Phoebe was one person who I could honestly say that I have never heard her speak badly or gossip about anyone. She was past her years as far as her maturity and she had a raw understanding of life from the very beginning which enabled her to connect with a myriad of people on different levels. Phoebe never judged you and was always selfless in her time to make sure that you were ok.
Time with Phoebe was always special. She was wild, engaging, witty, creative and intelligent . Phoebe was the girl that when she walked into a room everybody noticed her. It wasn’t that she ever went out of her way to seek attention, it was just that she had this amazing presence about her that you could not ignore. Once you met Phoebe, you never forgot her.
I accepted early into our friendship that Phoebe was always going to be my friend, but you could not tell her what to do. She was always going to float in and out of your life and do what she wanted – which she did. At some stages Phoebe and I created turbulence for both our families (as above, she didn’t liked to be told what to do and neither did I), but I know and witnessed her love and deep connection she had with her family and vice versa. Phoebe ran away often, but I know that the first place she would go if she was in trouble is home to them.
I remember spending lots of time at Phoebe’s home in Richmond. There was always an aroma of candles and good food cooking in the oven (which I often took advantage of when staying over). The Handsjuk’s are a warm inviting family; they acknowledge your presence with embracing hugs, they are graceful and always well spoken. Phoebe was the same. Phoebe loved her brothers, we often spent time watching cartoons with them in the front room. She never told them to get out of the room, they were always included in everything that we did – which was fine with me also.
Phoebe was/is the most determined, strong willed and inspiring human being i have ever met. Whatever challenge she set out for herself, she achieved it.. There was never a boring moment with Phoebs. She had boundless amounts of energy, she was always in good spirits and had an appreciation for life and nature that was infectious.
Phoebe was also an artist, she often wrote little poems and cryptic extracts on pieces of paper (both dark and light) or in her journals. I remember for my 16th Birthday she got a photo of a rose that she had taken on her camera and stuck it on a nice yellow card and wrote my birthday message on the back in gold pen. She was thoughtful and reflective and is sorely missed.
When I found out about Phoebe’s passing and at the time it was believed to be an undeniable suicide, the first thought in my mind was that she has jumped from her balcony, she hated being caged in and I would have thought that would have been her split decision way to break free. Phoebe battled with depression for as long as I knew her but she was so strong-willed (with everything, not just her depression) and she was one to NEVER give up.
I support Phoebe’s family and friends to get all the unanswered questions answered surrounding her passing. Phoebe was one of earth’s angels and heaven is very blessed to have her because she is so loved and missed here on earth.
– Elle Carvill