My sweet sister-in-law Julie Mcgill Bauman died today one year ago. I remember holding her hand laying by her bedside while she was on life support. When they pulled the plug I couldn’t bear watching. I had to step away and lay down, I couldn’t see her hurting.

But today Julie, I wanted you to know how much I love you, and how much you are missed. We think and talk of you often in our household.

Below are my writings from the week she died. I wrote these entries last year to help me survive and process the shock and horror of losing someone so close and so sudden.

I love you Julie, thank you for continuing to bring light even while you are gone.

April 16th, 2016

I just heard the news, the final report from M.D. Anderson. Aggressive stage 4. My sister in law’s cancer will ineffability take her life.

How long? How much will she suffer? How long will she be left in-between?

No one knows, everyone is scared, everyone is powerless in the face of death.

In the face of death, we all do strange things. Some try and control. Some go numb and shut down. Others get angry. I mostly choose #2. I have felt outside of my body all day. Just sort of wandering, like a sad puppet, being mastered by a foolish puppeteer.

How can I feel this? How do I run towards the terror rather than away from it? Its just too much. There are no answers, only angry questions, where is God? What about their 3 little children? What about them, Lord? Orphaned once, chosen and adopted, finally loved into wholeness now to be orphaned again? Seriously?

The cruelty tastes like nails.

Julie, I love you. I wish I was God. I would save you, I would have saved my son.

I would make it where good people wouldn’t have to endure such unspeakable evil.

I would make a terrible God.

I am so sorry Julie I can’t save you. I will try, through my love. 

April 18th, 2016

Oh God No. NO! “She flat lined, they revived her, she is now on life-support”, my brother says, as I answer the dreaded late night phone call. They have already announced to turn off your portable devices multiple times.

I am on a red-eye flight to TN to see her, to talk to her, to tell her I love her. She died. They revived her, only for hours, days, I do not know. But she is gone.

She said she would wait till Friday. It’s only Monday. Oh, Julie no! God no. It’s too soon. Not know. Those kids, those precious kids, orphaned again.

My brother raising three kids on his own? God help me, help me mourn.

Why do I have to face death again? All too familiar. I know this stench. I know this pit in my gut, the death blow.

I can’t help. I can’t save, I surrender.

Damn you evil, damn you death.

She was supposed to live. She was supposed to love on these kids into wholeness. Oh God, Why? Such a horrid questions and yet I can’t help but ask. Why? God help. God come.

Death begets death. Somehow I am less afraid to die now.

Julie, I love you. I can’t say Goodbye yet, it’s too soon, it hurts too bad.

I am coming Julie; I will be there in the morning. I will hug you, Julie.

In case you are as scared as I am, I will hug you. Hold you, weep for you and be with you. 

April 22th, 2016

My Sister’s Eulogy

The wailing of broken hearts is the doorway to God” -Rumi

Today we wail.

Not because we know, Julie, you are now safe, pain free, and singing in the arms of our good God, but we wail because we miss you sweet sister, we miss you.

We wail because we long to hear your laugh, to see your bright face, and share in this life with you.

We wail because of all the unlived stories, what will no longer be.

We grieve much because we love much.

You were a light to our lives, because of you I shine a bit brighter.

You brought such hope and deep goodness, not only in your life but also in your death.

Julie can you see us? Look at all the lives you have touched.

You showed us, God….

And we will remember.