Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Her Father John Remembered Meredith On The Third Anniversary Of Her Death

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The UK’s popular Hello! celebrity magazine published a full-page spread in memory of Meredith on 8 November. A copy was kindly sent to us by a friend.

The article included some photos of Meredith that we already have posted plus this new one above, and a moving tribute by Meredith’s father John.

John Kercher Remembers His Daughter Meredith, Who Has Come To Affect So Many

It is now three years since Meredith was taken from us in such a brutal and savage way. For such a kind, loving and caring person to suffer what she did is beyond cruel.

The three years since her passing have obviously been very painful to us and are something that is obviously going to stay with us forever. But as her sister Stephanie says, we are fortunate to have 21 years of wonderful memories of her.

On the third. anniversary .of her death in early November, we shall go to the cemetery where she is buried in South London and join many of Meredith’s friends to lay flowers and messages. Many of those friends still write notes to her, as if she were still with us all.

They remind her of the wonderful times that they spent together and share experiences with her. The messages are always left there, because they hope that, in some way, Meredith might be able to read the words.

There is still a cap on the grave, similar to one she wore when she worked as a tourist guide in London, a student job before she left to study in Italy. She took visitors around the capital each day, explaining the various sights and landmarks to them.

Everyone who Meredith ever came into contact with will never forget her and her wonderful smile. They always wanted her as a friend for life.

Even those she never met are struck by her. The Internet is full of messages from strangers around the world who comment on what a lovely person she seemed to be and always remark on her smile.

And that is what always sticks in our mind, because Meredith had a beautiful sense of humour and what some of her friends have described as “wicked one-liners”.

There are memories of Meredith everywhere. At the house in Surrey where she lived with her mother during. her holidays from the University of Leeds, her room is still as it was when she left to .go and study in the Italian city of Perugia to improve her knowledge of the language and culture.

As her mother says, it is not a shrine, but no one wants to disturb anything. Her clothes are still in the wardrobe, her posters on the wall and make-up on her table. It is sad, and you think that some day she is going to return.

You wait to bear her laugh, and whenever I think of that laugh it always makes me smile.

There is a restaurant which she sometimes worked in at weekends when she came back from Leeds, to earn some money for her university studies. They still have a photograph of her on the bar..

At her old school, there is a cherry tree planted in the gardens in her memory, and this year flowers were laid at its foot. There is also an oak tree for her in the grounds of the University of Leeds.

About 40 of her university friends and our family gathered there on the first anniversary of her passing to say prayers and release balloons with messages attached to them in to the sky.

Other trees in Yorkshire have been dedicated to her, and I once joked that soon she would have an entire forest in her name. It is the kind of joke she would have appreciated.

People also always remember Meredith’s kindness and caring nature. She never gave the impression of being studious, but she was, and she worked really hard for her degree.

Several girls have commented that they were stunned how she would often share her lecture notes with them, which most students really guard. It’s amazing that she was able to do that, because she was a notoriously bad timekeeper and was always 20 minutes late for everything.

The last time I saw her, when she had made a weekend trip back from Italy, she made an appointment to meet me at an Italian restaurant in our home town of Coulsdon, Surrey, and was an hour late.

But you could always be forgiving, the moment you saw her smile. On that last occasion 1 saw her, she was showing me some boots which she had bought in London to take back for the Italian winter.

I think that one of the saddest things was when we, as a family, traveled to Italy to give our own testimonies about Meredith to the court. After two years, we were finally told that we could take her possessions home with us.

We knew that she had some wonderful clothes, a lot of special chocolate bought at Perugia’s famous chocolate festival, and an opera calendar that she had bought for her mother’s birthday, for which she was due to travel home.

I expected this large suitcase full of her belongings, but it was sad to be presented with only a small battered case. There were hardly any clothes, most having been destroyed during forensic testing, no calendar and no chocolate. I would have kept mine forever.

She was almost a Christmas baby, born on 28 December, and I think. that she was always, as she got older, a bit peeved that no one could manage a dinner out after all the Christmas eating. We had to arrange something later in the new year for her.

But we did celebrate her 21st in a local Italian, never dreaming that it would be her last. We still celebrate her birthday and always shall. We have a meal and we raise a glass of wine to her,. and leave birthday cards for her at the cemetery.

We have to. She meant so much to us all

An American TV network is now making a film about .Amanda Knox. and the events. That’s something I find appalling.  Your imagination of the events is enough. To have it graphically portrayed would be horrible for us.

I shall never forget sitting in that courtroom in Perugia at midnight, as the sentences for Amanda and [her ex-boyfriend and co—accused] Rafael Sollecito were read out a year ago. It was solemn and the atmosphere was extremely tense.

