via out varying contacts over the past few years.
January 27, 2009, 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm
[…] Funeral Service for Ashleah Emery, music video[…]
January 27, 2009, 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm
The funeral service and private cremation for Ashleah will be on Saturday 31st.
See update to this post and this post or more details.
January 28, 2009, 11:52 am at 11:52 am
I just mentioned something on AB’s blog about her daughter, and so it’s really shocked me to hear that she didn’t have one. I feel like the girl with whom I shared correspondance was never really there, but at the same time, her warmth and compassion were real. Rest in peace, Ash.
January 28, 2009, 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm
It’s taken me a while to finally get my thoughts together. I knew Ashs online persona and for a while emailed each other. She seemed to have an endless supply of energy and always a kind word to say. Her sense of humor and her ability to solve puzzles and riddles kept me awake infront of my PC until all hours of the morning.
This is what I chose to remember of her.
You will be missed Ash.
January 28, 2009, 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm
I only knew Ash via the Bolt Blog and I’m so moved by the tributes I’ve read here. She was a cheeky,funny and kind soul, and I always regarded as a sort of blog little sister.
The timing and nature of her death is truly disturbing, but I’m glad others here have had a chance to pay their respects and debrief.
My sincere condolences to her family and all her friends here.
Vale Ash. I’ll miss you.
January 29, 2009, 9:13 am at 9:13 am
Thank you so much for stopping by here. I know for a fact that Ash just thought the absolute world of you, and she would have been so chuffed to have learned that you regarded her “as a sort of blog little sister.”
On her part, she sometimes described you as one of the true “voices of reason” at Bolt’s, even though she sometimes disagreed with some of your points of views. And she also loved your quirky sense of humor to the point where she occasionally would link me to older posts (from before I showed up on the scene) where the shenanigans you and she engaged in just had me in stitches.
In short, she recognised you as one of the White Hats in a community which sometimes tended a little towards the “Wild West.” And just for the record, I agree.
And Scooter: I have in my email several brain-stumping puzzles and riddles Ash used to send me from time to time too. I think we should keep up the tradition she started and post Ash-style brain-teasers from time to time; keep our gray matter exercised and all.
And all of us Bolties will have to keep an eye on our JULIEN now that Ash isn’t here anymore to give him curry.
January 29, 2009, 9:21 am at 9:21 am
To give you some idea of the high esteem in which Ash (and others here) held you, have a wander through these comments in our archives.
Here, here, here, here, and here.
(if you right-click those links you can open them in a new tab so as not to have to keep navigating back to this page, just FYI)
January 29, 2009, 10:38 am at 10:38 am
Thankyou so much for posting that, spot. A real eye-opener, and very humbling. It confirms my impressions of Ash, and makes me feel her loss all the more keenly.
Look after yorself, mate. And yes, we’d have no trouble sharing a drink at the pub. You’re a class act whom I always respect, regardless of whether we always agree or not.
January 29, 2009, 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm
How awful. My condolences to her family. A tragic loss.
January 29, 2009, 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm
I’ll remember Ash with great fondness. She was not only very intelligent – I remember a time on the Bolt blog when many of us did an IQ test – Ash scored 141, which is in Mensa territory I do believe.
As far as Ash having told a few “fairytales” on the blogs – i.e. having a daughter – so what! She was actually a talented storyteller in my opinion, and I assume she used this method to protect her identity.
As shown by the outpouring of sadness and fond remarks, Ash was much loved and admired by her internet friends.
Vale Ash , dear girl.
January 29, 2009, 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm
Spot, a wonderful idea. I always enjoyed those brain teasers. How about the first one on Saturday, I think it would be a nice tribute.
JK, I know Ash really, really enjoyed your posts. She was particularly fond of the “10 commandments of Bolt Blogging” you dug up while gardening one day 🙂
January 29, 2009, 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm
It’s a deal, Scooter. Knowing that I’m something of a Word Nerd (double major in Engineering and English), I have some doozies of word puzzles in inventory in my “Ash Folder,” and I’ll hit y’all with them on Saturday’s Forum – maybe even make it a Saturday tradition.
Sometimes I’m not able to get on the internet from time to time due to circumstances beyond my control, so I’ll throw a few your way if you don’t mind my imposing by stealing your email addy out of our logfiles here, in case I go missing some Saturday.
And JK, I don’t recall offhand your “10 commandments of Bolt Blogging” – if you could repost them one of these days, that’d be grand.
Also, we’re going to be sending on some of the select condolences and reminiscences (serious, amusing, touching, whatever) from here to Ash’s parents, so if you know of someone who’d like to contribute, we’d appreciate you pointing them in this direction.
Thanks so much, guys.
