Commemorating Julia. Seriously? WTF?!?By Emma Pearson
November 30, 2023
23 June 2020
I feel I honour Julia every day. In some way. Sometimes small ways. Sometimes big ways.
What is honouring anyway?
Remembering? Talking to her? Talking about her? Sitting quietly and remembering something specific? Nodding to her massive copper bowl of rose petals in the lounge? Forming a twisted, lop-sided smile at one of the many photographs, on the fridge, in the lounge, in my bedroom, on the calendars…?
All of it, and much, much more.
And now the relentlessness of another deathiversary is upon me, upon us. Relentless because deathiversaries are really every moment of every minute of every hour of every day (and night).
But there is something extra humongously huge about the actual “date it happened” deathiversary.
Or 1st July depending on whether you are Julia. Or Mother. Or Medic.
So we will commemorate Julia. Celebrate is not the right word.
30th will be just Ben, Megan and me.
4th July for friends.
If you are local and you did not get an email (and there is not one in your Junk folder) and you love and remember Julia, please feel free to drop in.
Here’s the message I sent.
Cher.e.s ami.e.s, Dear friends
(Version française ci-dessous)
I notice that all my strength drains from my arms, through my fingers, into my laptop keyboard as I prepare this message, this invitation.
An invitation for you to join Ben, Megan and me on Saturday 4th July, between 16h00-19h00. Informal. Come and go as it suits you.
I don’t want to do it. And yet I do want to. I must. Or at least I want to have done it.
But it all remains so ridiculous.
I hate that I have attended a funeral for my best male friend Don in Scotland in September 2015.
Then helped care for my youngest brother Edward before, during and after that, then lose him to a brain tumour in January 2016. Then scatter his ashes from the Reculet in July that year.
Then watch Mike my partner of then almost 30 years get some pains in his side just a month afterwards, witness him decline and die within 4 months of a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in April 2017.
Then witness my three beautiful children retreat into pain and survival, struggle in their various ways
Then have the horror of losing beautiful Julia almost a year ago now.
All of it is so unthinkable, “incredible” in the literal, Latin sense of the word – impossible to believe, to integrate.
I know I am not in touch with enough of you. It is too hard. And some of you find it hard to be in touch with me. I know it’s hard.
But if you’d like to come round for a bit, perhaps with a picture or photo, a poem, a quote, a piece of writing, a drawing, a song to put on a play list or play on the piano, or sing, a bit to eat, some liquid to toast her with… and join in helping (maybe) scatter some rose petals in the garden, I think I would appreciate it. It’s hard to know what I would want when like many of you, I want Julia back, along with Mike, and others we have lost. But it usually does me good to be with people who remember her, and who also miss her
Join if you can, even if you don’t “want” to. No pressure.
Emma, Megan & Ben