Remembering The Dream - Nastassia Angelika Kunz

Published: June 2nd 2007
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On May 27, 2007, the worst thing I could have possibly imagined happened just outside of Sucre, Bolivia. The bus we were on was involved in an accident and crashed. My girlfriend of four years was tragically taken from us. This was our second bus crash in 4 weeks.

It is a difficult thing trying to deal with something as unfair as this. It just isn't supposed to happen this way, especially to someone I loved so much. She was so young, so innocent and so sincere. It just doesn't make sense why.

We need to find the strength within ourselves to remember the joys that her presence brought us. Nastassia reached out and touched all of us and we need to be grateful that we were able to have known such an amazing person like her. We all have memories of Nastassia that we will cherish forever. The following photo collection is a culmination of the most amazing, wonderful, best four years of of my life that I had the honour of sharing with the person I loved.

She loved children, and in our travels in Latin America a huge smile was brought to her face when we saw the little urchins running around. "The dirtier they are, the cuter they were," she always told me.
In memoriam donations may be made to 'Nastassia Angelika's Orphan Fund' c/o Deci Kunz (via Royal Bank of Canada, Cambell River Branch)

Please say a little prayer and remember...

Additional photos below
Photos: 266, Displayed: 22


2nd June 2007

"Her Remembrance"
" Nastassia" lives on" inside"......... , inside of all of us that had the pleasure to have even "met" her, to have seen her smile, if only to have been"graced" by her "presence", a memory lives on our hearts. Remember....Ben, and anyone who was close to her: "anything" and "everything" that "was" and still "remains; positive, remember her" Quotes", her smile, even her morning hair! From what I've seen ("especially" this last blog): she was the "epitome" of beauty.Seeing her in her highest form(at possibly her happiest).......makes me wish that I had taken the opportunity to know her better, and seeing you with her: Ben , it makes me want to be a better man, and maybe "fix" some of the mistakes that I made with my............ relationship with her sister of seven years,and "this" is the power of her "Life"............that lives on. I admire your strength to write this last "blog",I'm sure she is inside of you, and "pulling you to remember "the joy" her life brought you. Her "Rememberance"is what keeps her spirit alive. She is closer to you than you can ever imagine...............she is in your Heart................But; you know this, and she'd love you for it............stay strong Chris
2nd June 2007

Thank You
Your strenght is an inspiration to all of us Ben. Thank you for posting this.
2nd June 2007

I'm so sorry
Ben, I went to middle school and high school with Nastassia and we lost touch after I moved away. She was such a beautiful person, she was always happy and always brightened any room she was in. I remember in Grade 12 she used to wear these crazy mismatched socks and our physics teacher, Mr Mitchell, used to have her show us her socks every class. It always made me smile. When I heard Nastassia was travelling South and Central America I wasn't surprised, I always knew Nastassia would travel the world and try to make it a better place, and I am so glad that I was able to follow your journey. I can't imagine how hard that was to write so soon after.....My heart goes out to you and the Kunz's. I've briefly spoken with Jess and Christina and know that I'm thinking of everyone and will say a prayer for Nastassia and everyone on Monday. Angela Williams (Towell)
2nd June 2007

So sorry ......
Dear Ben, Such a beautiful person taken so prematurely. I just don't have adequate words to say how very sorry I am. Thank you for sharing with us these photos of your amazing Nastassia---her love of life shines through in every one of them. She will always be in our thoughts. Much love, Missy
2nd June 2007

my little sister...
"to the world you may be one person, but to a person you may be the world." Nastassia, you are my world and my heart aches for you. I'll love you until the day after forever. luv depio.
2nd June 2007

Great Memories
I always had and always will have fond memories and great great respect for Nastassia. I met her at university and instantly realized she was special. I will miss her forever and extend my best wishes to her family, friends and Ben. Know that all of our thoughts are with you and you can call on any of us with anything we can do to help you through. Pete
2nd June 2007

Our Beloved Nastassia
Ben and Nastassia's Kunz and Craigen families...thanks so much Ben for allowing us to share in Nas's wonderful spirit. What a beautfiful tribute to her and her love of life. She has lived more in her short years than many of us do in a lifetime! Her strong spirit will give all of us strength as we continue our journey.... Your loving Auntie Moe
2nd June 2007

The Circle of Love Continues
Dearest Bes, Nastassia was with her wonderful Ben living her dream. What a special time for the 2 of you to have been able to share these past few months doing what you both loved to do. She was sent to you from above so that you would know what Heaven might be like. Thanks for the memories of such a beautiful lady. Aunt Karen from Ontario
2nd June 2007

R.I.P. Nas
Nas was the kind of person who would befriend a crazy american traveling by himself and make that person feel as comfortable as possible. Nas took the time to teach me cribbage( a tough chore believe me)it took all afternoon and she was never frustrated; what a great teacher she was! She had a positive vibe that surrounded her and showed compasssion towards everyone. I only spent a couple of weeks with Ben and Nas but they left a lasting impresson on me and made me feel they were long time friends. Spending time with Ben and Nas was by far and away the highlight of my traveling this year. In such a short time Nas touched my life as i am sure she touched so many. Nas, rest in peace. Your friend, Dave
3rd June 2007

