Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In memory of Julia...

It was four years ago this week.

So strange that time moves on after someone has moved beyond the restrictions of the clock, into the ether, or whatever lies beyond, and leaves the rest of us behind to continue to seek answers that they have already acquired.

My friend Julia died four years ago. It was in the height of a two year period that I went to eight funerals. Two were highly significant to me. The first was my grandfather's in November of 2004. The other was Julia's.

She was only twenty years old. In that time, she'd experienced both wonderful and horrific things that shaped the person that she was. She was sweet, and kind, and generous. She loved her nephew and was on her way to finding a peace after a bout of contentiousness between herself and her parents. But a series of events pushed her over the edge, and a depression that few knew the depths of ate at her until she finally decided to take her life.

And the ones who loved her that she left behind wondered in astonishment what each could have done to change what she did, to stop her, change her mind, or take away her inner pain.

I think anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one probably gains some measure of morbidity. After the loss of both my father and grandfather, Lord knows I certainly did. But when Julia died, it took the wind right out of me. There were no morbid thoughts. Merely regrets. What didn't I see? How could I not realize?

With most funerals you fill your mind with thoughts of how sad you are, but that that person is in a better place. With the funeral of someone who has committed suicide, your mind is shocked and absorbed with the impossible to answer to the question, "Why?"

I really miss her. I'd known her from a distance her whole life. But in the last couple years, we'd gotten to know each other. She was one of those people you could have a conversation about almost anything with. She had a depth to her that few people at her age have without the accompanying condescension and pretension. Julia was real. It was evident that she wanted to make the world a better place. If only she'd given herself a chance to really do that. She was so thoughtful and everyone that knew her was profoundly touched by her. So, maybe she did.

Julia, wherever you are, you are truly missed.


  1. Lovely post. Very touching. Such a sad, sad waste of life.

    I know she is at peace now, let's just hope the folks she left behind will be able to find some.


  2. Thanks so much for the kind words. Her parents are closer together than they were and everyone else is finding a way to cope without her. I try not to think "what if", and instead focus on the wonderful person she was and act as if that is enough.

    Thanks for visiting.



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