It’s the only way I can describe it. The ten days since Julianna passed have been intense, and it feels like a lifetime.
It’s true what they say about the waves of grief, but it’s from an erratic ocean, one without pattern or rhythm. Sometimes the waves are massive and incapacitating. At others, they are just a trickle – a poignant memory, then an ache.
The ache is the hardest part. The intense pain is searing, but it goes away. It’s like throwing up – horrible, but there is relief afterwards. The ache stays and it gnaws and it drains. I can’t believe that she’s gone.
There has been comfort too. I want to share the things that comfort us, because I know that others are hurting with us.
Take comfort in this: It hurts so much because the love is so great.
It’s the price we pay for succumbing to love, and I’ll gladly pay it – a million times, over and over again. The only thing worse than the pain now is imagining a world in which Julianna had never even existed. Or wondering if I held back, left something on the table to protect my heart. I didn’t, I’m grateful, so I’ll take the pain.
Take comfort in: the words of a child.
A few days after Julianna died, Alex said this: “You know the morning after Julianna died and Daddy was on the phone? The people on the phone were crying, and it made me feel good.”
Alex, age seven, has realized that sharing in someone’s grief is a gift. Crying tends to make people uncomfortable – but why? If you have loved and lost, there will be crying and tears. It’s not a big deal.
It is an act of love to share in someone’s grief. For us, anyway, it helps to know that Julianna was loved, and that others are sad with us. It tells us that she mattered, and that she is not forgotten.
Take comfort in….the Therapy Unicorn.
I promise to do an entry dedicated to the Tea Party. For now, let me introduce you to this guy. He’s one of the first things that people saw as they walked in.
We recognized that there would be sadness at the Tea Party – and because it was Julianna’s Tea Party, a Therapy Unicorn made perfect sense.
This unicorn was a gift to Julianna from a dear family friend. He came from a truck stop. (I’m serious). Julianna met him during her last semi-good hours. He was introduced to her as a talking, face-touching unicorn.
True to form, Julianna called it:
J: That unicorn is awkward.
A massive pink and purple unicorn who hails from a truck stop? Yes, a little awkward. He has, however, become a comforting presence. He has mass and weight. He reminds us of her and makes us laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.
- My thoughts come more randomly and quickly these days, so I’ll probably be using Instagram more. You can follow us at
#teaforjulianna, #loveisasuperpower, #juliannasnow
See the public Facebook event page: Tea for Julianna for posts from around the world.
I got a Julianna mani last week so that it’d be perfect for the Tea Party – b/c you can never have enough glitter according to J. I drink my coffee-flavored tea every morning in a tea cup she gave me for Christmas last year. The verse inside: “Your care has preserved my spirit.” Job 10:12. How did she know? I don’t think she knew, not the details or the timing, anyway. But it fits. So amidst the great pain, there is peace. #mamagrief #teaforjulianna #loveisasuperpower #juliannasnow
Lots of new articles are out — see: “Other Stories” tab
If you have been touched by Julianna in some way, please help us fight the hideous disease that took her from us. This is one of our main motivations for keeping Julianna’s story alive.
(Do you see the purple cup on the unicorn psychiatry booth? We meant it as a prop, but the Therapy Unicorn collected $4.37 from satisfied patients during the Tea Party. I told Alex he could have the money. He said: “I want to give it all to CMTA for Julianna. It’s my money, and that’s what I want to do.”)
Buy her book, “Julianna’s Adventures” — 100% of proceeds go to CMTA.