Remembering Nastassia...
Ben, those are all truly beautiful pictures which certainly contain amazing memories. Nas lived life to the fullest with no regrets, and I think we can all learn from her exceptional example of how to truly live. I will pray in memory of Nas and to give you strength Ben. Dave.
3rd June 2007

We are thinking of you today here in Sucre
Ben, Today we lit a candle to remember Nastassia here in Sucre. We are thinking of you. We send our deepest condolences to you, her family and her friends. The blog photos are a beautiful tribute to Nastassia.
4th June 2007

I was her swimming teacher when she was 10, and she was my mother's neighbour as she grew. her bright smile is something I have always remembered. she is special, beautiful. Keeping her memory alive, and live life in her honor...thank you for sharing this with us. strength and peace.
4th June 2007

a beautiful life
Dear Ben, The pictures of Nas are so powerful and beautiful. Thank you for doing this. Hopefully one thing we can take from this is we can try to appreciate and love life to the extent that Nas clearly did. I know her attitude and wonderful smile will live on through every one she touched. I'm so glad I met her. Britt
5th June 2007

Thank you for sharing your memories
Hello Ben, You don't know me but I knew Nastassia and her family. I was just at her service and wanted to check out your blog to see just what she had been doing for the last 7 months. It is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful person and her special guy. I didn't know this blog site existed until I found the address on the back of her booklet. I bet many more people will come on this site and enjoy seeing your memories now that they know the address. I was so impressed with your strength at the service Ben your love for Nastassia shone through all the saddness. May you find peace and solace in the memories of your beloved Nastassia.
5th June 2007

still an angel
Ben, the family of Nastassia. Nas will never be forgotten. She lives on with all of us. I also only new Nas for a few short days during my travels but she will remain with me forever. It is not often in our lives we meet a person who shares so much warmth, love, happiness, and passion to all around them. Everyone she touched in her life will dearly miss her, the world has truly lost an angel. I am happy to have known Nastassia and her spirit will always live on with me.
6th June 2007

beautiful woman
I am a long time friend of the Kunz family, and am deeply moved by this record of your travels, as well as your courage in posting the information on her passing. Natassia was simply a splendid human being in every way. My heart goes out to you Ben, and her parents and family. Keep her memory in your heart forever. May God comfort you all, in this time of terrible loss, and as T.S. Elliot once wrote, may she have found 'The peace that passeth all understanding."
6th June 2007

Hey Ben, I just wanted to thank you for sending me the link. I'd found it a few days ago when I first heard the news, but it was really nice to receive it from you. I think everyone that Nas' life has encountered has been touched by a beatiful spirit. You know those people that stand out for whatever reasons? She was without a doubt one of them. I'll never forget her sense of humour, her constant smile and sense of adventure. She really did have a great philosophy on life, and that is one thing that I'll both never forget about her, and try to emulate. My prayers are with you, the Kunz family and Nas herself.
6th June 2007

Hi Ben, I know we've never gotten a chance to meet, but I feel like I have grown to know both you and Nastassia through all of Fred's stories and pictures over the years... the news I got last week was heart-breaking. Fred sent me the link to your blog many months ago and it has been amazing to follow you both through your journey. Please know that I am praying for you, Nastassia's family, and all who loved her. Through your strength, I know you have given so many others hope during this time. May her light continue to shine through you and all those she has touched.
8th June 2007

Hi Ben, it is with a heavy heart that I write to you after hearing of the tragic death of your Anim Cara (your soul mate) Nastassia. I was fortunate enough to have this blog site forwarded to me through Anne Turner at VCSS. Through your travel blog I had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the wonderful days, weeks and months you and Nas spent together on your travels. What a beautiful tribute to her and wonderful memories for you. May her spirit live forever in your heart. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and her family. Blessings. Katie
9th June 2007

Ben, we all know that Nas sits peacefully in heaven, watching over you. I wish I had the opportunity to get to know her better. I will pray for you and all those close to her. May her memory live on in you forever. Dustin
12th June 2007

Wonderful Life
I always felt like I really knew Nastassia through Decima’s eyes. This tribute is absolutely beautiful and is a reminder of how fragile and precious life really is. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. Love, Anushka
13th June 2007

