Be Still, My Heart

“Dear Julia . . . there is no easy way to tell you this . . .”


On July 3rd, I learn of my friend’s suicide


The savage truth delivers a violent punch to my heart

and fractures my core


For others, the days ahead bring fireworks, art fairs, and festivities . . . even The Rolling Stones


but I’m here still trying to get up off the floor


Reality comes in waves now; acid waves which leave me breathless


I can’t talk about it yet, or say his name aloud, or share his wonderfulness with you

but I know that soon the grieving will begin and it will be better than this


In a single moment everything can change

your perspective . . . your world . . . even the person you are


To the muffled backdrop of exploding fireworks, I weep

for his pain

and my loss

and the tremendous tragedy of it all


It didn’t have to be


This life . . .

is magnificent and beautiful

yet fragile, tentative, and temporary

and ever so bittersweet.


*If you are in crisis, PLEASE call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-HELP (8255). They’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They really care and can help you.  Or visit   .

Because you matter.

Categories: Downriver/Detroit, Grief/Healing, Michigan | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “Be Still, My Heart

  1. elizabeth aiello

    Julia, “I’m sorry” doesn’t even to begin to tell you how sorry I am for you–and for your friend. May he find comfort and joy in God’s hand. Betsy

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. There is beauty, sadness and hope in your words. 💜

  3. ethel carver

    Your words are SO TOUCHING!

  4. Joanie

    Oh Jules, I’m sending hugs & healing vibes! I’m so sorry, my darling friend, love you ! xoxoxo

  5. Lynn Marchant

    “… ever so bittersweet”, Julia. Those last words so poignant and a description of Life in a nutshell. Your words reach to our hearts and beyond into Spirit. I feel sure your friend feels your pain in Spirit and unfettered now, would be wanting to offer you the greatest comfort and thanks for your love and friendship. My heart goes out to you, too, my loyal friend! Friends, family, pets and the creative force that burns within us, are all we and each other have. You were there for your friend through times good and bad. What I find quite devastating and levelling to us all – is this sort of pain that lingers insidiously, growing in strength, only to strike opportunistically, almost out of the blue, so it cause your friend to say: “No more …” So when will The World accept? When will the whole world, be ready to listen and to understand?
    Many of us have experienced shock, with the longterm, physically sick. Somehow, their passing is still an enormous blow. We’re crushed; drained every last drop, of vital force. Anyone who suffers from low-grade depression, or any mental health challenges whatsoever, may be used to bravely trying to wrestle with these all alone,.In private. Often unknown to any of us. Their passing is an enormous bolt from the blue. So when will every single one of us – united – be ready? You were such a loyal friend and true, Julia. The ‘bigger picture’ here, was the enemy we all face.

    • My dear friend, Lynn…..
      You always know just the right words…..thank you. Thank you for taking the time to feel them and share them with me.
      You help to bring understanding and healing.
      You ask, “When will the world accept and be ready to listen and understand?” Honestly, and sadly, I think the world doesn’t care all so much these days.
      Mental health issues scare people, and most folks don’t want to be “bothered” by the inconvenience of someone with issues. I was once told that my friendship was always on my terms, just because I have migraines and couldn’t sit in the sun to play a card game. Can you imagine someone like that even having the CAPACITY of compassion or understanding?
      But not all of us are like that….some of us do care about other people…even the damaged ones.
      I appreciate your support and friendship and all of the wisdom and love that you share with me. And I will write you more soon, when I can find the words……All my love, my dearest friend, xoxoxojulia

  6. Hugss…this is incredibly deep and honest….much love and hugs to you…

    • Thank you, my sweet Pink. Seeing your name in my comments, just warmed my heart. I hope that you are well. Thank you for your support and your kind words. You mean more to me than you realize. xoxojulia

      • Awwwww…..hugs …really needed that pick me up….love you so very much….much warm wishes to you….love seeing your posts….keep writing!!

  7. Donald Marks

    Julia thank you for sharing this. I personally have seen darkness in my addiction and depression due to domestic violence. I have seeked help through therapy and getting clean and sober. I can say today there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Also I commend you on the photograpy and editing of Ms. Gerri Ace’s event a few years ago. God be with those families and those who endure life after a tragedy such as suicide. I know because I’ve been in the shoes of someone contemplating those dark thoughts.

    • Donald, thank you for sharing yourself with me. I, too, have teetered on the edge of that darkness. Bipolar depression, my past prescription pill addition, and some of the mainstream meds I’ve tried, have put me dangerously close in the past. I lost a sister to suicide. I still struggle with it and haven’t been able to write about it even though it happened almost 20 years ago. I too have also seen glimpses of the light at the end of this tumultuous tunnel, and when it shows itself, I grasp on tightly with both hands and my whole heart. It always seems so brief. Thank you so very very much for your comment on my slideshow of Geri Ace’s suicide prevention event, the “Out of the Darkness”charity walk. I’m proud of my work on that more than any other thing I’ve done. You’ve given me this wonderful gift today, of reaching out, sharing yourself, and touching my heart, and I thank you. All my best to you….really, all my best to you, my friend. Please take good care of your precious self. This world is a better place with you in it. xojulia

  8. My heart goes out to you Julia, it is really heart wrenching to know that someone very dear to us, a part of our life decided to end things. I may never be able to understand how it might be devastating for you and all those who love him but I hope people who suffers with this will really reach out and ask for help and may we all be able to help them too. I have friends who tried suicide and I read a book about this, I think the title is “The Year Without Michael” it is a true story where the writer wrote what it felt like losing someone you love because of suicide, I cried a river after reading it. I pray that those who are in the verge of doing it will realize that there are people who loves and care for them and will really be lost without them and that life is really beautiful despite trials. Love and hugs on your way…

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