Thank you for your messages. Knowing that Julianna touched your life, reading your words and feeling our shared sorrow comforts us more than anything right now.
It doesn’t feel real yet. It feels bizarre, not doing the hundreds of little things that were required each day for the care and upkeep of our precious Julianna. Our house is full of people, but in some ways, it’s never been emptier or quieter. I miss her voice, the steady noise of the machines that helped her breathe. They were the heartbeat of our home.
We are busy now, planning a tea party for Julianna. It will be big, elegant, colorful, fun, whimsical, loving, bright, joyful, magnificent. The dress code: fabulous (but accepting. J had strong sartorial opinions, but she wanted everyone to feel comfortable.) We want to make her proud.
I have always known that the time right after someone passes is not the hardest part. We have so much to do, and reality has only sunk so far. The most painful grief will come later, in the months, years and decades to come. Please remember that. Reach out to those who are still grieving, and share a memory of their loved one.
We will find a way to share Julianna’s tea party in this space. For now, there is this, sent to me by twelve-year-old Aanyah Abdullah. We haven’t met, but she seems to me to be another old and wise soul. She has a heart for kids like Julianna.