Thank you.
Ben, first i'd like to thank you and Stass for the blog. The blog, along with everything stass was and always will be is a constant reminder to live life, love and laugh. Secondly, It's been over a week since the service, and two and a half weeks since hearing the news...that time has allowed me to be able to reflect a lot on the times and memories i had with Stass growing up in CR, and of course at UVic. There was never a dull moment, never a sad day, and times where she could have been upset or disappointed just never existed! I laugh a lot when i think about all the funny things she would say and do, and even the way she spelled certain words...I know brandon and I always jokingly gave her a hard time about it, but she loved it and could dish it right back! One of the funniest moments i remember was we met up at the gym before a basketball game, and she says, "Guess what!?" So i said what..."I fell asleep in my exam in my professor's office and couldn't finish the test!" (laughing hysterically as she's telling me this of course)...I was rolling all over the floor laughing my head off, thinking is it really a good idea for her to write exams alone?!?!? She made everyone they say laughter is good for you, well that just means well are all so blessed and much better people for having her around for almost 24 years. Stay Strong Ben. All our thoughts are with you and the family., or
19th June 2007

Remebering Nastassia
I remember Nastassia from school when we were young... Not so much an image, but I remember her as a kind and generous person, always willing to help:) I remember having the hiccups one day and I couldn't get rid of them! So she came and told me this weird ryme she used to get rid of hers when she had them! Sure and shit it worked lol and I still can't remember that ryme today lol! But everytime I get the hiccups I think of her. She was definatly one of those people I wish I had got to know better because she was fun to be around! A life so young and genuine as Nastassia's reminds us of what of what we all take for granted everyday...a laugh a hug a helping hand or even a smile...How simple the most important things can be. She will be forever missed, and always remembered by the lives of those she touched and mine.
21st June 2007

Hi Ben, I know that we only met briefly on Lake Titicaca but both Stephanie and I enjoyed your company, and thought that you were a beautiful couple. I don´t really know what to say, this is truely sad news and has shocked and saddened us deeply. You are in our thoughts and we shall say a prayer for you both. xx Love Martin and Stephanie
22nd June 2007

A little sugar
I am Nastassia's nephew Richards aunty from Kelowna. I found it sweet that Nastassia's middle name is Angelika and that she died near a place that means "sugar". Coincidence? I think not. Our hearts and prayers are with you all.
28th June 2007

Our deepest sympathies
We met you and Nastassia briefly whilst saving the whales on the Galapagos Islands, and while we didn't get a chance to know either of you well, we were deeply saddened by the news of Nastassia. We wanted to let you know that she touched us with her warm smile and zest for life. God must have wanted a beautiful angel. Our deepest sympathies to you and her family.
2nd July 2007

We have been reading your blog from time to time to give us tips, information and inspiration on our own trip so recognised Natassia instantly from this sad blog and felt compelled to write to you. This is such terrible news and hopefully you can draw some comfort from the fact that you seem to have experienced such wonderful and happy times together. Carla and Matt
6th July 2007

feeling your pain
Hi Ben, I have never had the pleasure of meeting either you or Nastassia but can totally relate to your experience. I admire you both and feel your pain. I am a mother of three teen -aged daughters,one of which just returned from 6 months in Colombia, I am now 48 years old but when I was 17 I spent a year in Trinidad Beni,Boilivia. I travelled all over Bolivia and fell in love with the country. You can not explain to people what a unique country Bolivia is.I'm so glad you both got to experience the most precious country in the world. Nastassia reminds me of myself when I was her age, and I have always tried to take whatever life throws at me and be grateful for all the positive. You will find happiness again, Ben. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope to one day go visit the orphanage with my 3 daughter's in Nastassia's honour. Take care young man! Risa
16th July 2007

Our thought are with you
Ben, we never met you or Nastassia, but reading your last entry and looking at your pictures has brought tears to my eyes. I recognise some of the places on the photos as we were there ourselves only a year before yourselves, including Sucre. I can't even begin to imagine what you must be going through. These pictures are a wonderful tribute to someone who seemed to love life and lived it fully. Thanks for sharing your story with all of us.
27th August 2007

Ben, I was in the secund bus behind yours. I can't image how difficult this still must be for you.. I wish you all the strength en luck. I still think of you and Natassia and I will remember...
30th September 2008

Ben i feel your grief, my daughter died suddenlly also at 17 almost 18. God has schown me in many ways how we all have a set time i was given mystically the scripture Wisdom 3-4 and 6 read them to be found in Catholic Bible. She reached perfection in a short time so did my Cindy nothing can seperate love it goes on eternally so you are with her and she with you!!!! You are special that she was given to you in this time!!!!
14th October 2010

beautiful smile
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet the family over Thanksgiving and saw all the beautiful pics of Nastassia that adorn the house. I am so sorry that I will never be able to meet her. I have met Decima and cousins Beth and Melissa, as well as Deci and Ben. What a a beautiful family this is. My sister Sandrine is in love with Hans and I do believe that "this is it" for her. I am so wonderfully blessed knowing that she is potentially going to become a part of this special family.
11th December 2010

are you traveling?
Everytime I see that picture of a girl (Nastassia I assume) walking down a isolated beach I think of your tragedy and hope you are back travelling again in her memory.
1st July 2011

lovely picture
two lovers in the sand watching a sunset....forever

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