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In memoriam

  • 12th Feb, 2005 at 4:42 PM

Deniz Sarıkaya
2 February 1978 – 12 February 2005

Deniz Sarıkaya and horse
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

I first remember meeting Deniz and being struck by how personable she was. With everyone she met, she tried to build a rapport of warmth. Her desk sat next to the office front door. Every day you walked past she would greet you with a bubbly "Hello!" and a smile that you couldn't help but return. Whenever she met a new person, she would be the first one to make them feel welcome. Deniz brought light into all of our lives.

As soon as she started working at NITI, we knew she could be relied upon. Always in early, always leaving late: no-one could ever call her lazy. She took such great pride in her responsibilities, as if it would reflect poorly on her own person if she failed anyone. Even in her final days, she didn't want to let her interviewees down. I had to volunteer to go in her place.

Not only was she a good co-worker, but she was a good person. She gave of herself selflessly: always helping those in need. She opened her home to Nancy, who needed a place to stay. She opened her heart to Coombs, who needed a kindred spirit. And she opened her ears for me, when I needed a compassionate friend. Her words and her deeds showed us that she was a wonderful human being.

The last day that I saw her was the day before her twenty-seventh birthday. The day before her fateful skiing trip. I wished her a "happy unbirthday" which she returned with her familiar, gleeful smile. Fate must have misheard me, for she had a very unhappy birthday. Only ten days later, she passed away in her sleep.

She had great dreams. She had an angelic voice and aspired to be a professional singer. It was a true gift. Every so often, I would sing some melodies with her, and the experience was wonderful. Now no mortal ears will ever hear that sweet voice again.

Deniz, you were a good, kind, beautiful person. Your flame burned briefly, but brilliantly; we were all warmed by your life. Thank you for sharing with us. I am deeply honoured that you called me a friend.

Rest in peace, Deniz. You never let any of us down. Now you can sleep.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
12th Feb, 2005 21:49 (UTC)
Dear goodness. What takes a 27 year old in her sleep?

I'm sorry to hear of your loss.
13th Feb, 2005 04:57 (UTC)
Please don't take this the wrong way, but is it really a good idea to post this publicly at this time? There are still people who haven't been contacted and this is probably a horrible way to hear about it. I heard about it at 09h00 this morning, so it isn't personal. I'm still in shock and my brain is numb.
13th Feb, 2005 16:23 (UTC)
Oh! I'm so sorry!

I didn't mean to hurt anybody. The words couldn't be stopped from my fingers though.

I remember her so well.
13th Feb, 2005 19:39 (UTC)
Then do like I do: keep *off-line*
14th Feb, 2005 19:16 (UTC)
I just saw the news in the journal of someone else who reads her. I only knew her through LJ. I saw you'd left the first comment about it in Deniz' journal, and came over to see if I could find out something, anything.

Yes, it's a hell of a way to learn about it. It's also the only way I could---would---have learned about it.

What I knew of her, I liked---her attitude towards life, her determination to live fully, her displays of taste and of sensitivity. I wish I could know her better, and I know that I'm not going to be the only one to say that.

14th Feb, 2005 22:23 (UTC)
I absolutely second this. I only know Deniz through LiveJournal, and I would never have found out if it wasn't for people posting.

This news has deeply shocked me. I too will miss her, even if I didn't know her in Real Life.

It's incredible what this universe brings about sometimes.
14th Feb, 2005 23:09 (UTC)
My sincerest condolences for your loss.

I was one of Deniz's many friends from the world of LiveJournal/ICQ/AIM who hoped one day to meet this wonderful lady in person. And, like many, I'd like to let those of you who knew her better know how much Deniz was valued, and how much she'll be missed. We'd like to send flowers, or cards, or contribute to whatever memorial -- but we don't know where or how.

Would it be possible for us to know about her memorial plans?

Thank you,

- Jeff Huo, jeffshuo at umich dot edu, turnberryknkn
15th Feb, 2005 04:09 (UTC)
You must be the person from which she got a unit of measure of work.

I will let you know about the memorial plans.
15th Feb, 2005 12:56 (UTC)
Please contact me as well
I met her nearly ten years ago and we didn't stay in close contact over the years... but she was one of those friends that every time we got together, it was as if no time had passed.

I'd like to make it up from Boston for the funeral as well. I'd have e-mailed you, but didn't see an address in your user info. I would greatly appreciate it if you could contact me with any information. You can reach me at the address listed in my user info or at matt@ducar.com.

Thank you very much,
Matt Ducar
15th Feb, 2005 00:21 (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. Today has been a helluva shock, but finding out later would have been worse. I'd known her for 9 years, mostly online. I'll always cherish the fact that unlike many of her online friends, I did get to meet her in real life. There's no way I can make it to any memorial services, but I second wanting to know when and where they are.

Emily Cartier
15th Feb, 2005 04:11 (UTC)
Send me an e-mail or let me contact you somehow, and I will let you know of the memorial plans.
15th Feb, 2005 20:40 (UTC)
Hi Simon,

I'm also a LiveJournal-only friend, but I'd like to make it to the memorial if possible. I'll send you an email at the email address you posted in your user info.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )