Today is Julian’s seventh Angelversary. In the spirit of celebration and remembrance, I invite you to watch this video and take a moment to remember Julian and your own loved ones who have passed on to the Sky World:
Let’s put our minds together as one
And remember the ones who’ve passed on to the Sky World
Their life duties are complete
They are living peacefully
In the Sky World , In the Sky World.
This video moved me so deeply when I first saw it. If my heart took the form of song and dance today, this would be it. Because today is not a day for sadness and despair. Today is a day to celebrate the four short years we had with Julian, and to remember that he’s not “lost” — his life duties were complete, and he peacefully moved on to the Sky World.
Today is also a day for me to notice how my perspective on life (and death) has shifted in the past seven years. As my mind floats back to those early days, I remember talking to a woman who had lost a daughter many years earlier. She promised, “It may not get better, but it will get easier.” Initially, that seemed impossible.
When I was in the early stages of my grief, I couldn’t even imagine a life that would become easier… let alone better. Up to that point, I had spent my whole adult life working hard to create and control my life. Then, something profoundly tragic happened that was beyond my control — and no amount of hard work, good intentions, or desperate prayers could change that.
I realize now that I was not only grieving my son, I was grieving a total breakdown of my philosophy of life. But with time, I learned to surrender my need for control, and I released the belief that life was controllable in the first place. I stopped fighting the past, and eventually accepted the (unacceptable) present, including the aspects of the present that appear to be contradictory:
My son’s death was an unacceptable tragedy… AND I accept it. Both are true.
I experienced the very worst thing a parent could experience… AND I have a lot to be grateful for. Both are true.
I would do anything to bring him back… AND my family and I have had amazing experiences in the last seven years that were a direct result of Julian’s death. Both are true.
My son died… AND there’s a lot to love about my life. Both are true.
Today I am reminding myself, it did get easier. It got better, too. My heart is dancing and singing in remembrance of Julian. I am giving thanks for the love I feel and the lessons Julian continues to teach me, because he has passed on to the Sky World… AND he is with me forever. Both are true.
March 3, 2018 at 1:25 pm
Thank you so much for sharing this – all of what you’ve expressed really resonates with me. My 3 1/2 year old son Jude died very suddenly a year and a half ago. Even though I am several years behind you in grief work, I can really relate to your vision and I applaud how you work to find the positive in all of this (something I am still struggling with, because for the longest time I resisted even considering anything could be positive from this amazing loss). I’m so glad I found your blog – thank you. Sending you many hugs today ❤
March 3, 2018 at 1:59 pm
Emily, your perspective and writing is so profound and insightful! Moving on from that place in our lives of desiring and demanding to control, to opening and allowing a “new normal” can lead to living in the Sky World here on earth. Blessing and love to dear Julian and to you and all your family. Georgann
March 3, 2018 at 2:03 pm
That video was magic. And I am touched by your open-hearted insightfulness about the complex nature of your grief.
The term “Sky World” is so perfect. I had never heard it before. For me, it is very easy to picture your joyful little Julian there. Love to you, today and always.
March 3, 2018 at 4:16 pm
Dear Emily, you have expressed your heartfelt thoughts so beautifully. Thank you for sharing yourself and for the lovely dance and song. We love you!!!!❤️💕
March 3, 2018 at 4:29 pm
Thank you, Emily, for reminding me that those we love are always with us, whether we can see them or not. And thank you to your mother, whom I count as a special friend.
March 4, 2018 at 8:39 am
Emily, thank you. I am always blesses by your words. What a gift to “put our minds (and hearts and souls) together and remember” and to know there’s hope, and love and peace beyond this earthly life in the Sky World! Laurie
March 4, 2018 at 9:16 am
I shed tears reading your beautiful blog for Julien. He is smiling down on you and wrapping his arms around you always!!
March 4, 2018 at 4:40 pm
The sun shines brighter on these days of remembrance for Julian…because as you remember him, so your heart grows a little soft and life takes on a brilliant hue of love. Tom and Darlene Lund
March 5, 2018 at 9:54 am
Speechless. Much love to you, John and Oscar. Thank you for the reminder of my many blessings here and in the sky world.
March 6, 2018 at 10:40 am
Thank you for the kind, wise words from your heart. And thank you for the lovely, freeing dance and song. You do great honor to Julian. Blessings.
March 12, 2018 at 10:20 am
Your words and actions have deeply touched my heart. We’ll always remember Julian.
March 13, 2018 at 12:55 am
My son was born the same year a month before Julian on Valentines Day. I remember being in the hospital w/him thinking about all the children of his generation, born in his year, who would suffer and it made me cry. Such a strange thing to be thinking of after just having a baby but now I know why. I can’t imagine forgetting him. Such an amazing story. The Native song is PERFECT. I hope it brings comfort to you on days like today. God bless you and your family.
March 13, 2018 at 1:53 am
how has this affected your marriage? are you stronger/closer as a couple; men and women grieve differently. you were “aggressively” grieving to get basically to the other side of the new normal. were you finding yourself trying to control this also? Have you found consolation in Church? After all these years have you considered writing a book? I can appreciate pressing thru, feeling everything at once and sometimes unable to process a single fragment of the reality of it all. Being tender-hearted is TOO SOFT FOR COMFORT and yet do you find yourself there regardless of whether you want to be or not? Its great that you are recognizing the joys and holding them close; those times where you are peaceful and inebriated in happiness to the judgement of others. Very interesting post. I think your witness will help so many people going thru the same thing. He lived a full life of a smidge under 4. Every moment you carry with you and you lived to the fullest and deepest w/him. Thank you for sharing your insight. I’m going to keep reading.
March 13, 2018 at 8:18 am
Yes, my husband and I are stronger as a couple now. A few years ago I thought a lot about writing a book, but for now this blog is my outlet. Thank you for your message and support.
March 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm
Emily, I lost my adult child to the sky world. I find it is my earthly angels who guide and support me to look upward. The daily earthly pain of missing my dearest Hillary is eased by the reminder that she is no longer in pain and that her earthly work is done. I can continue to learn from her as I look upward and forward.
Your mom has been an earth angel to me.
Thank you for your healing words and images. Happy birthday Julien.