Dear Friends and Family,

It is with great sorrow but no surprise that I must inform you that Julie passed away on the evening of Sunday, October 10th, 2010, around 10:15 PM.  All indications are that she died without pain.

Julie and I were married for 14 years, and they were the finest years of my life.  Had I known before I married her what I know now, how short our time together would be, and how it would end, I wouldn’t have hesitated in the least.  The joy and laughter that we shared, and the love that started out strong and then deepened to a degree I didn’t know was possible  — these make even this loss and sorrow worthwhile.

And Julie would agree.  Even as late as September, when she had ceased treatment and knew that death was approaching, we would remark at how lucky we are.  We had a home to live in, food on the table, jobs we enjoyed, the love of friends and family, and a wonderful marriage — while so many people cannot claim even one of these.  Life is not fair.  I don’t know why Julie and I were so blessed, but we spoke of this often and we were grateful.

Julie would not have considered herself a social individual.  She taught herself to read well before school, and as a child often found books easier to deal with than many of the kids at school.  And yet, when we look at the people she’s touched in her life, the people who have agonized with us through the entire cancer process, we see an upwelling of care and support that is just amazing.  By way of example, this blog alone has been viewed over 13,000 times since she started it.  That’s 13,000 instances of people caring, of people wanting to know how Julie is doing.  She obviously meant a great deal to all of you, and your care and support has meant a great deal to us.

There will be two celebrations of her life, one here in town where we’ve lived and worked and have so many friends, and another in California where both her family and mine are centered and where we grew up and first met.  In the next day or two I will be e-mailing out specific details of these to all the friends and family for which I have contact information.  If you receive one, please feel free to share the invitation with anyone I may have missed.  If you don’t hear from me, please check with family members, coworkers, or myself for specifics.  While these gatherings aren’t open to the world at large, anyone who has known or been touched by Julie is more than welcome.

I’ve had inquiries about donations or a memorial fund.  I’m not prepared to manage a memorial fund per se.  Instead, if people want to make a contribution, my preference would be that they give to a good charity.  There are a great many people in need throughout the world, and I’d like to think that our love for Julie might lead to helping some of these people.  Below are some charities that Julie and I have had an interest in, but any legitimate charity would be wonderful.

For those of you who are just visiting this blog for the first time, the archives to the right hold all of Julie’s posts (and more recently mine) as she made this journey.  In them you’ll hear her up times and her down times, her laughter and her stress, but most of all her courage in dealing with this adversity.

More than anything else I can possibly say, I want to thank you all for caring so much.  It means and has meant more than you can ever know.


8 Responses to “Peace”

  1. 1 Laura Illige Harvey
    October 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Julie touched my life in so many ways – she always was a sister to me no matter what genetics happened to mean. Much love to you Brian.

    • 2 Susan Murphy
      October 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      Peace for you Brian. The greatest thing I saw and learned from you and Julie was the amazing love you had to each other. I wish you a time of healing now with that love close to you….right there in your heart always!

  2. 3 Lynnette
    October 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to Julie and the love you have shared. May that love carry you through your grief. You are in my thoughts and prayers. -Lynnette

  3. October 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    What a wonderful love story you have.

    Even after years of working together, I got to know Julie in a way that really deepened our friendship through this blog. I am so grateful she decided to share your journey. So glad you kept that going. I’m glad we have years of writing to read back over when we need to hear her “voice”. Much love!

  4. 5 Kari Misegades
    October 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Hi Brian

    I am one of the many members of the support group (Making Today Count) that Julie attended. I write to let you know that she was a much beloved member. We were all saddened when we learned of the progression of the cancer that left her unable to attend and now mourn her passing. Our hearts go out to you, Brian. It is clear by Julie’s blog that the love you shared with her was beautiful.
    Please let us know the details of her celebration. If you share with one of our facilitators they will pass the info on.
    Peace be yours,
    Kari Misegades

    [phone numbers noted and removed for privacy purposes -B.]

  5. 6 Kevin
    October 11, 2010 at 4:53 pm


    Thank you for sharing your tribute. I can relate to “not so social” aspect of some, being somewhat shy myself. But Julie took a chance and reached out to me, first as an resourceful colleague at work and then, very shortly after the initial work connection, as a friend (and a darn good one too). Of course, I will miss Julie as so many will but I’m glad that we did get to share some time together. Thank God for memories….I think we get to take those with us.

  6. 7 Mary Illige
    October 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Dear Brian, My missing my plane in Portland last year was fortunate for me. I reconnected with Julie and met you in your lovely home. May God continue to bless you in what you share with so many. Lovingly, Mary Illige

  7. 8 Mariel
    October 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Brian, thank you for taking time and energy to share everything that you have. I remember going through this with my dad just a few years ago and the mixed bag of emotions that came with it. We grieve for and with you. I wanted to send my condolences to the lovely friend Julie had who came to visit her from out of town, and was a real partner in her care and healing. (I spoke with her once and my apologies for not recalling her name)… but her loss is a great one as well. You both took such good care of her and helped her roll with the ups and downs of treatments and news. There are no other words to help at this time, but I do hope you will write some updates about yourself when you are up to it. We not only got to know Julie through this blog, but you and Robyn as well and there is no doubt we would all want to hear how you are doing and want the best for you. Take care, Sheri

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