As we said afterwards, it was not a moment for celebration for us - more one of satisfaction that justice had been done for Meredith. But still it all goes on, with the accuseds’ appeals being heard this month.

If their sentences are upheld, they have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court in Rome and that process can last years. It simply keeps up the pressure on me and all I want is for everything to be settled.

But l know that the world is never going to forget Meredith. Even in passing she has changed so many lives.

Posted by Our Main Posters on 11/21/10 at 04:55 AM in Concerning Meredith

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That photo of Meredith with her father has automatically become my favourite picture of Meredith. Such happy faces.

I think the greatest tribute I can pay to Meredith is this: she makes me want to be a better person.

Posted by Janus on 11/21/10 at 11:20 AM | #

I was almost moved to tears reading this. Such a tragic reminder that at the end of the day there still is an ordinary grieving family still trying to come to terms with the tragic loss of a wonderful young girl.

Posted by james99 on 11/21/10 at 01:13 PM | #

Thank you for this post.

If anyone is deserving of support, it is the Kercher family. They have behaved impeccably in the face of a terrible loss.

Posted by lilly on 11/21/10 at 05:13 PM | #


Oh I just love this article by Mr. Kercher. All the details like the cap Meredith wore as London tour guide, her Italian restaurant meal out with the family on her 21st birthday, all the trees planted in her memory, the balloons released and the notes by her friends placed at her grave in an ongoing conversation.

Thank you so much, Mr. Kercher, for unveiling more of this delightful personality. How I wish Mr. Kercher could somehow obtain a copy of that opera calendar for a keepsake. I’m so glad her bedroom remains intact, at least for awhile longer. It’s so touching to think of her makeup on the dresser.

Thank you for every little detail of this special person. I wish we could read some of her poems one day.

Meredith’s legacy seems to be a delicate one of music, intellect, love, caring, and smiles, the grand Intangibles that weigh the most.

Posted by Hopeful on 11/21/10 at 08:32 PM | #

This article is heartbreaking to read. I am not surprised at all that Meredith Kercher was well liked. Her parents seem to have provided her with an excellent education. Their behaviour in public is in such strong contrast to the Knox/Mellas family. They are everything the Knox/Mellas family is not.

I noticed over the time the appearance of comments from Knox supporters who basically copy and paste comments left in support for the Kercher family and simply change the family name “Kercher” for “Knox/Mellas”. A typical comment would then read “I admire the Knox/Mellas family for conducting themselves so gracefully.” etc. I do not have any doubts that these kind of comments are left by family members. It shows how jealous they are of the Kercher’s popularity. Amanda didn’t fall far from the tree.

Posted by Nell on 11/22/10 at 12:24 AM | #

nell, i noticed the same thing. they’ve done it with comments about amanda, too—something like “one of the most caring people…” directly quoting something stephanie kercher said about meredith used to describe knox.

Posted by wayra on 11/22/10 at 01:39 AM | #

Such a great father of a great daughter. I admire how he can handle his memory to write such a wonderful letter.

Posted by Dr. Weissnix on 11/22/10 at 11:56 PM | #

That special chocolate bit is interesting. As well as the fact that Meredith was almost a Christmas baby.

Posted by aethelred23 on 11/23/10 at 03:29 PM | #

On the day the accused are appealing their conviction, I came here first, to re-read this beautiful tribute from her father to Meredith. To truly remember what this trial is about.

The things I notice… the forest of trees planted for Meredith… her habit of being late (I have that problem too LOL).... the notes her friend and family still leave for her (I left one recently for my long-deceased fourth-grade teacher, it never ends).... the birthday close to Christmas (my brother was born January 7th, and he had the same problem LOL)... the chocolate gift from Meredith that they were anticipating… chocolate is such a symbol of life, the sweetness and abundance of life, that was so sadly cut short….

I hope someday, the Kerchers will go to the Perugia chocolate festival and enjoy it in Meredith’s name.

I am so pleased that this article was put out there in the public. I hope more and more people are coming to know what this trial is really all about: the loss of an amazing, precious human being, and the suffering family she left behind.

Like Hopeful, I’d like to say “Thank you” to Mr. Kercher for writing this moving tribute. Knowing about Meredith’s kind, caring, intelligent, and humorous nature is a boon, to all of us.

Posted by Earthling on 11/24/10 at 08:38 PM | #
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Or to next entry John Kercher: “Its Despicable That The Girl Jailed For Killing My Daughter Has Become a Celebrity”

Or to previous entry Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher 28 December 1985 - 1 November 2007