Just over 24 hours ago I heard that one of my oldest and most remarkable friends had died in a tragic accident on her honeymoon in Vanuatu. I will never, ever forget Joy Ramirez and right now I feel very much in denial. Because Joy was always there for me. Though as I’m increasingly discovering, she was always there for a lot of people. She gave time and she gave of herself. She was the very definition of the cliche ‘beautiful inside and out’ and it’s obvious so many of us feel she genuinely made this world a better place.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever met someone who was simultaneously this driven, this positive, this optimistic and this kind. Let’s not also forget how funny she was too. Her passion for her own various endeavours was equalled by the enthusiasm and support she’d give to the projects of those who were blessed to call her ‘friend’.
Here’s what I wrote on Facebook, plus a link to the NZ Herald article paying tribute to her that included a couple of extra quotes.
I can remember the first day I met Joy Ramirez: AUT, February 2000 and like everyone, I was amazed at how beautiful this person called Joy was. If ever somebody embodied the name their parents chose for them it was her. She was so positive, so full of possibilities, so full of joy.
We were in all the same classes and made several video assignments together that sealed our friendship for life. If Joy wanted to write songs, that’s what she did. If she wanted to organise bands and music tours, that’s what she did. If she wanted to work in TV, that’s what she did. If she wanted to be a published children’s author, that’s what she did.
She also encouraged me to rekindle my relationship with the lady I’ll soon be marrying, and that, above all the other life lessons I know she taught me and undoubtedly everybody else who was lucky to meet her, is the thing I will be the most grateful for.
Hearing the news Joy is gone is heartbreaking. Some people you encounter in this life are mysterious and Joy always had a mystery and energy that sometimes felt not of this world. She was extraordinary.
Here’s the song Joy and Matt ended their wedding ceremony with. Love and prayers to Matt, love and prayers to Joy’s family and friends.
Click here to link to the NZ Herald’s article regarding Joy: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11904025
Once again, deepest condolences to Joy’s husband Matt and to her family and friends. As I wrote in that Facebook post, Joy had a mystery and energy that sometimes felt not of this world.
When her and Matt walked back down the aisle as newly announced husband and wife in March of this year, I lent in for a hug with the bride. Joy whispered in my ear that the song playing had been chosen based on a recommendation I’d made some years ago that I’d long since forgotten about. Joy and I always swapped music suggestions and evidently I’d once told her that Stevie Wonder’s As was pretty much the most awesomely romantic song in history.
For Joy and Matt, here is that song once again. RIP.