January 29, 2009, 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm
I’ve wrapped my head around things a little better today, and have found these tributes quite moving. I’d like to add my own.
Ash, thank-you for your kindness. Your warmth and compassion were much appreciated. I found your emails so witty and entertaining, and admired the strength you seemed to exude. I can only imagine how you must have touched those who knew you better. Sincere condolescences to your family and friends. Be at peace – I’m sure your journey hasn’t ended.
January 29, 2009, 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm
One of my young nephews just reminded me of another example of Ash’s extraordinary creativity, kindness and sense of humor when he mentioned in passing a special dedicated page Ash helped create especially for him on my other blog.
If you have not seen this page, and feel like a smile after all this sadness, do yourself a favor and visit this page:
January 30, 2009, 9:29 am at 9:29 am
Scooter & JK: Here’s that post of JK’s that Ash liked so much. Thanks, Scooter, for unearthing it for me.
January 30, 2009, 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm
Very sad news.
She didn’t need to lie about her having a child (meaning she was interesting and mature enough to have her opinions respected). Some things you just shouldn’t do. The net is bad enough with how people treat each other, we don’t need otherwise great characters perpetuating lies, making it hard to trust anyone with anything. So be it.
To her family, I’m very sorry for your tragic loss. No matter what story she made up, it doesn’t matter diddly squat to your loss. People make mistakes, and I’d like to think if she had her time over she’d have acted differently with her online friends.
January 30, 2009, 1:45 pm at 1:45 pm
As both Bonmot & AoS, Ash and I had fun. Sometimes cheeky (ghastly French spelling with each other) but always good for a laugh.
I had no idea she was so young.
God bless you Ash and my thoughts are with your family.
January 30, 2009, 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm
Ash, darling girl – so bright so entertaining – such fun. You will be remembered for a very long time and are gone far too soon. From another visitor from AB’s blog, Lin
January 30, 2009, 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm
I’m very shocked to read about this. Although I knew Ash only through her comments on the Blair and Bolt blogs, I will miss her spicy comments and down to earth attitude on the affairs of the day.
My wholehearted condolences to her family for such an awful loss, and for one so young.
January 30, 2009, 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm
Just read the terrible news over at Tim’s, where I have cross-posted this message.
As a lurker at Blair’s old site, Ash’s comments always stood out for their wit and insight. After I started commenting myself, she was always a pleasure to banter with!
I am somewhat relieved (though puzzled) to discover that she doesn’t leave behind the young daughter I thought she had.
On the other hand, I am especially saddened to learn that she was as young as I understood her to be. I don’t know why that should make a difference. It may be because I’m not much older, or perhaps her youth, combined with her obvious skill with words, adds the loss of real potential to the many reasons to be down-hearted.
My condolences to Ash’s family and friends – you are in my prayers. Godspeed, Ash.
January 30, 2009, 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm
I was shocked to hear of this. I greatly enjoyed her posts and comments, and she showed a humor and maturity far beyond her years. Rest in peace, and deepest condolences to her family.
January 30, 2009, 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm
Ashleah was such a sweetie.
Rest In Peace my darling.
See you in five or ten years time, for sure!
Still love you though!
My deepest condolences to your family.
January 31, 2009, 12:16 am at 12:16 am
Rest in peace sweet Ash, and condolences to your family on their great loss. I always thought you were in your mid-thirties and am so sad that you did not get the chance to reach even that age.
January 31, 2009, 7:48 am at 7:48 am
Ant: my sentiments, eggsacktly … thanks for your contribution here and on ‘Old Tim’.
From another non de plum …
January 31, 2009, 10:20 am at 10:20 am
To Ash’s family and loved ones: On this day, the far-too-early day of your precious little one’s funeral, please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
As someone smarter than me once remarked upon the grieving process,
Things will slowly, slowly get easier for you, but no, for everyone who feels the loss of Ashleah Emery, the world will never be quite the same.
I wish you strength and peace.
January 31, 2009, 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm
“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.” –Unknown
January 31, 2009, 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm
Rest in peace, dear Ashleah.
October 26, 2014, 11:51 am at 11:51 am
I have only now had the strength to Google my sister’s name. I know this probably comes five years to late for many of you who still have questions. My sister was not a social person in life. She lived through her computer. I knew nothing about any of the things she did for all of you. I’m pleased that she made a difference to people.
I would like to state that while my sister had no children she did have two nieces at the time of her death, and I was 8 months pregnant with boy girl twins. I do believe my sister may have created a daughter of her own to enable her to used anecdotes of my children while still respecting my children’s privacy.
I would like to thank you all for giving me. a new perspective on who she was and could have been. My email is nikemery61083@Gmail.com