Kiri Anna-Caroline Fernando was born May 9, 1991. A curious, quirky and quiet child, she could entertain herself for hours living in the world of her vivid imagination. Despite this, she made friends easily and at times almost by accident, sharing with them her world of fantasies. She also possessed a performative streak, putting on plays and recitals for her family when young and taking up dance as a serious hobby as she grew older.
Her passion for dance drew her to Rosedale Heights School of the Arts for high school, where her social life blossomed. A girl with a wide range of interests, she transferred to Western Technical Commercial School in grade 11 to focus on her science education. She began her university studies at Guelph, majoring in nanotechnology, before she transferred to the University of Toronto where she studied Biological Physics. Although she found the pressures and rigidity of school difficult and never graduated, she maintained an interest and a deep knowledge in a wide range of scientific subjects. Her intelligence and independence of thought led her to interesting and original insights about people and the world.
She had a natural gift for rhythm and played the drums, at first casually in drum circles at the park and later with a full drum set, practicing regularly with her band and playing small venues around town. She loved food of all kinds and took great joy in cooking, especially with exotic and experimental flavours. Later in her life she focused especially on baking, making decadent treats of all kinds and inventing several of her own recipes, as she developed into a professional level baker.
In the last few years of her life, and especially since the pandemic, her family had found her hard to reach and to see in person. Living across town in Scarborough, and perhaps leaning into her introverted nature, she became more distant. It is of no small solace to her family that she returned home a few months ago, staying with her parents, connecting like in the old days, and forging many last precious happy memories.
Although her spirits had seemed uplifted and her outlook bright, she was discovered dead from an overdose on the morning of May 10th, the day after her 32nd birthday. She is survived and deeply missed by her mother Susan Hausler, father Joseph Fernando, siblings Jonathan, Nicholas, and Wren, as well as a loving extended family both close to home and around the world.
She will be remembered by family and friends alike as a kind, inquisitive, and eccentric person. She faced many troubles and she overcame most of them. She could forge a deep connection with a single conversation, and no doubt touched countless people who never even knew her name. Conversely, she had trouble sharing the burdens she faced, always putting on a brave face, and at times felt out of reach even to those closest to her. Through it all she remained loving and loveable. She will be missed more than she could ever know.
Info: For an hour prior to the service, there will be a visitation in a separate room, with Kiri in the centre in an open casket. This will be a time to meet, talk, and take some time to say goodbye to Kiri before the service starts. The casket is of plain wood, unvarnished, so Kiri can join the earth naturally. There will be markers and those who want can write a message or draw something on the casket, as a message to Kiri, as she goes to her final rest.