Writing has been a way for Anca Joicey to link extraordinary experiences and deep personal trauma, in the hope that it will help others.
The Stanmore Bay resident, originally from Romania, emigrated to New Zealand via Italy with her whole family of eight people, 25 years ago.
“We were full of hope and so excited to start a new life,” Anca says.
A month after they arrived, the family was ripped apart when Anca’s sister, brother-in-law and the couple’s two children, aged two and four, were killed in a car versus truck accident in Turangi.
Four years later Anca’s parents were killed in a strikingly similar crash – a car full of people versus a truck.
In total, the two accidents took nine lives – six from Anca’s immediate family, leaving just her and her brother Andrei.
However, Anca says the weekend before her parents’ accident was “inexplicably beautiful” as she had a premonition in which she saw the accident take place, without any people in it, in slow motion, right in front of her.
“Have you ever seen glass smashing in slow motion?” she asks. “It is quite beautiful.”
Along with that premonition came a strong sense of love and protection.
A mechanical engineer by trade, Anca says she has a skeptical and scientific mind, so to have this happen was hard to take in.
She believes that she was taken to a different dimension, “a parallel universe”, and it showed her that life continues on, in a completely different form.
“When I heard about my parents’ death, although it was a terrible and repeat trauma, I also had that feeling that it was not final, which helped me through,” she says.
“I had so many questions about that feeling of love that wrapped around me, so I began a 20 year search for truth and self-discovery.”
Anca says although it originated in tragedy, the results of her search have been full of love and resulted in pearls of wisdom – as well as her book, You are Loved.
The book was recently a finalist in the Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards, in the Unpublished Manuscript category.
Anca says being a finalist has encouraged her, and publishers are taking an interest.
“It is not a ‘how to’ book,” she says. “It tells a story, and I hope that my story opens doors of possibility for people to reflect on their lives and find their own truth.”