Joyce G. Hamm
b. November 18, 1947
d. October 28, 1999

My mother was my closest friend and the most brilliant woman I have ever known. The tragedy of losing her defies description. I think we all reach a point in our lives when we realize that our parents may die before we do, but we do not really expect it to happen when we are in our early 30s and they are in their early 50s.

My mother was like a guru to my friends, and my sister's friends as well. We didn't just have a "cool mom", we were lucky to live with someone whose words were gems of wisdom to anyone within earshot. Of all the blessings in my life, having her for my mother will always be the greatest.

My composition "Absence of Joy" was written in response to her death. More information about the work can be found here.